Sunday, April 5, 2020

Here's what's selling at Boswell (well, virtually) for the week ending April 4, 2020

Here's what's selling at Boswell for the week ending April 4, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
2. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St John Mandel
3. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
4. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
5. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel
6. The Herd, by Andrea Bartz
7. Oona Out of Order, by Margarita Montimore
8. We Ride Upon Sticks, by Quan Barry
9. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
10. In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle

Well, we didn't have our release party for Murder at the Mena House, but word got out. Eventually! We were also looking forward to not one but two events for The Herd, one at Boswell and another at the Elm Grove Library. If you read The Herd, you'll spot an Easter Egg for that Milwaukee suburb.

The Night Watchman is Erdrich's biggest hit since The Round House at Boswell. In just a month, she's outsold LaRose and Future Home of the Living God. Similarly, The Dutch House has now substantially outsold Commonwealth at Boswell, and that's with Boswell splitting the event sales for the current book with our friends at Books and Company.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
2. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb
5. Shakespeare in a Divided America, by James Shapiro
6. The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
7. See You on Sunday, by Sam Sifton
8. Apropos of Nothing, by Woody Allen
9. Front Row at the Trump Show, by Jonathan Karl
10. The Office, by Andy Greene

The Splendid and the Vile has not yet outsold In the Garden of Beasts or Dead Wake yet and has a long way to go on the latter - we had a sold out event for Larson's previous title. Particularly good sale on Shakespeare in a Divided America. Wondering if this is due to the Ann Levin review in the Journal Sentinel last Sunday.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
3. Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce
4. The Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
5. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel
6. The Calculating Stars: Lady Astronaut, by Mary Robinette Kowal
7. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
8. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
9. The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn
10. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

How about that sales resurgence on Dear Mrs. Bird from a bookseller blog? It's a timely book about living with a positive attitude through a difficult period, which in the case of Pearce's novel is the London Blitz.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby
2. An Elegant Defense, by Matt Richtel
3. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
4. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
5. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
6. Unorthodox, by Deborah Feldman
7. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
8. Striding Lines, by Bobbie Malone
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

Jenny's recommendation in the Boswell blogs, website, and email newsletter led to a sales increase for An Elegant Defense, a narrative nonfiction book by a New York Times writer that came to my attention during the 2019 Winter Institute meeting where I shared a cab with the author. It's about immune systems, a mix of history, science, and personal narratives, so it's also very timely. It's a welcome return to form for Samantha Irby, who visited Boswell twice, once when her first collection Meaty was published by Curbside Splendor and she lived in Chicago, and then again, wait, it was for the same collection, when it was republished by Vintage.

Books for Kids:
1. Gooseberry Park, by Cynthia Rylant
2. Dragon Hoops, by Gene Kuen Yang
3. Prairie Lotus, by Linda Sue Park
4. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo
5. The Bad Mood and the Stick, by Lemony Snicket, with illustrations by Matthew Forsythe
6. Look Both Ways, by Jason Reynolds
7. Child of a Dream, by Sharon Robinson
8. Pete the Cat: Five Little Bunnies board book, by James Dean
9. Pete the Cat and Baby Animals board book, by James Dean
10. When Spring Comes board book, by Kevin Henkes/Laura Dronzek

Ann Patchett's essay on Kate DiCamillo has gone viral and that's led to a surge in sales for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Hannah Yashiroff of USA Today reports in: "Andy Greene’s The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s explores the making of the cult-favorite sitcom that exploded into a major phenomenon on Netflix years after it ended. The oral history features interviews with nearly 90 cast and crew members plus executives and critics, and includes information from scripts, call sheets and casting documents."

Barbara Vandenburgh of the USA Today Network (Arizona Republic) on The Glass Hotel: "Emily St. John Mandel’s last novel, 2014’s rapturously received Station Eleven, had one hell of an elevator pitch: What does the world look like after it’s been ravaged by a pandemic and civilization has collapsed? (If you have a strong constitution and a dark sense of humor, it’s well worth a revisit now that we’re in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.) Her new novel, The Glass Hotel, isn’t as delectably summarizable, not least because an accurate elevator pitch would spoil the act of discovery for the reader. The story is a mix of seemingly, confusingly disparate elements: There’s a Bernie Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme and a charming investment banker nobody wants to suspect; a mysterious hotel accessible only by boat in the wilds of British Columbia; an exploration of the financially cratering and complex business of container shipping; and a strangely captivating art project built on a base of stolen home videos."

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