Sunday, March 27, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 26, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 26, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Register for April 18 in-person and broadcast event here)
2. French Braid, by Anne Tyler
3. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy (am I the only person who thinks this is fiction?)
4. Violeta, by Isabel Allende
5. A Sunlit Weapon, by Jacqueline Winspear
6. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
7. The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley
8. Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
9. Disorientation, by Elain Hshieh Chou
10. Groundskeeping, by Lee Cole

Disorientation is the debut novel from Elain Hshieh Chou, which has a rec from Jenny Chou, which you can read if you click on the title. It's about a grad student who discovers that the Chinese poet she's doing her dissertation on is not actually Chinese. It also has some great critical reviews, including Leland Cheuk in The Washington Post: "The hyperactive satire is so consistently funny it almost makes the reader forget about the serious societal issues that undergird the humor. The premise of Disorientation is based on a real-life controversy. In 2015, the Best American Poetry anthology featured a poem by Yi-Fen Chou, who turned out to be Michael Derrick Hudson, a middle-aged White man. Frustrated by literary rejection, Hudson began submitting work under a Chinese pseudonym."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
2. The Midwest Survival Guide, by Charlie Berens
3. We Don't Know Ourselves, by Fintan O'Toole
4. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
5. The Nineties, by Chuck Klosterman
6. I Was Better Last Night, by Harvey Fierstein
7. There Is Nothing Good for You Here, by Fiona Hill
8. Every Good Boy Does Fine, by Jeremy Denk
9. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
10. Let's Summon Demons, by Steven Rhodes

I Was Better Last Night is the memoir of the Tony-Winning (Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage aux Folles) and Tony-nominated (Newsies, Kinky Boots, more) actor and playwright. From being cast in Andy Warhol's only play as a teenager to confronting his addictions and reaching sobriety, Harvey Fierstein tells his story in a series of vignettes. From Library Journal: "His memoir is filled with evocative characters and scenes, and his wit and way with dialogue shine." And for the person who said, "We've got to get an advance copy of Fierstein's memoir to Henry Winkler, stat!" it paid off. Winkler writes: "Harvey is the king and queen of Broadway. He can take you on a journey with his words and he is hysterical."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Circe, by Madeline Miller
3. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins-Reid
5. The Anomaly, by Hervé Le Tellier
6. Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam
7. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox
8. Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo 
9. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
10. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

Looks like folks are reading Murder on the Orient Express in connection with the Milwaukee Rep adaptation that is opening May 31. Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, Broadway World called this play "Glamourous… enthralling from the beginning to the end.” Tickets and more info on the Milwaukee Rep website.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Midwest Gardeners Handbook, by Melinda Myers
2. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
3. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
4. Untangled, by Lisa Damour (Register for April 7 event here)
5. On Tyranny graphic edition, by Timothy Snyder
6. Tacky, by Rax King
7. In Lieu of Flowers, by Nancy Cobb
8. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley De Fresne McArthur
9. Complete Mushroom Hunter Revised, by Gary Lincoff
10. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

It looks like the bookseller pundit who told me that 2022 is the year of the mushroom is vindicated, with two of the hot fungal folios hitting our top 10 - Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake (I am always late on these things but I was amused when Coach Beard was reading this on Ted Lasso) and The Complete Mushroom Hunter by Gary Lincoff. Lincoff has led mushroom courses at the New York Botanical Gardens and for 25 years chaired the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Didn't know about this event? It happens this August - start planning your trip!

Books for Kids:
1. Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur, by Marc Brown
2. Stella Keeps the Sun Up, by Clothilde Ewing
3. The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill
4. I'm not Scared, You're Scared, by Seth Meyers, illustrations by Rob Sayegh
5. The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higeuera
6. ABCs of Wisconsin, by Sandra Magsamen
7. Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives V2, by Dav Pilkey
8. Anatomy: A Love Story, by Dana Schwartz
9. I Must Betray You, by Ruta Septys
10. It Fell From the Sky, by the Fan Brothers

I know that these sorts of books are done 50 at a time, one for each state, with several big cities probably getting their own entries (generally not Milwaukee, which is one reason why Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee does so well for us - a lovely book with little competition), but these state-specific kids books do well for us too and even better at mass merchants, if the Bookscan numbers that we used to see are an indication. The ABCs of Wisconsin is a board book from last fall from Sanra Magsamen, author/illustrator of ABCs of Chicago, New England, California, and even some non-geography-specific books like I Love You, Honey Bunny. More on her lifestyle brands on Wikipedia.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Chris Foran offers his roundup of 11 new baseball books.

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