Sunday, January 19, 2020

Boswell bestseller report - week ending January 18, 2020

Here's what is selling at Boswell this week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Wild One V5, by Nick Petrie
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
4. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
5. The Boy, The Hose, the Fox, and the Mole, by Charlie Mackesy
6. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
7. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
8. The Girl in the Rearview Mirror, by Kelsey Rae Dimberg
9. Long Bright River, by Liz Moore
10. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, by Zora Neale Hurston

From the lost files of Zora Neale Hurston comes Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance, which includes eight stories available for the first time. From Jabari Asim in The New York Times Book Review: "Against the backdrop of Harlem Renaissance bigwigs calling for positive depictions of high-achieving Negroes, Hurston unpacked the lives of everyday black people doing everyday things. Add her matchless powers of observation, exemplary fidelity to idiomatic speech and irresistible engagement with folklore, and the outcome is a collection of value to more than Hurston completists. Any addition to her awe-inspiring oeuvre should be met with open arms."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Magical Language of Others, by EJ Koh
2. The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
3. The Overground Railroad, by Candacy Taylor (event Mon Jan 20 - registration through today here)
4. The Body, by Bill Bryson
5. Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000, by David Luhrssen, Phil Naylor, and Bruce Cole
6. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
7. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
8. After Net Neutrality, by Victor Pickard
9. Let's Be Weird Together, by Brooke Barker
10. Milk Street Cookbook, by Christopher Kimball

Our buyers have noted that Valentine's Day has become a children's holiday for books, but there's often an exception and 2020 seems to be the year of Let's Be Weird Together: A Book About Love. From the Sad Animal Facts Instagrammer comes this new book, which "is a book about weird couples and the tiny two-person universes they create. It’s about accidentally wearing the exact same outfit. It’s about made-up songs. It’s about your rules for the thermostat. It’s about breakfast rituals, and funny nicknames, and long hugs, and that voice you pretend the cat has." Exciting footnote - former Boswell visitor Scott Kelly holds the record for the longest long-distance relationship.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. Family Trust, by Kathy Wang (In-Store Lit Group Mon Feb 3, 7 pm)
3. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
4. The Drifter V1, by Nick Petrie (both editions)
5. A Lesser Love, by EJ Koh
6. Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo (In Store Lit Group Mon Mar 2 7 pm)
7. Salvaged, by Madeleine Roux (SciFi Book Club, Mon Feb 10, 7 pm)
8. Burning Bright V2, by Nick Petrie (mass and trade)
9. Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin
10. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy

Paris + Bookstore continues to be a winning combination at Boswell as The Little Bookshop on the Seine makes our top ten. This novel from Rebecca Raisin is about a bookshop owner who does a job switch, ionkly to find that her first impressions are less than romantic: "Her expectations cool faster than her caf au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light - she's a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he'll ever put her first over his busy career."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. As You Wish, by Cary Elwes
2. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
3. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
4. Democracy Without Journalism, by Victor Pickard
5. Getting Tough, by Julilly Kohler Hausmann
6. Misdemeanorland, by Issa Kohler Hausmann
7. The Club, by Leo Damrosch
8. The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
9. Sapiens, by Uval Noah Harari
10. American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner (just added - event April 2 at Schlitz Audubon)

A quick conversion into paperback for Leo Damrosch's The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age pops the book onto the paperback list just about a month after the hardcover went as high as #23. To put things in perspective, were the hardcover to sell as many copies last week, it would be #2. Of the new book, Michael Dirda wrote in The Washington Post: "There are two classic questions beloved by both interviewers and readers: What 10 books would you choose to take along if marooned on a desert island? And what five people from history would you invite to an ideal dinner party? Many potential castaways would immediately grab James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, probably the most entertaining work of nonfiction in English literature. Interestingly enough, this greatest of all biographies also supplies a possible answer to the second question, but one that isn’t in the least fantastical." Yes, that Boswell.

Books for Kids:
1. Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz
2. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume
3. Guts, by Raina Telgemeier
4. Peek a Who Too, by Elsa Mroziewicz
5. Children of Virtue and Vengeance V2, by Tomi Adeyemi
6. Endling the First V2, by Katherine Applegate
7. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
8. American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (watch here for news next week!)
9. Black Canary Ignite, by Meg Cabot
10. Endling The Last V1, by Katherine Applegate

Is Black Canary Ignite the Black Canary from DC Comics? It is! From the publisher: "Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she's going. First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock-star group of friends may even save the world, but first they'll need to agree on a band name. When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah's goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life." Bustle adds: "Dinah Lance's story will be familiar to any woman or girl who has ever been told that she's too loud, brash, and disruptive for this world."

At the Journal Sentinel courtesy of USA Today, Mark Athitakis offers his take on the just-released Little Gods: "Meng Jin’s ambitious debut novel, Little Gods, opens amid the chaos of 1989’s Tiananmen Square crackdown. As a Beijing hospital braces for wounded protesters, a woman named Su Lan arrives to give birth to her daughter. In the recovery room, she asks the nurse some peculiar questions: 'Do you believe in time? Do you believe that the past is gone and the future does not exist?...Little Gods is built from familiar tropes: love amid violence, lost parents, secrets held by those closest to us. But Jin brings a fresh imagination to them, thoughtfully leveraging the language of physics without making the narrative cold or overladen."

Emuna Elon's House of Endless Waters is the subject of a review by Emily Gray Tedrowe, also from USA Today: "Set in Amsterdam, where a fictional famed Israeli writer named Yoel Blum grapples with family secrets and loss, Elon’s book takes readers deep into the sorrowful history of wartime Jewish residents, almost three-quarters of whom, like Anne Frank, were killed by the Nazis...Elon’s great power in The House on Endless Waters is to richly evoke both sides of the tragedy – Sonia’s lived experience of persecution as well as Blum’s later attempts to absorb horrors he can barely comprehend."

Last week we used the USA Today review to highlight Tarryn Fischer's The Wives. This week the review is in the Journal Sentinel's Life section, where lays out the premise - a woman living in a plural marriage in Seattle knows little about the other wives in Portland. Mary Cadden hooks us here: "Tt is here where the story truly takes off and this review must come to an end. To share more would be a disservice to the reader and the carefully calculated story the author has crafted."

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