Sunday, February 16, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending February 15, 2020

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending February 15, 2020.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Weather, by Jenny Offill
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins
4. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
5. The Long Petal to the Sea, by Isabel Allende
6. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. Agency, by William Gibson
8. The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
9. The End of the Ocean, by Maja Lunde
10. The Mercies, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

February brings several new releases to the top ten, but the strong sales are for Jenny Offill's Weather. From Heller McAlpin on the NPR website: "Jenny Offill broke through the funk of a 15-year gap between her first and second novels with Dept. of Speculation, a wonderful series of witty, plangent short dispatches about marriage, motherhood, and thwarted aspirations from an unnamed female writer whose life ventures dangerously close to the brink. Offill's new novel, Weather, takes a similarly clever diary-like tack, but it's even better — darkly funny and urgent, yet more outwardly focused, fueled by a growing preoccupation with the scary prospect of a doomed earth."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Lost and Found, by Paul Florsheim
2. A Very Stable Genius, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leoning
3. The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
4. Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds, by Ian Wright
5. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
6. Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman
7. Friendship, by Lydia Denworth
8. Something that May Shock and Discredit You, by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
9. Capital and Ideology, by Thomas Piketty
10. Catch and Kill, by Roman Farrow

Several new books on this top ten, but the big story is the long long road to the New York Times bestseller list for The Book of Delights, from Ross Gay, one of our bestsellers from our holiday season, with Chris leading the charge. It was almost a year ago that Geoffrey Cowles wrote about the book in The New York Times New and Noteworthy column. Nicole Rudick wrote about it in >The New York York Review of Books: "Gay wrote the book’s essays (and many others that didn’t make it into the final draft) over the period of a year, one each day, for the simple reason that he thought it would be nice to write about delight every day. The handful of rules he set out for himself included composing the essays quickly and writing them by hand. I decided to read one entry from the book each day, to follow the model of how he’d written them and to give each entry its own space to unfold in my mind—to let it warm me, I’d come to realize, like sunshine." And yes, the book's out of stock temporarily.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
2. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
3. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
4. Fledgling, by Octavia Butler
5. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
6. The Story of a Goat, by Perumal Murugan
7. Girl Woman Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
8. Ohio, by Stephen Markley
9. Brooklyn, by Colm Toibín
10. Black Leopard Red Wolf, by Marlon James

Now in paperback is Black Leopard, Red Wolf, finalist for the National Book Award and one of the Washington Post ten-best books of the year. I can give you a bunch of reviews (spoilers: the book is excellent), but the most interesting news is that Marlon James teamed up with his editor Jake Morrissey for a new podcast, Marlon and Jake Read Dead People, per The New York Times's Peter Libbey. It hasn't started yet so get in on the ground floor!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Inside Game, by Wayne Embry
2. Fading Ads of Milwaukee, by Adam Levin (event at Boswell Fri Feb 21, 7 pm)
3. Seasonal Associate, by Heike Geisssler
4. Disassembled, by Tim Cullen
5. Upstream, by Mary Oliver
6. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
7. Falter, by Bill McKibben
8. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
9. Code Name Lise, by Larry Loftis
10. Midnight in Chernobyl, by Adam Higginbotham

New in paperback is Adam Higginbotham's Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster, winner of the nonfiction Carnegie Medal (that's the Caldecott and Newbery for grown-ups), and also made the best-of lists for the New York Times (ten-best of 2019), Time, and Kirkus. From Wired: "“Higginbotham’s scrupulously reported book catalogues the chain of events that occasionally reads as stranger than fiction. The book is more than a gripping history that recounts in great detail events at the reactors; it also offers contextual insights into the Soviet era that help to explain how such a failure could occur. . . . As is the case with many great nonfiction books, it has the urgency and intrigue of the very best thrillers." Please note that this actually might be from Wired UK, written by Greg Williams.

Books for Kids:
1 A Friendship Yard, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Olga Demidova
2. Monster in the Backpack, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Noah Z Jones
3. Girl Stolen, by April Henry
4. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, by April Henry
5. Squirrel's Fun Day, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations Valerie Gorbachev
6. Stories from Bug Garden, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Gwen Millward
7. Squirrel's World, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Valerie Gorbachev
8. The Lonely Dead, by April Henry
9. I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic 1912 Graphic edition, by Lauren Tarshis, with illustrations by Haus Studio
10. Here We Are, by Oliver Jeffers

Will every popular kids book at Boswell eventually have a graphic equivalent? It could happen. Breaking into our top 10 is I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic 1912, with illustrations from Haus Studio. School Library Journal (which notes that it's being adapted "like so many other popular series") notes: "Dark, subdued, inky art sets a somber tone, while a parade of mostly small panels builds suspense and promises to engage readers."

Jeff Rowe of the Associated Press reviews The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, from Fred Kaplan. He notes: "While we’re fretting about global warming, The Bomb gives us an even greater worry: nuclear war that would render much of the Earth a smoldering, radioactive wasteland littered with hundreds of millions of bodies and chilling, as a cloud cover of dust and debris blocks sunlight for years. Millions would require medical care that would be unavailable; the living would envy the dead."

Barbara VanDenburgh offers ten books for Black History Month, courtesy of USA Today/Arizona Republic. Read more about each book here.

1. Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick, by Zora Neale Hurston
2. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
3. Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler, adapted into a graphic novel by Damian Duffy and John Jennings
4. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
5. Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi
6. Red at the Bone,  by Jacqueline Woodson
7. All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, by Mildred D. Taylor
8. Riot Baby, by Tochi Onyebuchi
9. How We Fight for Our Lives, by Saeed Jones
10. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead

I don't normally read new books months after they come out unless we schedule an event or I pick it for our In-Store Lit Group, but one of our Group attendees asked me about How We Fight for Our Lives and I said, "I'll read it when you read it." I would love to read more about Jones's relationship with is mom. It's clear it's very important in his life, and I'd love more of those seminal moments that cemented their bond.

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