Sunday, September 8, 2019

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending September 7, 2019

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending September 7, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger (event today, Sunday, September 8, 3 pm)
2. A Better Man V15, by Louise Penny
3. Fly Already, by Etgar Keret
4. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
5. The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott
6. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
7. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo
8. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
9. Big Sky V5, by Kate Atkinson
10. The Girl Who Lived Twice V6, by David Lagercrantz

From the profile of Lara Prescott by Karen Valby in The New York Times: "The Secrets We Kept, a gorgeous and romantic feast of a novel anchored by a cast of indelible secretaries — some groomed to be secret agents, and all clacking away at covert C.I.A. documents on mint-green typewriters - promptly sold to Knopf at auction for $2 million." Prescott notes that she was turned down for MFA programs her first time out, and was discouraged by at least one prominent writer to write more like Hemingway - that's the code for writing more like a man, isn't it? The book is also the new Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
2. How To, by Randall Munroe
3. The Pioneers, by David McCullough
4. The Economists' Hour, by Binyamin Appelbaum
5. The Second Mountain, by David Brooks
6. Educated, by Tara Westover
7. Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
8. On Spice, by Caitlin PenzeyMoog
9. The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous, by Doug Hoverson
10. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat

Noel King talks to Binyamin Appelbaum about his new book, The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society, which documents the rise of economists (most notably Milton Friedman) to help control American economic policy on NPR's Morning Edition: "I think it's a classic example of a revolution that went too far. The gains are real. The benefits are real. Economists brought a lot of discipline to policymaking. In a lot of ways, they improved the quality of public policy. But by sort of embracing that idea to the exclusion of any other priorities, by saying, we're just going to focus on efficiency. By advocating for economists to take the wheel and excluding other points of view, we ended up in a really problematic place."

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Thread So Fine, by Susan Welch
2. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
3. Ohio, by Stephen Markley
4. The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez
5. There There, by Tommy Orange
6. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
7. A Fortune for Your Disaster, by Hanif Abdurraqib
8. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
9. We're All in This Together, by Amy Jones
10. Vintage 1954, by Antoine Laurain

Hanif Absurraquib's second collection of poetry, A Fortune for Your Disaster, is going to get massive attention, but I'm still working off of the trade reviews. Here is Publishers's Weekly: " An old adage in creative writing workshops holds that a writer ought to show how an action or idea unfolds instead of simply telling readers that it happened. So when an author's unmitigated brilliance shows up on every page, it's tempting to skip a description and just say, Read this! Such is the case with this breathlessly powerful, deceptively breezy book of poetry, the author's second collection. With the swagger of a boxer and the restraint of a scholar, Abdurraqib invokes pop culture and Black history with equal ease, alternating stream-of-consciousness prose poems with deeply introspective lamentations.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Spirit of a Dream, by David Rearick
2. Get a Financial Life, by Beth Kobliner
3. Whose Story Is This?, by Rebecca Solnit
4. Savage Gods, by Paul Kingsnorth
5. Calypso, by David Sedaris
6. Old in Art School, by Nell Painter
7. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2020, by Edward B Fiske
8. One Pot Vegetarian, by Sabrina Fauda-Role
9. To Obama, by Jeanne Marie Laskas
10. The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben Macintyre

At The Spectator, Nina Lyon reviews Paul Kingsnorth's Savage Gods, published here by Two Dollar Radio after much attention in Great Britain. She writes: "The venerable Oxford philologist Max Müller held that ‘mythology, which was the bane of the ancient world, is in truth a disease of language’. Gods filled a void, reanimating meaning as words became more fixed and less metaphorical. A more fundamental disease of language - the words themselves - is the subject of Paul Kingsnorth’s memoir." Or to be specific, Kingsnorth contemplates an end to writing, focusing on working the land and helping raise his family.

Books for Kids
1. The Great Shelby Holmes V1, by Elizabeth Eulberg
2. Dog Man For Whom the Ball Rolls V7, by Dav Pilkey
3. Rite of Passage, by Richard Wright
4. Lawrence in the Fall, by Matthew Farina and Doug Salati (event at Boswell Sat Sep 20, 11 am)
5. Restart, by Gordon Korman
6. Explorers, by Nellie Huang
7. Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
8. Voyage to the Bunny Planet, by Rosemary Wells
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Babara Joosse and Renée Graef
10. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound V4, by Elizabeth Eulberg

Rainbow Rowell's latest, Pumpkinheads, is a graphic novel illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks about two friends who bond while working at a pumpkin patch in Nebraska. Voice of Youth Advocates writes that "Even readers who do not love Halloween, pumpkins, and Midwestern cultural icons as much as Deja and Josiah do will be pulled into this romantic, nostalgic, and wonderfully illustrated story." And Publishers Weekly writes: "The pacing is assured, driving along in short bursts that leave room for key scenes to stretch, but it's the primary characters' authentic friendship--built over several seasons working alongside one another - and the variously inclusive cast that really bring this funny last-day story home."

From the Journal Sentinel:

From Mark Athitakis (USA Today): "The opening pages of Nell Zink’s irreverent, ersatz social novel Doxology suggest a quirky tale about parenthood and punk rock in 1980s New York. But it soon expands into something bigger, more charming and ambitious, encompassing the most serious themes of the 21st century while remaining comic and earthbound."

From Russell Contreras (Associated Press): "A new book by a noted historian attempts to show how expanding American democracy hurt Native Americans in the early days of the nation and how tribes viewed the young United States as an entity seeking to erase them from existence. University of Oregon history professor Jeffrey Ostler’s just-released Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution and Bleeding Kansas argues that the emergence of American democracy depended on the taking of Native lands.

Eliot Schrefer reviews The Warehouse (USA Today): "In this near-future novel, a massive tech company, Amaz- whoops, I mean Cloud, has become the corporate answer to government itself, bringing workers together in climate-controlled, carefully surveilled villages separated by hundreds of miles of sun-broiled wasteland. After the Black Friday Massacres brought an end to physical shopping, Cloud is one of the few employers left in the country, and scoring a job there also means submitting to its rules and relocating to a MotherCloud facility." Think Michael Crichton.

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