Sunday, January 16, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending January 15, 2022

Here's what's selling at Boswell for the week ending January 15, 2022.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman
2. To Paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara
3. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
4. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
6. Honor, by Thrity Umrigar
7. Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen
8. Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead
9. Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
10. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

It should be noted that the high-profile release of Hanya Yanagihara's To Paradise has a mixed profile on Book Marks, but notably, that includes a lot of raves and a good amount of pans too. Chris was noting that the conversation continues on social media. Here's one of the raves, from Alex Clark in The Guardian: "Where the suffering and hopelessness of A Little Life created an overwhelming experience that left readers divided around the issue of how much they could take, this is a far subtler delineation of those who feel hamstrung, beleaguered, inadequate to the task ahead. In many ways – not least the questions of political and social responsibility it poses, especially in the face of global catastrophe – it is a darker work, and yet a more fruitfully puzzling, multifaceted one."

The new Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, Honor, by Thrity Umrigar, is also in our top 10 this week. Several Midwest bookstores are hosting an event with Umrigar speaking to Rebecca Makkai on Tuesday. More information on the Left Bank Books website.   

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
2. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
3. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
4. Aftermath, by Harald Jähner
5. The Steal, by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague
6. The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
7. North American Maps for Curious Minds, by Matthew Buckla and Victor Cizek
8. Best in Travel 2022, from Lonely Planet
9. Righteous Troublemakers, by Al Sharpton
10. How Civil Wars Start, by Barbara F Walter

Our top new release in sales for this week in hardcover nonfiction is Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955, by Harald Jahner, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside. I know it can drive folks crazy to link to reviews that are for subscribers only, but here's hoping that this quote from Andrew Stuttaford's Wall Street Journal review is enticing on its own: "The national psyche is the principal protagonist in Harald Jähner’s subtle, perceptive and beautifully written Aftermath. Mr. Jähner, like Mr. Ullrich a German journalist and author, describes Germany’s first postwar decade, with more of an emphasis on its social and cultural landscape (particularly in its western segment) than the usual early Cold War tussles."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
2. Raft of Stars, by Andrew J Graff
3. The Searcher, by Tana French
4. When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut
5. Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse
6. Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate
7. Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
8. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover
9. A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
10. Into the Drowning Deep, by Mira Grant

It may have been a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club pick in hardcover, but I don't remember The Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse hitting our top 10 on its initial run. Pause. I checked, and it did not - got into the teens. From the starred Booklist: "Le Sommet, the prestigious hotel fashioned from a former TB sanatorium, is more than just the setting for this atmospheric debut mystery: the building's history ultimately propels the plot." One concern - the book only has three reviews listed on Bookmarks - the pan from Kirkus is not present, even though Bookmarks is supposed to count Kirkus. Is somebody pulling bad reviews? Now that's a mystery!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
2. A Short History of Canada, by Desmond Morton
3. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
4. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
5. All About Love, by bell hooks
6. Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, by Matt Kracht
7. Baseball Road Trips, by Timothy Malcolm
8. Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by ABA/Chuck Hagner
9. The Best of Me, by David Sedaris
10. Until We Reckon, by Danielle Sered

It's the second week in our top 10 for A Short History of Canada, which is being used for a program for Osher Lifelong Learning. I'm pretty sure that my friend John set up a short-lived Canadian section when he was working at Schwartz, but I can't remember whether it was at the Shorewood or Downer locations. Desmond Morton, per the publisher, is the former director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada in Montreal, Desmond Morton was appointed a professor of history at the University of Toronto in 1969 and became Principal of its Erindale campus. He is the author of 35 other books on Canada. The book comes from McClelland and Stewart, a storied Canadian publisher which is now an imprint of Penguin Random House. Another weird detail - both our #1 and #2 titles repeat from the week previous, each selling the exact same amount as they did for the last roundup.

Books for Kids:
1. Milo Imagines the World, by Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson
2. Carmela Full of Wishes, by Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson
3. Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson
4. Chez Bob, by Bob Shea (Register for January 20 virtual school visit, open to the public)
5. Love, by Matt de la Peña, illustrations by Loren Long
6. Ain't Buried All the Bright, by Jason Reynolds, illustrations by Jason Griffin
7. The Year We Learned to Fly, by Jacqueline Woodson
8. Superman: Dawnbreaker, by Matt de la Peña
9. The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna
10. Cat Kid Comic V1: Perspectives, by Dav Pilkey

South Milwaukee is hosting an event with Matt de la Peña, but I should note that it was just moved to spring from winter. Not coming, but still brand new is the latest from Jason Reynolds, a collaboration with Jason Griffin called Ain't Burned All the Bright, which has a rec from Tim. Read it by clickingthe title, which will take you to our website. From Kirkus Reviews: "A profound visual testimony to how much changed while we all had to stay inside and how much - painfully, mournfully - stayed the same. Reynolds' poetry and Griffin's art perform a captivating dance on pages of mixed-media collage and emotive reflection on the pronounced threats facing a contemporary Black family." Now that's a rave.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins gives a shout for the new Nick Petrie. In regards to The Runaway, Higgins notes "Everyone Ash encounters during this rural escapade is more resourceful and dangerous than they appear, including the pregnant Helene. 'There is no feeling in the world like somebody shooting at you,' Ash thinks. 'Not a good feeling, not exactly. But it sure made the world sparkle more brightly while it was happening.'"

Just a reminder that The Runaway also got the first New York Times write-up for the Peter Ash series. She wrote: "Petrie has a preternatural talent for ratcheting up suspense, even as he ensures readers continue to care not only about Ash, but about the people he’s trying to save as well as the ones he must defend against." The book is out on Tuesday - join us for the launch. The in-person component is sold out, but you can register for the virtual broadcast here.

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