Sunday, January 30, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 29, 2022

The bestsellers from Boswell for the week ending January 29, 2022

Hardcover Fiction: 
1. Violeta, by Isabel Allende
2. The Runaway, by Nick Petrie
3. Devil House, by John Darnielle
4. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
5. The Maid, by Nita Prose
6. To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara
7. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
8. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
9. The Promise, by Damon Galgut
10. Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman

Our top new release this week is Violeta, the latest novel by Isabel Allende, inspired by her Mother. She spoke to Gisela Salomon for Associated Press: "The original idea for the book arose after the death of Allende’s mother. Knowing that the two had had a very close relationship and got to exchange thousands of daily letters, some of Allende’s friends suggested that she write a book about her mother’s life. The novelist was still too emotional to see her mother with the needed distance to write about her. Months passed and, when she felt stronger, she began Violeta inspired by her mother, but with a marked difference: The protagonist is a woman who supports herself and a good part of her family with her businesses."

Thank you to Books & Books for coordinating Saturday's ticketed event.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur
2. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
3. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
4. Home in the World, by Amartya Sen
5. You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays, by Zora Neale Hurston
6. South to America, by Imani Perry
7. Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know, by Candace Rardon
8. The Lyrics, by Paul McCartney
9. Milk Street Vegetables, by Christopher Kimball
10. The Baseball 100, by Joe Posnanski

Is it possible that there isn't another collection of Zora Neale Hurston's essays, articles, and criticism? According to the publisher, You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays, edited by Genevieve West and Henry Louis Gates Jr, is it. From Trudier Harris in The New York Times: "In just over 400 pages of essays - some previously published, others appearing here for the first time - readers get to peruse Hurston’s evaluations of just about everything imaginable: jazz, vote peddling, religious conversion, romantic relationships, international travel, the slave trade, Black vernacular, fake leaders, HBCUs, visual art, noses, other authors like Fannie Hurst and Robert Tallant, folklore, hoodoo, and race relations in the South during and after Jim Crow."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (watch the Boswell event here)
2. The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade
3. Do I Know You? by Sarah Strohmeyer
4. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
5. How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig
6. Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
7. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover
8. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St John Mandel (Info on April's MPL Literary Lunch here)
9. The People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry
10. Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu

We had a nice first week of sales for the amazing debut novel from Kirstin Valdez Quade, The Five Wounds, due in part to one of the book clubs we work with picking it as a reading selection. I am ashamed of myself for not going back and reading her story collection, Night at the Fiesta. The book was also recently named a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway debut novel award, but the competition is fierce. The other nominees are Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, Dear Miss Metropolitan, by Carolyn Ferrel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, and Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters. More at Publishers Weekly.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Permission to Feel, by Marc Brackett
2. Seeing with the Eyes of Dhamma, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
3. Maus I, by Art Spiegelman
4. Maus II, by Art Spiegelman
5. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
6. The Electricity of Every Living Thing, by Katherine May (Register for Feb 16 event here)
7. Tacky, by Rax King
8. Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, by Matt Kracht
9. Making a Good Script Great, by Linda Seger
10. Selma of the North, by Patrick D Jones

You've seen the news that Maus (the link is to volume I, which you should read first) has been pulled from a Tennessee school district. I was involved for the purchases, so I'm not sure that this was directly connected to our book sales. But I want to contest the books being called graphic novels. Yes, Art Spiegelman drew the characters as mice and cats. But the text is a memoir, isn't it? That's why our copies are coded nonfiction - feel free to argue this! Joe Hernandez wrote more for the story on NPR.

Books for Kids:
1. Chez Bob, by Bob Shea
2. Just Help, by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrations by Angela Dominguez
3. Anatomy: A Love Story, by Dana Schwartz
4. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, by Carole Boston Weatherford.
5. Turtle in a Tree, by Neesha Hudson
6. Cat Kid Comic Club V1, by Dav Pilkey
7. Woodland Dance, by Sandra Boynton
8. Brittanica First Big Book of Why, by Sally Symes
9. Tales of Fearless Girls, by Isabel Otter
10. Stacey's Extraordinary Words, by Stacey Abrams

New on the kids list is Just Help: How to Build a Better World, by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. From Nicole Acevedo at NBC News: "Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is honoring the memory of her mother Celina Báez, who died last year, with a new children's book focusing on teaching about civic participation in everyday life. Sotomayor's fourth children's book Just Help! features a young Sonia as her mother, or Mami, asks her, 'How will you help today?' on a daily basis."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, writer John Hildebrand reviews Though the Earth Gives Way by Journal Sentinel reporter Mark S Johnson: "I hope Though the Earth Gives Way will be read as a parable on the limits of good intentions. For all their talk and soul-searching, the pilgrims don’t have many ideas for the future. When the lone teenager at the retreat center, angry at the older generation for burning up his future, turns incendiary, you think: Why not?"

More from Madison Magazine about Though the Earth Gives Way - a Q&A with Maggie Ginsberg.

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