Sunday, July 18, 2021

Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 17, 2021

Here's what's selling at Boswell

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Comfort of Monsters, by Willa C Richards
2. Shoulder Season, by Christina Clancy
3. The Cellist, by Daniel Silva
4. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. The Final Girl Support Group, by Grady Hendrix
6. Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
7. All the Lonely People, by Mike Gayle (Register for July 22 event here)
8. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
9. Night Came with Many Stars, by Simon Van Booy (Ask for your signed bookplate - coming soon)
10. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
11. The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
12. Razorblade Tears, by SA Cosby (Register for July 20 event here)

I'm not sure how many staff recommendations we have for The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, but it's enough, and duplicated at enough others stores that Hendrix jumped from Quirk to Berkley for the latest, The Final Girl Support Group, which has this clever tagline: "In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives… but what happens after?" Boswellian Madi Hill notes that "Hendrix's style is so much fun but surprisingly tense, perfect for the horror fan who doesn't take themselves too seriously." Barbara VanDenBurgh in USA Today writes: "Final Girl indulges but doesn’t coast on nostalgia, and is itself a page-turning thriller with survival on the line."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
2. This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan
3. Landslide, by Michael Wolff
4. How the Word Is Passed, by Clint Smith
5. Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner
6. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
8. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders
9. Hola Papi, by John Paul Brammer
10. Subpar Parks, by Amber Share

New York Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecelia Kang, part of the team that received a Pulitzer for their work, now have a book inspired by their reporting on Facebook - An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination is based on over 400 interviews. John Naughton reviewed the book for The Guardian, and after reading more about it, one begins to see Facebook as a successful version of WeWork, at least from the perspective of the founder (I just read The Wall Street Journal story where Neuman was projecting a $10 trillion valuation). Naughton notes: "The co-authors’ exhumation of these ghastly skeletons makes for gripping as well as depressing reading."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Adventure Zone V4: Crystal Kingdom, by Clint McElroy
2. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
3. Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman
4. Hamnet, by Maggie O"Farrell
5. The People We Meet on Vacation, by Emiliy Henry
6. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
7. Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi
8. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
9. The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, by Grady Hendrix
10. Rachel to the Rescue, by Elinor Lipman (Register for July 19 event here)
I'm going to use copy again to explain Adventure Zone: "Based on the blockbuster podcast where the McElroy brothers and their dad play a tabletop RPG (role-playing game) and illustrated by cartooning powerhouse Carey Pietsch, The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom takes this #1 New York Times bestselling series to haunting new heights." And to be clear, there are actually four writers and an illustrator - Clint McElroy does this with his three sons, Griffin, Justin, and Travis, plus the illustrator is Carey Pietsch. To be even clearer, this book gets shunted to graphic novels/comics for bestseller lists, but it outsold all the traditional fiction this week. More details: 1) Loosely Based on Dungeons and Dragons 2) You can listen to the podcast here 3) It's going to be a streaming series on NBC's Peacock.
Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, by Anna Lardinois
2. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
3. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
4. My Grandmother's Hands, by Resmaa Menakem
5. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari
6. Memorable Milwaukee, by Darlene Rzezotarski
7. Michelin North America Road Atlas 2022
8. Lonely Planet Epic Hikes of the World
9. The Vapors, by David Hill
10. Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

As I was looking for an interesting narrative nonfiction book to read for our In-Store Lit Group, I came upon The Vapors, David Hill's history of Hot Springs, Arkansas, once in contention to be the Las Vegas of the South, and we're not talking about the family-friendly magic shows. The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America's Forgotten Capital of Vice is a New York Times notable book of the year. From the starred Publishers Weekly: "Expertly interweaving family memoir, Arkansas politics, and Mafia lore, Hill packs the story full of colorful characters and hair-raising events. This novelistic history hits the jackpot."

Books for Kids:
1. Curious George First Day of School, by Margaret Rey
2. The Night Before First Grade, by Natasha Wing
3. Merriam Webster Elementary Dictionary
4. Mightier than the Sword, by Rochelle Melander (Register for July 27 event here)
5. The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer
6. Any Way the Wind Blows, by Rainbow Rowell
7. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
8. Dog Man: Mothering Heights, by Dav Pilkey
9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom board book, by Bill Martin Jr/Lois Ehlert
10. The Bad Guys in Cut to the Chase, by Aaron Blabey

Curious George First Day of School was published (I think!) in 2005, well after both H.A. (1977) and Margaret Rey (1996) passed away. I thought maybe the writer of the book would appear on the copyright page, but no, just the illustrator of this edition, Anna Grossnickle Hines. But this led me to the question, what exactly did HarperCollins buy when they bought the trade division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They will likely sell the Curious George books. But did they buy the rights to Curious George? Did they buy The American Heritage Dictionary or just the right to sell the trade edition? I have no clue.
Up next, weekly event roundup

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