Sunday, September 15, 2019

What's selling at Boswell this week? - September 8-14, 2019

What's been selling at Boswell?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
2. This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
3. A Better Man, by Louise Penny
4. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
5. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
6. The Institute, by Stephen King
7. Quichotte, by Salman Rushdie
8. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
9. Fly Already, by Etgar Keret
10. The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott

You might have heard that The Testaments, Margaret Atwood's sequel to The Handmaid's Tale came out last week. You might even know someone who got it early. We sold ours on time. It might be the best first week for a non-event hardcover fiction release this year - I should verify that. Meanwhile, Julie Myserson writes in The Guardian: "Given all of this history – and the fact that for 35 years fans have apparently been begging for answers to a host of Gilead-related questions – it’s not surprising that The Testaments feels as eagerly awaited as a handmaid’s bouncing baby. If ever a novelist could justify the spawning of a sequel, Atwood can."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Something Deeply Hidden, by Sean Carroll
2. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
3. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, by Caitlin Doughty
4. Our History Is the Future, by Nick Estes
5. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell
6. Educated, by Tara Westover
7. She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
8. The Education of an Idealist, by Samantha Power
9. Lifespan, by David A Sinclair
10. Epic Bike Rides of the Americas, by Lonely Planet

Caitlin Doughty ran a very successful preorder campaign for indie bookstores on Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs - folks also got a Doughty pin! If we run out, we'll have more on October 20 when Doughty interviews Landis Blair for The Envious Siblings. Register at Margaret Wappler writes in the Los Angeles Times: "After graduating from mortuary school, she opened her own funeral home, wrote two memoirs, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity, and developed a web series, Ask a Mortician, where she educates the morbidly curious (ahem, all of us) on such taboo topics as necrophilia and sewing a mouth shut. Her approach is wickedly funny, all while packing in concrete information. In her new book, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Doughty answers the frank queries of teenagers and other kids..."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
3. The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
4. Madame Bovary, by Gustav Flaubert
5. There There, by Tommy Orange
6. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
7. Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
8. The Maze at Windermere, by Gregory Blake Smith
9. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
10. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson

The Goldfinch made a huge leap to #1 on the national paperback bestsellers lists, following a similar jump from The Art of Racing in the Rain (which I don't think ever hit our top 10). It doesn't look like either film is working. Business Insider reported on the Garth Stein adaptation being a flop for Disney (though it's officially a Fox Studios holdover). Hannah Shaw-Williams in Screen Rant actually wrote a piece on why she thinks the reviews on The Goldfinch are so particularly bad.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Outward Mindset, by Arbinger Institute
2. Beating Guns, by Shane Claiborne
3. Incredibull Stella, by Marika Meeks with Elizabeth Ridley
4. The Future Is History, by Masha Gessen
5. The Man Without a Face, by Masha Gessen
6. Brothers, by Masha Gessen
7. One Pot Vegetarian , by Sabrian Fauda-Role
8. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
9. 111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
10. Calypso, by David Sedaris

Jill Leppore's These Truths doesn't seem like the kind of book to me that would work in paperback, but here it is in our top 10. Ivan DeLuce in Business Insider (look at me quoting from them twice in one week!) did note that Bill Gates just recommended it, along with "every word David Foster Wallace has ever written."

Books for Kids:
1. Strike Zone, by Mike Lupica
2. All the Impossible Things, by Lindsay Lackey
3. Heat, by Mike Lupica
4. Elvis Is King, by Jonah Winter, with illustrations by Red Nose Studio
5. The Cape, by Kate Hannigan
6. Miracle on 49th Street, by Mike Lupica
7. The Secret Subway, by Shana Corey, with illustrations by Red Nose Studio
8. Adventures of Mark Johnson, by Harlan D Hayman
9. No Slam Dunk, by Mike Lupica
10. Five Dark Fates, by Kendare Blake

It's school visit season! Several folks in this week's top 10 had visits, and that's not just Mike Lupica. Lindsey Lackey's debut, All the Impossible Things was a big hit earlier in the month, while Kate Hannigan comes to town for The Cape this Wednesday. In both cases, there are no public events. We should have signed copies - though I should note we sold through all our signed copies of Mike Lupica's Strike Zone.

From the Journal Sentinel Book Page:

--Mark Athitakis (USA Today) reviews Nell Zink's Doxology: "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."

--Elliot Schrefer (also USA Today) takes on Rob Hart's The Warehouse: "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."

--Russell Contreras (Associated Press) writes about Jeffrey Ostler's Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution and Bleeding Kansas: "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."

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