Sunday, November 21, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 20, 2021

Here's what is selling at Boswell for the week ending November 20, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
2. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
3. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
4. Our Country Friends, by Gary Shteyngart
5. Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
6. Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
7. Oh William, by Elizabeth Strout
8. Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
9. State of Terror, by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny
10. The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah

While the bulk of fall releases had November 9 release dates or earlier, there are still high profile titles schedule going forward. The top first week fiction release for us is Termination Shock, said to be Neal Stephenson's return to the technothriller genre. It's got a rec from Boswellian Kay Wosewick who says, "Termination Shock is set about two decades out, when climate change is wreaking havoc in nearly all corners of the world. Someone must take action ASAP, right?! Politics are messy, technology is clever, and the characters are an eclectic lot. This is top-notch Stephenson, though he leaves us hanging. Speed it up Neal!!"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. 1619 Project, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine
2. The Midwest Survival Guide, by Charlie Berens
3. Lead with Me, by Simon Mainwaring
4. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
5. The Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape, by Joe Pera
6. Gastro Obscura, by Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras
7. How Magicians Think, by Joshua Jay
8. The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story, by Ron Faiola
9. Lyrics, by Paul McCartney
10. The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wingrow

Two huge books for us out of the gate, one that probably had similar sales at many bookstores (1619 Project) and the other that might have had an edge in Wisconsin (The Midwest Survival Guide), being that Charlie Berens has the popular Manitowoc Minute web series. We have more copies of hot title #1 (1619 - though no signed copies left) and we should have more of #2 (Berens) shortly. We're still taking orders for this this. Fox6 has a story on the book and Berens three January 2022 shows at the Riverside Theater.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Dune V1 (two editions), by Frank Herbert
2. Churchill's Secret Messenger, by Alan Hlad
3. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
4. Dune Messiah V2 (also two editions), by Frank Herbert
5. The Drifter V1 (two editions), by Nick Petrie
6. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
7. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
8. The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan
9. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
10. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox

Nick Petrie's Peter Ash series no longer has dual trade/mass editions as of #6 The Breaker, but we're still selling both of The Drifter. While I'm not mourning the loss of the trade editions of the later titles, I'm hoping that trade edition of The Drifter stays available, being that the book works as a stand-alone, a book club selection, and the entry point to the series. We continue to backlist the further adventures of Dune, with a lot of folks wondering if they will shoot the film that would be the second part of Dune plus Dune Messiah (#2) at the same time, much as they did for Lord of the Rings. Final box office will likely be a factor in that.

2021 is very different from 2020 - it's much harder to make a sleeper book work, but we're still getting sales on Leonard and Hungry Paul, plus now we have some book clubs picking it up. I looked at Edelweiss and there are definitely more stores doing well with the paperback than were with the hardcover. The big question is, who will publish Panenka, Hession's follow up, in the US?

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Watergate Girl, by Jill Wine-Banks (some signed copies available)
2. Voices of Milwaukee Bronzeville, by Sandra E Jones (same)
3. Cain's Jawbone, by Edward Powys Mathers
4. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
5. Tacky, by Rax King

No, we don't have Cain's Jawbone in stock. And once again I am stumped - is this a novel (fiction) or a book of puzzles (nonfiction?) And while it's fun (and featured on BookTok), the prize is already claimed. In fact, this is a reissue of a book from 1934! But our publisher notes say the prize of £1,000 for the first reader to solve the puzzle within a year of publication was awarded to the actor and comedy writer John Finnemore. Or maybe he has film rights with Neil Gaiman. I'm completely confused. (Time passes) Update - according to The Guardian, he did actually re-solve the puzzle, as it had been solved a few times before, only the answer had been lost for decades. I'm still a little confused.

Up next, a run on Who Killed the Robins Family? If only we'd had BookTok back then, maybe the paperback would have worked (released after the prize was given out), says my former publicist self.

Since our 6-10 numbers are pretty small in this category, I gave the shelf space to the remaining list with the best 11-15 numbers, and that happens to be hardcover nonfiction.
11. Betrayal, by Jonathan Karl
12. Best Wishes Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt's Creek, by Daniel and Eugene Levy
13. World Travel, by Anthony Bourdain
14. Carnival of Snackery, by David Sedaris (Tickets for December 10 Riverside show here)
15. Shape, by Jordan Ellenberg

Books for Kids:
1. Roxy, by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman (signed copies available - real ones!)
2. 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones
3. Aaron Slater, Illustrator, by Andrea Beaty, with illustrations by David Roberts
4. Big Shot V16, by Jeff Kinney
5. The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo
6. Willodeen, by Katherine Applegate
7. African Icons, by Tracey Baptiste
8. It Fell from the Sky, by The Fan Brothers
9. Norman Didn't Do It, by Ryan T Higgins
10. The Snowy Day Board Book, by Ezra Jack Keats

In Aaron Slater, Illustrator, the new Questioneers book (Ada Twist, Scientist, et al), Aaron Slater doesn't let his dyslexia stand in his way of becoming a storyteller. The story is informed by illustrator David Roberts's dyslexia. From the starred Kirkus review: "In the illustration, a tableau of colorful mythological beings embodies Aaron's tale. The text is set in a dyslexia-friendly type. Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale"

Jim Higgins unveils his holiday picks in the Journal Sentinel!

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