Sunday, April 3, 2022

What's selling at Boswell? The answers for the week ending April 2, 2022

Here's what's selling at Boswell!

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Danger on the Atlantic, by Erica Ruth Neubauer (signed copies available)
2. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Register for in-person or broadcast event on April 18 here)
3. French Braid, by Anne Tyler
4. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
5. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
6. The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi (more copies coming soon!)
7. Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
8. Booth, by Karen Joy Fowler
9. Afterparties, by Anthony Veasna So
10. Diamond Eye, by Kate Quinn
11. Ocean State, by Stewart O'Nan (Register for April 5 virtual event here)  
12. The Runaway, by Nick Petrie
13. The Paris Bookseller, by Kerri Maher
14. Love and Saffron, by Kim Fay (Register for April 6 virtual event here)
15. The Books of Jacob, by Olga Tokarczuk

To me, it's a bit unusual for John Scalzi to have his best week in #3 - you'd guess an SF favorite would have a first week pop, but this week's run was helped by Thom ("a fun and wild rollercoaster ride) selling some copies. Like The Cartographers, The Kaiju Preservation Society has three recommendations from Boswellians. Kirkus Reviews wrote: "Despite the absurdity of the premise, the book isn’t entirely escapist fluff. Sure, it bubbles with the banter and snarky humor readers expect from this author. But it’s also a blunt and savage swipe at tech-bro/billionaire culture, the Trump administration, and the chaos and tragedy that result when powerful and rich people set themselves against science and scientists in order to profit from disaster."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
2. Last Call at the Hotel Imperial, by Deborah Cohen (Ol' fashioned signed copies here)
3. Half Baked Harvest Every Day, by Tieghan Gerard
4. Atlas of the Human Heart, by Brené Brown
5. Korean American, by Eric Kim
6. Ten Steps to Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby
7. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
8. Every Good Boy Does Fine, by Jeremy Denk
9. Ancestor Trouble, by Maud Newton
10. The Insect Crisis, by Oliver Milman
Two cookbooks offer up strong first helpings this week. Half-Baked Harvest Every Day is the book-version of Tieghan Gerard's popular blog, Half-Baked Harvest. Usually the first cookbook (Half Baked Harvest) does best because it's got more time to sell, but in this case, we've sold lots more of Half-Baked Harvest Super Simple. Then there's Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home, in which New York Times Staffer Kim draws upon his Atlanta upbringing for family recipes, many with modern twists, like Gochugaru Shrimp and Grits. Hey, didn't Jae Jung (whose specialty is K-Jun) just cook something like this on Top Chef?

Paperback Fiction:
1. Milwaukee Jihad, by Matthew J Flynn
2. The Coyotes of Carthage, by Steven Wright
3. 1919, by Even Ewing
4. The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade
5. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
6. Murder at Wedgefield Manor, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
7. Circe, by Madeline Miller
8. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black
9. The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles
10. The Anomaly, by Hervé Le Tellier

First The Paris Library was supposed to come out in hardcover in 2020. It was even the number one Indie Next Pick. We saw a number of scheduled titles move months, but this was pushed back almost a whole year. And then the publisher went against the grain again and waited a full year to release the paperback (we still see a lot of 8-10 months for historical fiction) - which was great for us as we had a very long tale for the hardcover sales. And it all paid off - The Paris Library is holding her own against Colleen Hoover and BookTok, with multiple weeks on the paperback bestseller list. Watch our interview with Charles here.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Four Hundred Souls, by Ibram X Kendi
2. Red Sea Spies, by Raffi Berg (JCC event on May 17 - register here)
3. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
4. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. Golem Girl, by Riva Lehrer (JCC event on June 14 - register here)
7. More or Less, by Susannah Pratt (must be pre-ordered - no returns or exchanges on this title)
8. Wild Edge of Sorrow, by Francis Weller
9. Free World, by Louis Menand
10. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, and David Luhrssen

The JCC Tapestry series continues to be virtual. Links above to watch the next two programs for Red Sea Spies and Golem Girl.

Books for Kids:
1. Stella Keeps the Sun Up, by Clothilde Ewing
2. City of Ember V1, by Jeanne Duprau
3. The Baby Tree, by Sophie Blackall
4. Peekaboo Sun, by Camilla Reid
5. The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill
6. I Must Betray You, by Ruta Septys
7. Just Help, by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrations by Angela Dominguez
8. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
9. Construction Site, Spring Delight, by Sherri Duskey Rinker 
10. The Big Honey Hunt, by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Do Easter-themed children's books sell? If we still had access to Bookscan, I'd show you how well they do. We're guessing mass merchants do the best with them, but I honestly don't have a breakdown. This week we celebrate Construction Site, Spring Delight, where you can lift the flap to reveal flowers, baby animals, and other egg-citing surprises.

Sea of Tranquility
is out next week! And Jim Higgins is among the critics who are celebrating Emily St John Mandel's latest. From his Journal Sentinel write up: "For book lovers and book world people, Olive's book tour is an Easter egg filled with catnip, as she gives lectures, fends off handlers who might want to get too close, parries questions reasonable and ridiculous from journalists, and misses her husband and daughter at home while feeling relieved about not having to deal with some problems there."

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