Sunday, August 18, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 17, 2019

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 17, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. A Dangerous Man V18, by Robert Crais
2. The Lager Queen of Minnesota, by J Ryan Stradal
3. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
4. Inland, by Téa Obreht
5. Chances Are, by Richard Russo
6. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
7. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
8. Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman
9. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
10. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk

In the review world, Tea Obreht's Inland was definitely the start of the new releases. Carolyn Kellogg imagines the panic of being lost in the desert without enough water in the current day: "Before hoofing it back to modern comforts, you consider what it was like to try to make it in the desert West a century ago: the relentless sun, the endless thirst, nothing between you and the elements but a scrap of determined hope. That is where Téa Obreht plops us down, in a whisper of a town in the Arizona Territory in 1893, in Inland, her first book since her 2011 bestselling debut, The Tiger’s Wife. Suffused with magical realism, “Inland” is a sweeping story of the outcasts who drift into this desolate corner of the West. There’s a huge cast, stretching back half a century, who orbit around two characters in particular."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Chase Darkness with Me, by Billy Jensen
2. The Art of Inventing Hope, by Howard Reich
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi
5. On Spice, by Caitlin PenzeyMoog (event at Boswell Wed 8/21)
6. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
7. The Source of Self Regard, by Toni Morrison
8. Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo
9. The Witch's Guide to Self Care, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
10. Witcraft, by Jonathan Ree

Ibram X Kendi received the National Book Award for Stamped from the Beginning in 2016. Now his follow-up, How to Be an Antiracist, has arrived. Here's what Ericka Taylor says on the NPR website: "Despite the nature of its title, Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author's own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. Such critical self-reflection is, in fact, the responsibility of the antiracist. Kendi explains that, "like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ghosts of the Garfagnana, by Paul Salsini
2. Hope Rides Again V2, by Andrew Shaffer
3. Hope Never Dies V2, by Andrew Shaffer
4. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. Madame Bovary, by Gustav Flaubert
9. Native Tongue V1, by Suzette Haden Elgin
10. A Thread So Fine, by Susan Welch (event at Boswell, Thu Sep 5, 7 pm)

Our Science Fiction Book Club is reading Suzette Haden Elgin's Native Tongue on Monday, September 9, 7 pm. It's got a Wikipedia entry! I don't think they thought through how the cover treatment would come off on websites. Definitely could have been on our what to read after our Handmaid's Tale table. Another book club surge has been for Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Here's Roxana Robinson's New Yorker piece on teaching Madame Bovary.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. A Prisoner of Her Past, by Howard Reich
2. Spirit of a Dream, by David Rearick (event at Boswell, Wed Sep 4, 7 pm)
3. 111 Places in Milwaukee that You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
4. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
5. Calypso, by David Sedaris
6. The Fall of Wisconsin, by Dan Kaufman
7. Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman
8. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
9. Milwaukee Jazz, by Joey Grihalva
10. Dear Friend, by Yiyun Li

The sales pop for I'll Be Gone in the Dark is definitely connected to our visit last Friday from Billy Jensen, the author of Chase Darkness with Me. For one thing, Jensen helped finish McNamara's bestselling true crime book. Though to my knowledge, Jensen is not credited on the book itself, the Murderinos in the audience (those are folks who follow My Favorite Murder podcast) were well aware. My apologies if I missed the credit, but I thought I checked the cover, the title page, and the acknowledgements.

Books for Kids:
1. Dog Man For Whom the Ball Rolls V7, by Dav Pilkey
2. Lulu and Rock in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illusrations by Renée Graef
3. Pigeon Has to Go to School, by Mo Willems
4. Dear Black Boy, by Ebony Lewis
5. House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A Craig
6. King of Kindergarten, by Derrick Barnes, with illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
7. We Don't Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan T Higgins
8. Calling the Water Drum, by Latisha Redding, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
9. Marvel Alphablock, by Peskimo
10. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, by Jeff Kinney

Back to school rules! One new release is King of Kindergarten, written by Derrick Barnes with pictures from Vanessa Brantley Newton. Trade reviews are ecstatic. School Library Journal called the book "joyful and empowering," while Booklist wrote: "This upbeat picture book follows an African American boy through his first day of school, from waking up in the morning to riding the school bus home. Taking hold of his mother's words that he'll be the King of Kindergarten, the royal metaphor gives him courage throughout the day as he meets new people and situations with bravery and excitement."

Though there's no printed book reviews this week in the Journal Sentinel, you can read the very hard-working and always reading Barbara VandenBurgh's review of Inland here, where she observes that "The Serbian-American writer displays dazzling dexterity and wit with the English language, transporting the reader to a fantastical late 19th century that borders on outright fantasy, where descriptions wax decadent and ghosts are treated as a matter of fact."

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