Sunday, July 25, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 24, 2021 - reading for vacation about people on vacation and more

Who's selling what? Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 24, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Shoulder Season, by Christina Clancy
2. The Book of Accidents, by Chuck Wendig (Register for July 28 event here)
3. The Forest of Vanishing Stars, by Kristin Harmel (Tickets for July 26 event here)
4. The Comfort of Monsters, by Willa C Richards
5. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
6. The Sweetness of Water, by Nathan Harris
7. Razorblade Tears, by SA Cosby
8. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
9. Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
10. The Paper Palace, by Miranda Cowley Heller

It's the second week in the top 10 for Miranda Cowley Heller's The Paper Palace, a summer novel, in which you are sitting at your summer place reading a book about someone else sitting at their summer place, only they are having an affair or something, from a former series development executive at HBO. From Publishers Weekly: "In Heller’s captivating debut, a woman’s visit to her family’s summer home on Cape Cod forces her to make a momentous decision ... When the details are revealed later on, they put the somber mood of the first half in a new light."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leoning and Philip Rucker
2. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
3. This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan
4. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
5. Verge, by Patrick Wyman
6. Noise, by Daniel Kahneman
7. Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green
8. Landslide, by Michael Wolff
9. How the Word Is Passed, by Clint Smith
10. The Sound of the Sea, by Cynthia Barnett

Washington Post reporters Carol Leoning and Philip Rucker have a good first week with I Alone Can Fix It, a sequel, of sorts, to A Very Stable Genius - it outsold by a strong margin last week's Landslide, from Michael Wolff. But wow, nothing will beat that first Michael Wolff book. Dwight Garner reviewed them both in The New York Times, but wound up liking Landslide better, noting: "Wolff is a sometimes-mocked figure in the worlds of journalism and politics. He’s been accused of being less than diligent in his fact-checking. He’s been ticketed for careless writing violations. These complaints are valid, up to a point. But Landslide is a smart, vivid and intrepid book. He has great instincts. I read it in two or three sittings."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
2. The People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry
3. Tropical Lung, by Roberto Harrison
4. Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu
5. Anxious People, by Fredrick Backman
6. Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi
7. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
8. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
9. Adventure Zone: Crystal Kingdom, by Clint McElroy and Sons
10. What the Chickadee Knows, by Margaret Noodin

It is unusual to have two poetry books in our top ten, and even more unusual when they are both locals, and there's no event currently involved. I've already said a bit about Margaret Noodin's What the Chickadee Knows, so I'll give a shout out to Roberto Harrison's Tropical Lung which is sometimes written as Tropical Lung: Exi(s)t(s), though the book jacket doesn't have the subtitle. Gabriel Ojeda-Sague writes: "I am incredibly thankful for this new book of poetry, prose, and drawing from the great Latino surrealist and one of the most generous and generative voices in poetry today, Roberto Harrison (a former Milwaukee Poet Laureate). In Tropical Lung, Harrison redoubles his commitment to sewing together the animal, the land, the human, the climate, and the technological. With sleight-of-hand and dense runic images, this book leads its reader into ‘the anti-silence of the Amazon,’ where we may just find a better way to belong. To think clearly in unclear sound is Harrison’s persistent aspiration, and the addition of Tropical Lung to his rich body of work brings this aspiration closer to reality for all of us.”

Paperback Nonfiction
1. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
2. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
3. 111 Places in Milwaukee that You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
4. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
5. Dignity, by Donna Hicks
6. The Golden Thread, by Kassia St Clair
7. Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavalvicencio
8. Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee, by Jennifer Billock
9. Epic Hikes of the World, by Lonely Planet
10. Fresh From Poland, by Michal Korkosz

We had a lot of orders for schools and nonprofits this week and while I sometimes mix in these quantities with our bestsellers, in one case they crowded out all the new books, making the list sort of meaningless. But by taking the large ones out, it left some of the lists a little thin, especially paperback nonfiction, which generally has the lowest bestseller numbers of the five we track. But being that Epic Hikes of the World has now hit the lower reaches of the top 10 twice, it seems like a good time to give it a shout out. It's stories about 50 incredible hikes in 30 countries, and there's no question that it's selling because it's on Rose's recommendation shelf. I found a review of the hardcover on the Social Hiker website: "The book is beautifully illustrated and makes a perfect coffee table book for yourself or the aspiring adventurer in your life."

Books for Kids:
1. Mightier Than the Sword, by Rochelle Melander (Register for July 27 event here)
2. Attack on Pearl Harbor, by Kate Messner
3. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr
4. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
5. The Ones We're Meant to Find, by Joan He
6. Absolutely Emma, by Amy Webb
7. When Charley Met Emma, by Amy Webb
8. Clash, by Kayla Miller
9. The Land of Permanent Goodbyes, Atia Abawi
10. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

Back in May, Jenny Chou interviewed Joan He for her YA novel The Ones We're Meant to Find, which is in our top ten this week. Jenny calls it "spectacularly twisty" and compares it to We Were Liars. You can read her interview on The Boswellians. Plus Nathalie DeFelice in The Nerd Daily: "If you’re looking for a deeply atmospheric book that has serious Studio Ghibli vibes, then you’re going to want to drop everything and read The Ones We’re Meant to Find. It’s a stunning masterpiece that not only showcases Joan He’s incredible writing versatility, but this new world she’s created will be one that readers won’t soon forget."

Two book features in the Journal Sentinel this week. First up is Jim Higgins's profile of Rochelle Melander's latest. From Higgins: "Mightier Than the Sword features many writers an adult reader would expect to see in such a book, including activist Helen Keller, novelist-essayist James Baldwin and playwright William Shakespeare. But this inclusive book also introduces readers to Sequoyah, creator of the syllabary that made reading and writing in Cherokee possible; Cece Bell, who drew on her own experiences as a deaf child to create the graphic novel El Deafo; and Dave the Potter (David Drake), who inscribed verses on the ceramic pots he made as a slave."

Also in the Journal Sentinel, Victoria Magee profiles Genesee Depot native Greta Kelly, whose first book Frozen Crown series came out in January and the second, The Seventh Queen, comes out in November. Kelly talks about being influenced by classic fantasy and war movies.

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