Sunday, September 1, 2019

Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending August 31, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 31, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. A Better Man V15, by Louise Penny
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
4. The Girl Who Lived Twice V6, by David Lagercrantz
5. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. Inland, by Téa Obreht
8. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
9. The New Girl V19, by Daniel Silva
10. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo

St. Martin's Minotaur didn't listen to Jason and moved Louise Penny back to her end-of-August slot for A Better Man. Jason thought that sales went up with the November release, but our guess is that at other outlets, there's less competition for placement. From Tom Nolan in The Wall Street Journal: "Over the past 14 years, Ms. Penny has written a saga in which both hero and author have grown in ability and assurance. A Better Man, with its mix of meteorological suspense, psychological insight and criminal pursuit, is arguably the best book yet in an outstanding, original oeuvre. We look forward to additional encounters with the dignified, inspirational Armand Gamache."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
2. Strengthsfinder 2.0, by Tom Rath
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. The Dying of Whiteness, by JOnathan M Metzl
5. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
6. Trick Mirror, by Jia Tolentino
7. The Ghosts of Eden Park, by Karen Abbott
8. Ruffage, by Abra Berens
9. The Source of Self Regard, by Toni Morrison
10. Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die, by Amy Gutmann

It's the first week out for Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die: Bioethics and the Transformation of Health Care in America, written by a University of Pennsylvania professor and the school's present, both of whom served on President Obama's bio-ethics panel. Andrea Mitchell calls the book "required reading for anyone with a heartbeat who wants to understand the ethical and practical contradictions of our cultural obsession with prolonging life at all costs."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Air You Breathe, by Frances de Pontes Peebles
2. The Overstory, by Richard Powers (In-Store Lit Group at Boswell, Oct 14 7 pm)
3. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
4. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
5. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
6. The Incendiaries, by R.O. Kwon
7. Good Omens (3 paperback editions), by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
8. Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
9. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami

Our November In-Store Lit Group pick returns to our regular schedule after two displaced weeks - Labor Day throws things off. Thought we're open 10 am to 5 pm, we're closed in the evening when we'd normally meet. November's pick is The Incendiaries, which some critics say is about "violence and beauty," while others say no, its themes are "politics and faith." And here's the Ron Charles take, from The Washington Post: "The Incendiaries is a sharp, little novel as hard to ignore as a splinter in your eye. You keep blinking at these pages, struggling to bring the story into some comforting focus, convinced you can look past its unsettling intimations. But R.O. Kwon doesn’t make it easy to get her debut out of your system."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Policing the Planet, edited by Jordan Camp and Christina Heatherton
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. White Rage, by Carol Anderson
6. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
7. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
8. Reclaiming Community, by Bianca Baldridge
9. Calypso, by David Sedaris
10. 111 Places in Milwaukee that You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden

As you might note, we had a large order for books that deal with race issues this week. Most of them have already been highlighted on our bestseller wrap ups, but I think this is the first appearance of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives. It's an anthology and a little more academic than the other titles - I think all by The Color of Law went on to be New York Times bestsellers and Rothstein's book was certainly on some national lists (and many weeks in Milwaukee). Cornel wrote of Camp and Heatherton's collection: "“This book is the best analytical and political response we have to the historic rebellions in Ferguson. Don't miss it."

Books for Kids:
1. Dog Man For Whom the Ball Rolls V7, by Dav Pilkey
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse and Renée Graef
3. Rite of Passage, by Richard Write
4. The Downstairs Girl, by Stacey Lee
5. Hello Girls, by Brittany Cavallaro
6. Pigeon Needs a Bath, by Mo Willems
7. Best Friends, by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
8. The Lightning Thief V1 by Rick Riordan
9. Lawrence in the Fall, by Matthew Farina and Doug Salati (event at Boswell, Sat Sep 21, 11 am)
10. Pigeon Has to Go to School, by Mo Willems

Great to see a first week pop for The Downstairs Girl, from Stacey Lee. Lee visited between books to the Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series. Her new book is a variation on Dear Mrs. Bird, about Jo Kuan, a young woman who secretly writes an Agony Aunt column in Atlanta in the 1890s. Booklist wrote: "If anyone found out that a Chinese American teenager was behind the column, she'd be run out of town or worse. Lee has concocted another thrilling historical novel, blending stellar plotting and a dynamic cast of characters with well-researched details and sharp commentary on America's history of racism and prejudice."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins offers a fall preview. In addition to some events we've been promoting, Higgins revealed the keynote for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, Andre Dubus III, appearing for the paperback edition of Gone So Long.

Barbara VandenBurgh reviews Téa Obreht's Inland in The Arizona Republic: "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."

Bruce DeSilva's Associated Press review tackles The Cold Way Home: "Julia Keller’s eighth yarn featuring small-town West Virginia crime fighter Bell Elkins is a heartbreaking blues song of a novel, employing beauty to evoke despair while reminding readers that even in the darkest of days, there might also be light"

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