Sunday, February 23, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending Feb 22, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending Feb 22, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid (event Thu March 19, 7 pm at Boswell - register here)
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. The Long Petal of the Sea, by Isabel Allende
4. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
5. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
6. Tyll, by Daniel Kehlmann, translated by Ross Benjamin
7. Weather, by Jenny Offill
8. The Boy, The Horse, the Fox, and the Mole, by Charlie Mackesy (commas courtesy of Boswell)
9. The Authenticity Project, by Clare Pooley
10. Strange Planet, by Nathan W Pyle

Our announcement of Kiley Reid's event pushed Such a Fun Age back to #1 - it's not ticket with book but just registration, so you might as well buy it now. No, you should buy it now!

Continue to be confused as to why The Boy, the Horse, the Fox, and the Mole is not classified as fiction by one of our national arbiters of these things. If we moved every inspirational work like this over to miscellaneous, I think our fiction section would have a lot of holes.

And finally, nice to see a work of translation in the top 10. Per the publisher, Tyll is "a transfixing retelling of the German myth of Tyll Ulenspiegel: a story about the devastation of war and a beguiling artist’s decision never to die." James Woods notes in The New Yorker that Tyll is a classic trickster of European folklore, and set his story during The Thirty Years War of the 17th century: "Through this riven world, bristling with boundaries both political and ideological, dances our slippery survivalist, our great expansionist, Tyll - amoral, rebellious, untrustworthy, and exciting."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. A Very Stable Genius, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leoning
2. The Man in the Red Coat, by Julian Barnes
3. Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000, by David Luhrssen, Phillip Naylor, Bruce Cole
4. Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, by David Enrich
5. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
6. Capital and Ideology, by Thomas Piketty
7. Blue Zones Kitchen, by Dan Buettner
8. Untrumping America, by Dan Pfeiffer (event March 9 at Turner Hall Ballroom - tickets here)
9. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb (lunch event March 15 at ICC with REDgen - tickets here)
10. You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, by Alexis Coe

Julian Barnes usually shows up on the fiction list but The Man in the Red Coat is, per the publisher, "a rich, witty, revelatory tour of Belle Époque Paris, via the remarkable life story of the pioneering surgeon, Samuel Pozzi." From Helen McAlpin on the NPR website: "Want a great antidote to distress over current events? Julian Barnes found it in his immersive plunge into the incredible flowering of sexual and artistic expression in Belle Epoque France, and into one man's mostly admirable life in particular. His 24th book (and eighth volume of nonfiction), The Man in the Red Coat, is a wonderful demonstration of the sort of free-range intellectual curiosity Barnes feels has been stymied by the xenophobia and national chauvinism behind Brexit."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Lucky One, by Lori Rader-Day (signed copies available)
2. The Bear, by Andrew Krivak
3. The Story of a Goat, by Perumal Murugan (In-Store Lit Group Mon Apr 6, 7 pm)
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. Mercy House, by Alena Dillon
6. The Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli (In-Store Lit Group, Mon Jun 1, 7 pm)
7. The Stationery Shop, by Marjan Kamali
8. Girl Woman Other, by Bernardine Evaristo (In-Store Lit Group, Mon Mar 2, 7 pm)
9. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (Hulu previews have given the novel another pop)
10. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have had several friends recommend The Stationery Shop (including former Boswellian Rose) to me, so I just started reading it this morning, perhaps driven by the book's appearance, and perhaps because I have a copy and I've just read several event books in a row. Yesterday I finished Anna Solomon's The Book of V. She's doing Inklink and Boswell in late May. Here's Kamali's Publishers Weekly review: "In this tender story of lifelong love, Kamali (Together Tea) moves from 2013 New England to violence in 1953 Tehran as citizens, a new Prime Minister, and the Shah of Iran clash...Readers will be swept away." I could do with a good sweeping!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Jesus Wasn't Killed by the Jews, edited by Jon M Sweeney
2. Fading Ads of Milwaukee, by Adam Levin (we sold out at our event! More coming)
3. Don't Overthink It, by Anne Bogel (event Thu Apr 9 at the Pfister Hotel - tickets here)
4. God Is Not Nice, by Ulrich Lehner
5. God Calling, by AJ Russell
6. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
7. This Life, by Martin Hägglund
8. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
9. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
10. 50 States, 5000 Ideas, by National Geographic

The arrival of Lent next week is apparent in a number of books that look at religious contemplation - or sometimes secular contemplation, in the case of Martin Hägglund's This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom. This Swedish philosopher, per James Wood (again) in The New Yorker, "involves deep and demanding readings of St. Augustine, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (with some Theodor Adorno, Charles Taylor, Thomas Piketty, and Naomi Klein thrown in), but it is always lucid, and is at its heart remarkably simple."

Books for Kids:
1. Jinxed, by Amy McCulloch
2. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
3. A Place for Pluto, by Stef Wade, with illustrations by Melanie Demmer
4. From an Idea to Disney, by Lowey Bundy Sichol
5. From an Idea to Nike, by by Lowey Bundy Sichol
6. From an Idea to Google, by by Lowey Bundy Sichol
7. From an Idea to Lego, by by Lowey Bundy Sichol
8. Run, Hide, Fight Back, by April Henry
9. Guts, by Raina Telgemeier
10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (Puffin in Bloom edition)

School visits are gearing up again - we've got Lowey Bundy Sichol visiting several area schools for her business biographies for kids. For example, From an Idea to Nike is a fully-illustrated look into how Nike stepped up its sneaker game to become the most popular athletic brand in the world. Booklist wrote: "Throughout the books, upbeat drawings add a child-friendly look. An appealing series combining biography, history, and financial literacy."

Last week we hosted Amy McCulloch, whose Jinxed originally came out from Simon and Schuster UK. Booklist spells it out: "Kid-genius Lacey Chu is determined to join the Profectus Academy of Science and Technology in her quest for a career developing bakus, robotic animal companions with the utility of a smartphone. A disappointing rejection seems to end her dream, until she comes upon a broken-down, black-cat baku named Jinx. After repairing it, her newfound pet somehow gets her into the school, and the mysteries grow from there."

Over at the Journal Sentinel:

Tod Goldberg at USA Today reviews Jenny Offill's Weather: "The last time we heard from Jenny Offill – 2014’s brilliant Dept. of Speculation – the world was a fundamentally different place, at least in the day-today- living sort of way. Most of us weren’t terribly obsessed by a man in a large white house spinning the world into chaos one tweet at a time, though the actual planet already was waistdeep in the quicksand of our worst decisions, environmentally speaking.

"In Weather, Offill’s much-anticipated return, the author reclaims her distinctive narrative style – she writes in declarative bullets more than scenes – to deliver us a woman on the edge of our collective oblivion, both before and after 2016 election. The results are glorious, dizzying, disconcerting and often laugh-out-loud hysterical, in all the meanings of that last word."

Over at the Associated Press, Jeff Rowe looks at Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Deborah Riley Draper, Blair Underwood and Travis Thrasher. Rowe notes: "The book...grew from a documentary of the same name produced by Underwood. Conversations and details related in the book are drawn from reporting for the documentary and from family members of the 18 athletes profiled in the book."

USA Today's Barbara VanDenburgh reivews Caffeine, an Audible original from Michael Pollan. Apologies, but we're not able to sell this to you but here's the review.

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