Sunday, November 17, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 16, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 16

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
2. The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
3. Black Card, by Chris L Terry
4. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Neshisi Coates
5. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
6. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
7. The Guardians, by John Grisham
8. Find Me, by André Aciman
9. Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
10. Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally

On our buyer Jason's holiday gift suggestion list is Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, which is translated by Tiina Nunnally, whom we once met when she was visiting family. But I guess it also doesn't hurt that Neil Gaiman wrote the forward, which notes "In a translation as crystalline and pellucid as the waters of the fjords, Tiina Nunnally takes the stories that Asbjørnsen and Moe collected from the people of rural Norway, translates them, and gives them to us afresh. Each story feels honed, as if it were recently collected from a storyteller who knew how to tell it and who had, in turn, heard it from someone who knew how to tell it."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Body, by Bill Bryson
2. Essays One, by Lydia Davis
3. Troubled Water, by Seth M Siegel (Register here for UWM Union event, Wed Dec 4, 6 pm)
4. Finding Chika, by Mitch Albom (Tickets here for Nehemiah Project dinner at Hilton, Tue Nov 19,5:30 pm)
5. Beautiful Ones, by Prince
6. Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman
7. 100 Years in Titletown, by Vernon and Jim Biever (Register here for Tue Dec 2, 7 pm event at Boswell)
8. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
9. Felidia, by Lidia Bastianich (Tue Nov 19 event sold out)
10. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell

We put out more holiday options for our gift-wrapping service and yesterday was the first day that we had gift wrappers, from the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library. Today from 12-4 our volunteers are from Pets Helping People. And this is reflected on our hardcover nonfiction list, by two oversize Packers gift books and the best showing for cookbooks (3 out of our top 10) in several months. Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over if from a New York Times columnist and has already been named one of fall's best cookbooks by numerous media outlets, including Food & Wine, Vogue, and People magazine.

And here's a shout out for Lydia Davis's Essays One, which not one but two customers noted was a very attractive looking book.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
3. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
4. Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk
5. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
6. The Story of Arthur Truluv, by Elizabeth Berg
7. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
8. Girl Woman Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
9. Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg
10. The Red Address Book, by Sofia Lundberg

It's interesting to me that even though each list had a tie, only one Booker (Girl Woman Other) and one Nobel Literature title (Flights)is on our bestseller lists. The Testaments is bubbling under our top ten this week (I can't figure it out - did this work to PRH standards or not?) and there are a number of Peter Handke backlist titles that are due to be released on December 3, though several other titles already in stock are coded nonreturnable at Ingram, which will definitely inhibit bookstores stocking them. I still haven't seen many stateside reviews of Evaristo aside from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Hope to see more!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Midwestern Strange, by BJ Hollars
2. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takai
3. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
4. Upstream, by Mary Oliver
5. Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
6. Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, American Birding Association
7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harai
8. Black Bilt, by Paul Wellington (event at Tippecanoe Library, Wed Nov 20)
9. Basketball, by Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, Dan Klores
10. Blindspot, by Mahzarin R Banaji

Out in paperback is Basketball: A Love Story, which in hardcover was the companion to an ESPN documentary and had strong holiday sales for us. Those kinds of books don't always have a good paperback life but sales so far are promising. Here's Jackie MacMullan interviewing Dan Klores on

Books for Kids:
1. Refugee, by Alan Gratz
2. The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Sean Rubin
3. Wrecking Ball V14: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
4. Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament V1, by Kim Long
5. Margaret and the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Lucy Knisley
6. Finding Treasure, by Michelle Schaub, with illustrations by Carmen Saldana
7. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
8. Call Down the Hawk V1 by Maggie Stiefvater
9. The Wicked King V2: Folk of the Air, by Holly Black (Register here for Thu Nov 21 event at Boswell)
10. The Toll V3: Scythe, by Neal Shusterman (Event date not yet rescheduled)

Call Down the Hawk is Maggie Stiefvater's first book in the new Dreamer trilogy. We had several advance orders, including one from a former (and future) bookseller. The Booklist starred review explains it all: "This spinoff trilogy was born from Stiefvater's Raven Cycle, and though readers of that quartet (especially those who favored The Dream Thieves) will of course be eager for this, this new series, somewhat astonishingly for a story this layered, exists independently of its predecessor. It's a different beast entirely, one that circles the complexities of family and the joys and terrors of creating. For all that is new, however, Ronan remains the same; a lodestar that old readers will be happy to return to and new ones glad (if nervous) to discover."

Over at the Journal Sentinel

Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk are collected mostly older writings from Outside and other publications. John Forker in the Associated Press review wrote: "Krakauer’s storytelling is so confident and engrossing, it begs for a reader’s undivided attention. I found myself OK with sleepless nights; I could turn to Classic Krakauer once again to devour another essay or another few pages."

On the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, there are a lot of unusual tie-ins, such as a Farmer's Insurance series of commercials featuring the Muppets. There's also The Importance of Being Ernie (and Bert), which Mary Cadden reviewed? featured? in USA Today, nothing: "After all, the best friendships are a combination of silly, sweet and sentimental, aren’t they? And who better to emulate those traits than these two Sesame Street stalwarts."

Jonathan Elderfield in Associated Press reviews John LeCarré's Agent Running in the Field: "Le Carré’s Nat relies on his 25 years of experience as an agent runner to navigate the competing forces of money and power, patriotism and love. And with a style honed over 25 novels and more than 50 years, the author’s prose is crisp and compelling and the story is relevant to today’s turbulent times."

Tomorrow is our weekly event blog.

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