Sunday, December 26, 2021

Boswell bestsellers, week ending December 25, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending December 25

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman
2. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
3. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
4. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
5. Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen
6. Our Country Friends, by Gary Shteyngart
7. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult
9. State of Terror, by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny
10. Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
11. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
12. Beautiful World, Where Are You?, by Sally Rooney
13. Shoulder Season, by Christina Clancy
14. Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
15. Gold Diggers, by Sanjena Sathian

It's easy to look at some of this year's top hits and see them as a bit of a pale comparison to their previous works in sales, but one has to remember that both Cloud Cuckoo Land and The Lincoln Highway only had one season - it took years for All the Light We Cannot See and A Gentleman in Moscow to hit their sales totals.  

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
2. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
3. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
4. Taste, by Stanley Tucci
5. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner (best reviewed nonfiction of the year on Book Marks)
6. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
7. The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story, by Ron Faiola
8. The Midwest Survival Guide, by Charlie Berens (we still don't have copies)
9. The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
10. Carnival of Snackery, by David Sedaris
11. These Precious Days, by Ann Patchett
12. Empire of Pain, by Patrick Radden Keefe
13. How I Became a Tree, by Sumana Roy
14. Lyrics: 1956 to Present, by Paul McCartney
15. Atlas of the Invisible, by James Cheshire

Our top sales performer in nonfiction hardcover (which also dwarfed all fiction contenders) proved to be Giannis, just like we expected. We passed a landmark number when Jason found stock at a wholesaler's alternate warehouse. It turned out that there's not the same kind of demand for a Milwaukee Bucks star player at Ingram's Oregon warehouse.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Anomaly, by Hervé Le Tellier
2. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
3. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox
4. Dune V1, by Frank Herbert
5. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
8. The Searcher, by Tana French
9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
10. Murder at the Mena House V1, by Erica Ruth Neubauer (new book in March!)
11. The Drifter V1 (two editions), by Nick Petrie
12. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
13. When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut
14. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
15. Dune Messiah V2, by Frank Herbert

The big story is that while the hardcover list was short on sleepers, Jason's been able to position and hand-sell The Anomaly into our #1 slot. Hey, he got me to read it. We had a nice discussion over whether this novel, about a group of airline passengers who, three months after they landed in an electrical storm, land again, and how the world confronts this strange occurrence, is a thriller or not. Jason said no, and I said yes, it had enough elements to qualify. Judge for yourself!

Another nice development - I've been noticing sales of The Drifter substantially up over the last two years (we were down a little in 2020 over 2019, but that should be no surprise) - the trade paperback is holding pretty steady, but mass market sales were up a third over 2019. His new book, The Runaway, debuts January 18- register here for this event, in person or broadcast.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Gray Matters, by Ellyn Lem
2. The Best of Me, by David Sedaris
3. Milwaukee River Greenway, by Eddee Daniel
4. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell
5. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
6. Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, by Matt Kracht
7. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi
8. Sapiens a Graphic History V1, by Yuval Noah Harari
9. Sapiens (the non-graphic version), by Yuval Noah Harari
10. New York Times Cooking No Recipe Recipes, by Sam Sifton

Of interest #1: So that's where the cookbooks are. This is not the first week on our bestseller list for Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love: Recipes to Unlock the Secrets of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer, but being that paperback nonfiction has our weakest numbers in general, it's the first week with substantial sales. Sales are just a fraction of last year's Ottolenghi Flavor, but I don't think the expectations were as high either.

Of interest #2: Remember how avian (bird-filled) last year's bestseller list was? Much like jigsaw puzzles, interest is still there, but sales are back down to earth. This year's late entry is The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, which I guess you give as a joke to all the folks who took up birding in 2020. It's the follow-up to Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America, which is also still selling.

Books for Kids:
1. Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives V2, by Dav Pilkey
2. Change Sings, by Amanda Gorman, illustrations by Loren Long
3. Big Shot V16: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
4. Tales of Fearless Girls, by Isabel Otter
5. The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall
6. Stuntboy: In the Meantime, by Jason Reynolds, illustrations by Raul the Third
7. Norman Didn't Do It, by Ryan T Higgins
8. Turtle in a Tree, by Neesha Hudson
9. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
10. Every Day Amazing, by Mike Barfield
11. Aaron Slater, Illustrator, by Andrea Beaty, illustrations by David Roberts
12. The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, by Jonathan Stroud
13. Twas the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C Moore, illustrations by PJ Lynch
14. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renee Graef
15. The Mitten board book, by Jan Brett

One kids book that we really took to (it's a Jenny pick) is Turtle in a Tree, by Neesha Hudson. She wrote: "Not only is the story charming, important, and slyly hilarious, but Neesha Hudson’s whimsical artwork does a beautiful job expressing the many emotions of her characters. Turtle in a Tree will be among my favorite picture books of the year." This is Neesha Hudson's first book that she wrote and illustrated - she illustrated Walk Your Dog for Elizabeth Stevens Omlor in 2018. I also see she has prints for sale - and as this is part of my job, I did check on greeting cards.

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