Sunday, October 13, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for week ending October 12, 2019

Here's what's selling at Boswell for the week ending October 12, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Christmas Boutique V21, by Jennifer Chiaverini (signed copies available)
2. Land of Wolves V15, by Craig Johnson (signed copies available)
3. The Other's Gold, by Elizabeth Ames (and so forth)
4. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
5. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
6. Driving in Cars with Homesless Men, by Kate Wisel
7. Resistance Women, by Jennifer Chiaverini
8. Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
9. A Better Man V15, by Louise Penny
10. The Testaments V2, by Margaret Atwood

It's the second week on the top ten for Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House, but she's been on the list before her her YA works and in fact did a Fierce Reads group event at Boswell back in 2014 at the North Shore Library. Constance Grady at Vox calls Ninth House "a decadent holiday treat," offering this teaser: "Alex is a freshman at Yale, but she isn’t like the rest of her classmates: She doesn’t have the money or the grades or the social clout to fit in at such an elite institution. She’s a 20-year-old high school dropout from SoCal. She was recently the sole survivor of a horrific multiple homicide involving her drug dealer boyfriend. She’s not exactly a natural fit. But what Alex does have is the ability to see ghosts. And that was enough to get her in the door at Yale."

The strong showing for Ann Patchett's The Dutch House is even more impressive because we are hosting an event that includes a book. But being the event is in Waukesha County and during the everything-is-happening month of October (such as the Milwaukee Film Festival), there are some folks that are skipping the event and jumping right to the book. And of course if I were attending the Sharon Lynne Wilson appearance as a reader instead of a bookseller, I'd buy one now to read and get my second book on the night of the event as a special holiday gift.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Unspeakable Mind, by Shaili Jain
2. The Years That Matter Most, by Paul Tough (event October 15 at USM - register here)
3. Freedom Farmers, by Monica White
4. The Book of Gutsy Women, by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
5. The People's Team, by Mark beech (signed copies available)
6. Blowout, by Rachel Maddow
7. When Life Gives You Pears, by Jeannie Gaffigan
8. Christ in Crisis, by Jim Wallis (event October 16 and Immanuel Presbyterian Church - register here)
9. Educated, by Tara Westover
10. Year of the Monkey, by Patti Smith

We don't always mention sales at conferences here but the SDC Poverty Conference hosted four dynamic authors and many of the topics were of interest to Boswell customers. Medical doctor Shaili Jain's book The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science, just came out from Harper this spring and has received nice words from Irwin Yalom and Edward Hallowell, who noted that "Jain has written a wonderfully creative mixture of handbook on trauma, research report, personal memoir, and cultural commentary."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
3. The Sea, by John Banville
4. Gilgamesh, by Herbert Mason
5. Call Me by Your Name, by André Aciman (event November 7 - tickets here)
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. The Power, by Naomi Alderman
9. The Seven and Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton
10. Bluebird Bluebird, by Attica Locke

Aside from two older titles that probably popped due to book club or classroom sale, I've talked about every book in our top 10 more than once. So let's return to Milwaukee Noir, which has been the unexpected regional hit of the year. Before they came out, I spoke to a friend in another mid-sized city that had already seen both a Noir book from Akashic and an Anthology from Belt - I'm referring her to Milwaukee Anthology. His sales for the Anthology were several times over what they were for Noir, but we've had the reverse experience, and that's with only one event for Milwaukee Noir. Hey, we like mysteries and local stuff too - it's the peanut butter cup of publishing.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Nobody, by Marc Lamont Hill
2. Revive Us Again, by William J Barber
3. The Third Reconstruction, by William J Barber
4. Forward Together, by William J Barber
5. 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
6. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean (In-Store Lit Group discussion title Monday, December 2)
7. Health Justice Now, by Timothy Faust (event at Boswell Thursday, October 17)
8. When Bad Lands, by Alan Kent Anderson (event at Boswell Friday, October 25)
9. I Beat the Odds, by Michael Oher
10. Move On Up, by Aaron Cohen (event at Boswell Saturday, November 2, 6 pm - all three are free, no registration)

The big hit from the SDC conference was Marc Lamont Hill's Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, which on publication, was a Kirkus best book of 2016 and a New York Times Editor's Choice. We sold out and took more orders for when the books came back into stock. Hill, who is Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College, also hosted VH1 Live in 2016. Here's The New York Times review from Stephen Bijan if you have not hit your quota yet for viewing NYT articles.

Books for Kids:
1. The Unwanteds Quests V4: Dragon Curse, by Lisa McMann
2. The World Ends in April, by Stacy McAnulty
3. How to Win the Science Fair When You're Dead, by Paul Noth
4. From Malena with Love, by Courtney Kotloski with illustrations by Natalie Sorrentino
5. Unwanteds Quests V1: Dragon Captives, by Lisa McMann
6. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty
7. Dasher, by Matt Tavares
8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Illustrated Edition, by JK Rowling
9. Guts, by Raina Telegmeier
10. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse with illustrations by Renée Graef

What is this Unwanteds Quest series I read of on the Boswell bestseller lists? Truth be told, were I too list them all, there would be several other appearances but since Lisa McMann's visit was a bit ago and we're just now funneling sales, I thought two representative titles would be plenty. To think that we've been bringing McMann to schools since the very first Unwanteds book (in fact, that was me driving her around). There are now seven books in the original series and five books in the spin-off series. And schools are still loving her dynamic appearances where she inspires kids to be creative.

No book page in the Journal Sentinel, but here's Chris Foran's films you can't miss at the Milwaukee Film Festival, which opens October 17.

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