Sunday, November 10, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 9, 2019

Here's what is selling at Boswell

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Find Me, by André Aciman
2. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
3. The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
4. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
5. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
6. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
8. Ribbons of Scarlet, by Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, E Knight, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Bray, and Heather Webb
9. Agent Running in the Field, by John LeCarre
10. The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

Just how long have we been awaiting The Starless Sea? Well, Erin Morgenstern appeared at Winter Institute last January to interview Margaret Atwood, with the implication being that the book was in the pipeline. From Nancy Pate in the Star Tribune: "Ever dreamed of being lost in a book — literally? Admit it, you’d like to fall down the rabbit hole, walk through the wardrobe, fly straight on ’til morning. Or maybe you want “to sail the Starless Sea and breathe the haunted air.” That’s Zachary Ezra Rawlins’ wish, although he doesn’t know it at the beginning of Erin Morgenstern’s extravagantly imaginative novel The Starless Sea. Her new book arrives eight years after her high-wire fantasy of a first novel The Night Circus, and it’s just as magical but even more daring."

More and more publishers are doing paperback originals with limited hardcover printings, such as Ribbons of Scarlet. The growth in print-on-demand technology for hardcovers is also fueling this trend, as seen in Putting Government in Its Place, below. The main market for the hardcover is libraries, but we find there's a substantial upgrade to hardcovers at author events.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Finding Chika, by Mitch Albom (ticketed dinner at Hilton Milwaukee for Nehemiah Project, Tuesday, November 19)
2. Ordinary Girls, by Jaquira Diaz (event at Boswell, Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm)
3. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
4. Helping the Good Do Better, by Thomas F Sheridan
5. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
6. The Body, by Bill Bryson
7. Notre Dame, by Ken Follett
8. Plagued by Fire, by Paul Hendrickson
9. Educated, by Tara Westover
10. Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds, by Ian Wright

Jaquira Díaz spoke to Steve Inskeep about Ordinary Girls on NPR's Morning Edition: "I was a juvenile delinquent who spent most of her time on the streets. At 11, I attempted suicide for the first time. Then, a few months after that, I ran away from home for the first time, and then I started getting arrested — mostly for fighting. I was in a state of rage, also. I was so angry and I couldn't really explain why. I didn't have the language for it. And so I turned to what I knew, I remembered the kind of woman my mother had been — in a lot of ways, I was acting out, I was performing the same thing."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ribbons of Scarlet, by Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, E Knight, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Bray, and Heather Webb
2. Call Me by Your Name (both jackets), by André Aciman
3. The Current, by Tim Johnston
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. We're All in This Together, by Amy Jones
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
8. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
9. The Apple Tree, by Daphne DuMaurier, illustrated by Seth
10. Girl Woman Other, by Bernadine Evaristo

From an earlier set of releases in the same series, John Williams talked up Seth's series of Christmas books, available as $6.95 paperbacks: "You might think it’s a couple of months too late for ghost stories, but a long tradition that peaked in Victorian England says otherwise. The publisher Biblioasis has begun a series of Christmas ghost stories, miniature books chosen and illustrated by the cartoonist Seth. The stories, by M.R. James, Charles Dickens and others, offer chills — and charm." The Apple Tree led the pack this week.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
2. Memories Dreams Reflections, by Carl Jung
3. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
4. One Question a Day, by Aimee Chase
5. St. Francis of Assisi, by Jon M Sweeney
6. 111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
7. Wonders of the World, from Lonely Planet
8. Making Comics, by Lynda Barry
9. Milwaukee Jazz, by Joey Grihalva
10. Inspiralized, by Alia Maffucci

The #1 book on the Indie Bestseller Lists as collected by the American Booksellers Association is The Library Book from Susan Orlean, which we're also reading as our December selection for the In-Store Lit Group on December 2. There are a lot of crossover books to our list, but a few stand out as not having made a splash at Boswell, including #9's HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Mental Toughness. I went on Edelweiss to look at sales and noticed sales for Born a Crime (#10) and The Spy and the Traitor (#11) were substantially more robust. No, it looks like Boswell isn't missing anything by not stocking this book anymore.

Books for Kids:
1. The World According to Humphrey, by Betty G Birney
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. From Malena with Love, by Courtney Kotloski and Natalie Sorrentino
4. The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Sean Rubin
5. The Toll V3, by Neal Shusterman (event postponed on November 12. Details to come)
6. The Friendship Yarn, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Olga Demidova
7. Two Friends, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Lucy Knisley
8. Goodnight Little Monster, by Helen Ketterman, with illustrations by Bonnie Leick
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid V14; Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney continues to be on tour, with a number of Heartland appearances over the next week for The Wrecking Ball. He appears to be alternating ticketed events, often hosted by indies, with signings at chain stores and mass merchants. Here's the schedule, just in case you were up for flying somewhere. And from the publisher, here's what happens in the latest: "In Wrecking Ball... an unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins looks at new regional books. You can read about his selections here.

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