Sunday, September 13, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending September 12, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending September 12

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Saving Ruby King, by Catherine Adel West (Register for September 29 event here)
2. Crooked Hallelujah, by Kelli Jo Ford
3. Anxious People, by Frederick Backman
4. All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny
5. The Lying Life of Adults, by Elena Ferrante
6. Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi
7. The Invention of Sound, by Chuck Palahniuk
8. What Are You Going Through, by Sigrid Nunez
9. The Pull of the Stars, by Emma Donoghue
10. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

Frederick Backman has his best first-week sales pop in some time with Anxious People, also the #1 Indie Next Pick for September. Boswellian Kira McGrigg notes that "Anxious People and all of the ridiculous, complex characters within hold that truly perfect blend of depth and levity that Backman has perfected in his novels."

New releases this week include Chuck Palahniuk's The Invention of Sound, his fist novel at Grand Central Publishing. We have a few signed tip-in copies.

Sigrid Nunez wins praise from Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "What Are You Going Through is a short novel, set roughly in the present. It’s as good as The Friend, if not better. The primal question it asks is this: If a terminally ill friend asked you to be with them, in another room, while they took the pills that would end their life, would you say yes or no? Either answer has its moral hazards.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
2. Disloyal, by Michael Cohen
3. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald (tickets for September 17 event here)
4. Vanguard, by Martha S Jones
5. Quiet Americans, by Scott Anderson
6. Compromised, by Peter Strzok
7. Kleptopia, by Tom Burgis
8. Dirt, by Bill Buford (register for September 22 event here)
9. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle (just announced - Glennon Doyle talks to Jay Shetty on September 25 - tickets here)
10. Breath, by James Nestor

Ron Charles on Michael Cohen in his Book Club newsletter: "Within 24 hours, Disloyal had been soundly drowned out by actual revelations in Bob Woodward’s Rage. Such is the fickle world of book publicity — a crook can barely make a buck these days.

From Basic Books comes a timely history from Professor of History at Johns Hopkins Martha S Jones, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. Ibram X Kendi writes: ""Martha Jones is the political historian of African American women. And this book is the commanding history of the remarkable struggle of African American women for political power." 

Paperback Fiction:
1. If They Come for Us, by Fatimah Asghar (Register for September 17 event here)
2. Dune, by Frank Herbert (two editions, Jason says the trailer looks great)
3. The Overstory, by Richard Jones
4. Late Love, by Paula Goldman
5. Scorpionfish, by Natalie Bakopoulos (Register for September 21 event here)
6. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
7. The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio
8. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
9. The Fate of a Flapper, by Susanna Calkins
10. American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson

My rec for Scorpionfish: "Her parents killed in an accident, Mira takes a leave from her teaching job in Chicago to return to the Athens of her birth. Hoping to take up with her long-time, long-distance lover, she learns upon arrival that he has left her for a well-known film actress. Her voice alternates with her new neighbor, a sailor now separated from the seas and also disengaging from his marriage. The story might dissolve into introspection were it not for Athens, equally lush and tranquil and dirty and chaotic, almost a character itself, and certainly the impetus to awaken these souls from their mournful slumber. If your Greek vacation was cancelled this year, reading Scorpionfish might just be the next best thing."

Paperback Nonfiction
1. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood, by Christopher Emdin
2. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
3. Our Malady, by Timothy Snyder
4. Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
5. Walking Milwaukee, by Royal Brevväxling and Molly Snyder
6. Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin
7. Christ in Crisis, by Jim Wallis
8. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
9. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
10. Million Billion, by Michael Perry (Register for September 24 event here)

Are you doing a lot of walking during COVID? Maybe Walking Milwaukee is the book for you. Here's Bobby Tanzilo's profile in OnMilwaukee.

Books for Kids:
1. Darius the Great Deserves Better, by Adib Khorram
2. Darius the Great Is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram
3. Dear Martin, by Nic Stone
4. Skunk and Badger, by Amy Timberlake (Register for October 12 event here)
5. Grime and Punishment V9, by Dav Pilkey
6. Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, by Meena Harris, illustrated by Ana Ramírez González
7. You Matter, by Christian Robinson
8. Superheroes Are Everywhere, by Kamala Harris, illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe
9. The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer
10. Antiracist Baby Board Book, by Ibram, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

Two books featuring Kamala Harris are in this week's top ten, the multi-week bestseller Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, and 2019's Superheroes Are Everywhere, one of several books that are slowly being reprinted. Jason told me he's seeing a number of books pushed back because publishers can't get press time. If you haven't heard this before, we need to repeat it now - buy early for the holidays.

Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel reviews Homeland Elegies, the second novel from Ayad Akhtar: "Anyone who has seen both Disgraced and Junk will be prepared for the content of Ayad Akhtar's new novel, Homeland Elegies. But even those hard-punching, argumentative dramas don't completely prepare a reader for the high-bandwidth ferocity of Akhtar's book about the unease of being a brown Muslim in the United States and about the destabilizing effect of unfettered greed on this country."

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