Sunday, December 22, 2019

Boswell hardcover nonfiction bestseller list for the week ending December 21, 2019, featuring Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers for the week ending December 21, 2019

1. Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000, by David Luhrssen, Phil Naylor, Bruce Cole et al
2. The Body, by Bill Bryson
3. Climbing My Mountain, by Sheldon Lubar
4. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell
5. Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds, by Ian Wright
6. The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
7. The Yellow House, by Sarah M Broom (I'm reading this now)
8. Strange Planet, by Nathan W Pyle (I watched the YouTube interview to understand this phenomenon more)
9. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
10. The People's Team, by Mark Beech
11. The Movie Musical!, by Jeanine Basinger
12. Atlas Obscura 2E, by Dylan Thuras, Joshua Foer, Emma Morton
13. The Boy the Horse the Fox and the Mole, by Charlie Mackesy
14. Blue Zones Kitchen, by Dan Buettner
15. The Education of an Idealist, by Samantha Power
16. The Joy of Cooking 2019 edition, ediuted by Irma S Bombauer et al
17. The Map of Knowledge, by Violet Moller
18. The Years That Matter Most, by Paul Tough
19. 100 Years in Titletown, by Vernon and Jim Biever
20. Lakota America, by Pekka Hamalainen

It turns out that two of our top 3 bestsellers in this category were for books we didn't know about until after late November, which is why neither was featured in our holiday newsletter mailing. We have signed copies of Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000, and copies of Sheldon Lubar's Climbing My Mountain.

Chris's nonfiction pick of the season is The Book of Delights, which has has had very strong sales in the weeks leading to Christmas.

Much like the fiction list, the nonfiction list is dominated by 2018 titles, with Educated at #1 and Becoming at #3. For the most part, we are not having a huge second holiday with either, but Salt Fat Acid Heat, a 2018 title, is our #1 cookbook. I think this is partly due to Nosrat appearing at UWM in October.

In general, higher-priced gift titles are not dominating our list - only four titles in our top nonfiction titles are priced over $35, including both cookbooks mentioned (which, by the way, are both from Simon imprints), Edison (list price $38) and the second edition of Atlas Obscura, which also benefited from a fall visit. A third cookbook is on the list, Blue Zones Kitchen, but is priced lower, at $30. Demand was very high for this, following a second book that didn't sell as well for us.

Our top selling title this week is from Marquette University Press, but then you have to jump to #20 to find our second university press title, Lakota America from Yale, which is actually just before Leo Damrosch's The Club, also from Yale.

And finally, Bill Bryson's The Body is by far his bestselling hardcover at Boswell, not just outselling the previous high (At Home, 2010) by more than 50%, but also beating any books on record from the last five years of the Downer Avenue Schwartz Bookshop. Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers has not matched either David and Goliath (which had a sold out event) or Outliers, which came out at the end of the Schwartz era, but sold well into the age of Boswell. Maybe if it gets another year.

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