Sunday, April 4, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 3, 2021

Here's what's selling at Boswell for the week ending April 3, 2021

Hardcover Fiction: (and poetry, obviously!)
1. The Hill We Climb, by Amanada Groman
2. Murder at Wedgefield Manor, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
3. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishigruo
4. Raft of Stars, by Andrew J Graff (register for April 12 event)
5. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
6. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
7. The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah
8. The Paris Library, by Janet Skelsien Charles (register for May 5 event)
9. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, by VE Schwab
10. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox

I've always got this dilemma about poetry - fiction or nonfiction? I suppose one has to make this judgment based on the book itself, but I'm not sure if I'm able to have rigorous internal intellectual debate every week, so I tend to keep it fiction. So with this week's big release being The Hill We Climb, I thought it would I'd keep it simple and add poetry to the category header. From The New York Times: "At 22, Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet ever in the United States. She joins a small group of poets who have been recruited to help mark a presidential inauguration, among them Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Vibrant, by Stacie Stephenson
2. A Little Devil in America, by Hanif Abdurraquib
3. What It's Like to Be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley
4. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
5. The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee
6. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders
7. Trustworthy, by Margot Bloomstein
8. Dust Night Dawn, by Anne Lamott
9. The Code Breaker, by Walter Isaacson
10. Tony Lazzeri, by Lawrence Baldeassaro (register for April 15 event)

A Little Devil in America: Notes on Black Performance, by Hanif Abdurraqib has already won praise from Brit Bennett, Jacqueline Woodson, Marlon James. And Lauretta Charlton in The New York Times noted, regarding the book: "In it, this poet, cultural critic, essayist and music buff uses the tales of Black performers to make poignant observations about race in America while using Black performance as a metaphor for the transcendent imagination, gliding through television, music, film, minstrel shows, vaudeville and even space."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. Oona Out of Order, by Margarita Montimore
4. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
5. Deacon King Kong, by James McBride
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
8. The Last Tourist, by Olen Steinhauer
9. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
10. The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn

Top paperback release at Boswell is Louise Erdrich's The Night WatchmanLouise Erdrich's biggest seller at Boswell since The Round House. From Patty Rhule in USA Today: "Erdrich, who is part Chippewa, is a gifted, award-winning storyteller whose writing introduces readers to Native American characters they will be sad to leave at book’s end. She subtly tells the story of the ruinous way this country treated its native people. As night watchman Thomas fights off sleep, he is often visited by the impish spirit of his friend Roderick, whose story unspools the cruelties of Indian schools designed to erase a people rather than educate them. Vera’s story of sexual enslavement was inspired by the real-life sexual trafficking of native women."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. We Want to Do More Than Survive, by Bettina Love
2. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis Balch
3. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
4. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
5. Why We Swim, by Bonnie Tsui
6. Hood Feminism, by Mikki Kendall
7. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
8. The Motherlode, by Clover Hope
9. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
10. Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee, by Jennifer Billock (register for April 22 event)

Out in paperback (our website thinks it's not on sale until April 13, but Algonquin uses pub dates, not on-sale dates - someone should tell the ABA e-commerce people that) is Why We Swim, by Bonnie Tsui. According to the publisher notes, swimming is the third most popular activity in the world, and it ranks even higher if you include fishes in the data. From Martin Wolk in the Los Angeles Times: "Why We Swim is peppered with scientific findings on the health benefits of swimming, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness and improve function for patients with arthritis. Tsui also is enthusiastic about the psychological benefits of an activity that has been described as 'moving meditation.'"

Books for Kids:
1. The House That Wasn't There, by Elana K Arnold
2. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
3. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
4. Rebound, by Kwame Alexander
5. Locomotion V1, by Jacqueline Woodson
6. Peace Locomotion V2, by Jacqueline Woodson
7. Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz
8. Just Ask, by Sonia Sotomayor
9. Maybe Something Beautiful, by Isabel F Campoy
10. Milo Imagines the World, by Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson

A Elmbrook school read led to a virtual visit from Elana K Arnold, a Boswell favorite. The House That Wasn't There. It's the story of two kids who wind up living next door to each other - it's a book about connections, which is something that always interests me. From a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Told through alternating perspectives that offer clearly rendered details, this compassionate novel gives a unique twist to familiar situations - feeling lonely, adjusting to new environments, forging new bonds - while inviting readers to open their imaginations to all sorts of wonderful possibilities."

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