Sunday, May 17, 2020

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 16, 2020

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 16, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd
2. Shakespeare for Squirrels, by Christopher Moore
3. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
4. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
5. The End of October, by Lawrence Wright
6. The Redhead by the Side of the Road, by Anne Tyler
7. Camino Winds, by John Grisham
8. The City We Became, by NK Jemisin
9. All Adults Here, by Emma Straub
10. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer

John Grisham's Camino Winds is set at a Florida resort and features a crime-fighting team of a thriller writer and his bookseller sidekick. Publishers Weekly notes that "Readers will hope to return soon to this appealing vacation hot spot." This is a follow-up to the popular Camino Island, which reviewers note are not legal thrillers, but caper novels. Of the first in the series, Booklist noted that it is "filled with lively supporting characters (most of whom are writers) and with insider knowledge of the book business," and it sounds like the same is said for #2. Plus Grisham went back to doing bookstore tours for this series, though the current round are virtual.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
2. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
3. Milwaukee Brewers at 50, by Adam McCalvy
4. What It's Like to Be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley
5. Pelosi, by Molly Ball
6. Hell and Other Destinations, by Madeline Albright
7. Dirt, by Bill Buford
8. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
9. Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman
10. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake

Happy 50th birthday, Milwaukee Brewers! This wasn't the present you were expecting. Milwaukee Brewers at 50 is one of at least two books celebrating the anniversary. With introductions by Bud Selig and Mark Attanasio, this official commemorative book by team reporter McCalvy tells the stories behind all the iconic moments, the legendary players and coaches, and so much more.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
2. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
3. Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. Waste Tide, by Chen Oiufan (June Sci-Fi Book Club selection)
6. Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane
7. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
8. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M Miller
9. Circe, by Madeline Miller
10. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson

Mary Beth Keane had a breakout bestseller with Ask Again, Yes, which is now in paperback. We had a very nice book club event planned with the author. Sigh. The book is perfect for virtual book clubs, with this banner endorsement from Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air: "One of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time… Keane writes with deep familiarity and precision about the lives of this particular generation… As a writer, Keane reminds me a lot of Ann Patchett: Both have the magical ability to seem to be telling 'only' a closely-observed domestic tale that transforms into something else deep and, yes, universal. In Keane's case, that 'something else' is a story about forgiveness and acceptance."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Sister Citizen, by Melissa Harris-Perry
2. Drawing Lesson, by Mark Crilley
3. When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron
4. Grit, by Angela Duckworth
5. Unorthodox, by Deborah Feldman
6. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
7. Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby
8. Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela
9. Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith, by Lorene Hanley Duoquin
10. Taking Flight, by Michael Edmonds

One of the many books that has made a return to the bestseller list for COVID-19-related reasons is Grit, by Angela Duckworth. From WPVI in Philadelphia, a timely interview: "We could all use a little more grit as we face the changes in our daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So Nydia Han chats with Angela Duckworth, a Penn professor and the Director of Character Lab, a nonprofit with a mission of helping children thrive, and the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance for some advice on ways drum up the courage and resolve to cope." And here's an editorial in the Albany Times-Union. It's all Grit, all the time!

Books for Kids:
1. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
2. The Pope's Cat, by Jon M Sweeney
3. Children Just Like Me, from DK Publishing
4. Because of Mr Terupt, by Rob Buyea
5. The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L Holm
6. Margaret and the Pope Go to Assisi, by Jon M Sweeney
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling
8. City of Ember, by Jeannie Duprau
9. Summer Song, by Kevin Henkes, with illustrations by Laura Dronzek
10. Unscripted, by Nicole Kronzer

During the Christmas 2018 season when I got books signed from Kevin Henkes, Henkes Laura Dronzek showed me some artwork for Summer Song, which is now available. From Booklist: "This conclusion to the seasonal quartet from the award-winning duo celebrates summer at last, reveling in its endless delights of green songs. It highlights the natural sounds of the season - growing leaves, wind blowing through the tall grass, birds singing - as well as the man-made ones of air conditioners, fans, sprinklers, and lawn mowers...A luscious finale for a delicious foursome."

Matt McCarthy of USA Today reviews Together: "When Vivek Murthy was sworn in as the 19th surgeon general of the United States, he had certain expectations. As the nation’s doctor, Murthy expected to use his platform to address broad issues like the opioid epidemic, obesity, mental health and vaccine-preventable diseases. But during a nationwide listening tour, he kept hearing about a different scourge: loneliness. The powerful and potentially devastating desire to feel a part of something has become the focus of his fascinating new book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. It couldn’t be more timely."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Hillel Italie of Associated Press writes about the rise of interest in Octavia Butler: "A revolutionary voice in her lifetime, Butler has only become more popular and influential since her death 14 years ago, at age 58. Her novels, including Dawn, Kindred, and Parable of the Sower, sell more than 100,000 copies each year, according to her former literary and the manager of her estate, Merrillee Heifetz. Toshi Reagon has adapted Parable of the Sower into an opera, and Viola Davis and Ava DuVernay are among those working on streaming series based on her work."

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