Sunday, December 5, 2021

Boswell bestsellers, week ending December 4, 2021

Boswell Bestsellers, week ending December 4, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult (Tickets for December 8 OAC event here)
2. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
3. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
4. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
5. Leviathan Falls V9, by James SA Corey
6. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone V9, by Diana Gabaldon
7. Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen
8. Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
9. Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan
10. State of Terror, by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny

While you might not know James SA Corey if you weren't into science fiction, we have enough fans on staff for me to know that this Leviathan Falls (out of stock - more expected) is the final installment in the Hugo-award-winning Expanse series. Today I also learned that Corey is the work of two collaborators, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. From the Publishers Weekly starred review: "This fully satisfying resolution renders the entire series an all-time genre classic." Needless to say, if you're intrigued, start with Leviathan Wakes, not this one. By the way, James and Corey are the authors' middle names while S.A. is Abraham's daughter. In Germany, they leave out the middle initials. Oh, and Franck was George RR Martin's personal assistant - that's from Wikipedia, so take this all as you will.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Midwest Survival Guide, by Charlie Berens (not in stock - we're taking orders)
2. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
3. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
4. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
5. North American Maps for Curious Minds, by Matthew Bucklan
6. These Precious Days, by Ann Patchett (Tickets for December 7 virtual event here)
7. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
8. The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
9. Atlas of the Invisible, by James Cheshire
10. The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story, by Ron Faiola
11. World Travel, by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever
12. Baking with Dorie, by Dorie Greenspan
13. Carnival of Snackery, by David Sedaris 
14. The Secret History of Food, by Matt Siegel
15. Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House, by Nicholas D Hayes

The lists are a bit lopsided during the holiday, so I grabbed five slots from paperback nonfiction and gave it to the hardcover list. Not as many cookbooks as you sometimes see on this list (we had four in the top 15 last year this week), but there are two map books, which also seems to be a holiday staple.

We've got North American Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the Continent, the follow-up to 2019's Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds, which I should note was written by a different author. And then there's Atlas of the Invisible: Maps and Graphics That Will Change How You See the World, by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, which itself is the next project after 2017's Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics. It just goes to show, if you have one map book in you, there's probably a follow-up somewhere. From Dave Pugl at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, via Library Journal: "The resulting atlas will enable readers to better understand the world and its challenges. Furthermore, as the authors express eloquently in the epilogue, it is designed to inspire readers to act." 

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
2. The Anomaly, by Hervé Le Tellier
3. Dune V1, by Frank Herbert
4. Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell
5. The Drifter V1, by Nick Petrie
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
8. The Thursday Night Murder Club V1, by Richard Osman
9. The Witch's Heart, by Benevieve Gornichec
10. A Deadly Education V1, by Naomi Novik

Things are feeling a bit more normal on the paperback tables when we can see sales pops with paperback new releases. The Witch's Heart, inspired by Norse mythology, sold almost as many copies in its first week in paperback that it did life of book in hardcover. Bookmarks shows a lot of raves for the book, including Tom Shippey's in The Wall Street Journal, which noted: "Ms. Gornichec subverts the mythology from inside, knowledgeably and provokingly. Whatever the Elder Edda may say, the heroines of The Witch’s Heart will not be a delight to 'wicked women' alone." 

This is the February selection of the Books and Beer Book Club. More about upcoming book club discussions here.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kemmerer
2. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
3. New York Times Cooking No Recipe Recipes, by Sam Sifton
4. Humankind, by Rutger Bregman
5. An Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake

Not much new here, but I don't think I've highlighted An Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures since it was in hardcover. Since then, I think it won the Royal Society Science Book Prize, whose finalists included Breath by James Nestor and The Last Stargazers by Emily Levesque, both of which have made appearances on this list. Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running, offered this praise: "Entangled Life is a must-read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share," but I should note he's obviously part of the mushroom lobby.

Books for Kids:
1. Tales of Fearless Girls, by Isabel Otter with illustrations by Anna Sender
2. Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives V2, by Dav Pilkey
3. Daughter of the Deep, by Rick Riordan
4. Change Sings, by Amanda Gorman with illustrations by Loren Long
5. Mindful Mr Sloth, by Katy Hudson
6. What's Up, Construction Truck?, by Matthew Reinhart
7. Stuntboy: In the Meantime, by Jason Reynolds with illustrations by Raul the Third
8. The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo with illustrations by Sophie Blackall
9. Aaron Slater, Illustrator, by Andrea Beaty, with illustrations by David Roberts
10. Norman Didn't Do It, by Ryan T Higgins

So excited to see the release of Jason Reynold's Stuntboy: In the Meantime, a collaboration with illustrator Raul the Third. Booklist offers a starred review: "Through 10 slice-of-life episodes interspersed with breaks for life rules ('1. Run up and down the hallways. All the hallways. Always.') and full-color inset panels recapping oddly parallel plotlines in a beloved sci-fi show that invariably climax with 'An Explosion of Great Magnitude,' the narrator records his growing anxiety over the 'meantime' arguments his parents have been having lately about their possessions - a sign, he twigs at last, of their impending separation. For a time he feels (and the illustrations depict literally him as) split in half, unrecognizable to friend and foe (ex-foe by the end: Herbert the 'Not So Bad After All') alike."

*I excluded some older school orders that we wound up needing time to process. But allow me to give a shout out to Stef Wade's Q and U Call It Quits.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, a piece from Kendra Meinert at the Green Bay Press Gazette about how Charlie Behrens's Midwest Survival Guide hit The New York Times Bestseller list.

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