Sunday, May 1, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 30, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 30, 2022 - Independent Bookstore Day edition

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Marrying the Ketchups, by Jennifer Close (just a few signed copies left!)
2. The Good Left Undone, by Adriana Trigiani
3. Search, by Michelle Huneven (Register for May 4 events - 2 pm at Books & Co or 6:30 Boswell/broadcast)
4. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd
5. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel
6. City on Fire, by Don Winslow
7. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
8. French Braid, by Anne Tyler
9. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
10. The World of Pondside, by Mary Helen Stefaniak

Rhode Island continues to be inspiration for contemporary fiction. On the heels of Ocean State comes Don Winslow's City on Fire, which per the publisher, is the start of a new epic crime trilogy about warring Irish and Italian crime families in 1980s and 1990s Providence. From Richard Lipez in The Washington Post: "The gangland history is fascinating and seems to be based loosely on the rise and fall of the real-life Patriarca family. But it’s Winslow’s ways with character, as well as his fluid narrative and highly visual scene-setting, that suggest this novel, the first in a planned trilogy, could well end up in the American-mob canon along with the works of Puzo, Scorsese and Chase."

Another interesting detail - City on Fire was postponed during one of the earlier COVID waves so that Winslow could tour. 

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. In Praise of Good Bookstores, by Jeff Deutsch
2. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
3. Bittersweet, by Susan Cain
4. The Midwest Survival Guide, by Charlie Berens
5. Half-Baked Harvest Every Day, by Tieghan Gerard
6. Unmasked, by Paul Holes
7. Gangsters Vs Nazis, by Michael Benson (Register for May 9 event here - virtual)
8. It Could Happen Here, by Jonathan Greenblatt (Register for May 11 event here - virtual)
9. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
10. The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow

With multiple weeks on our (and also the national) bestseller list, I thought I would find lots of stories about Tieghen Gerard and Half-Baked Harvest Every Day, but it took a bit of scrolling to find this write up from Caitlin Brody in Glamour: "When COVID-19 hit, Gerard was in Los Angeles, smack dab in the middle of the book tour for her second cookbook, Super Simple. She headed back home to the mountains of Colorado, where she was raised with her seven siblings. But instead of hitting pause as the world shut down, Gerard went full steam ahead, guns blazing...Those recipes turned into Gerard’s newest cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Every Day, filled with 120 comforting, wholesome recipes."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Coyotes of Carthage, by Steven Wright
2. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
3. Verity, by Colleen Hoover
4. Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn
5. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover
6. Mary Jane, by Jessica Anya Blau
7. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (Register for May 6 event here - in person)
8. The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade
9. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
10. Go Hex Yourself, by Jessica Clare

Colleen Hoover just scored her fifth simultaneous title on The New York Times paperback fiction bestseller list. We're not there yet, but we do have two titles in our top ten, with Verity at #3, which could be (I am lazy) her highest ranking here to date. Verity's distribution was taken over by Grand Central Publishing in fall 2021, and was available since 2018. They are doing a special hardcover edition in September. A writer is tasked with finishing another injured writers series by the author's husband, only to find a secret memoir that reveals untold secrets. There are BookTok phenomena and then there is Colleen Hoover - the CoHo and the CoHorts!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Life in Short, by Dasha Kelly Hamilton
2. A New History of Modern Computing, by Thomas Haigh and Paul Ceruzzi
3. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
4. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
5. Broken Horses, by Brandi Carlile
6. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
7 A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders
8. An Atlas of Extinct Countries, by Gideon Defoe
9. The Reign of Wolf 21, by Rick McIntyre
10. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion

The continued appearance of The Cartographers in our top 10 does not just speak to readers interest in speculative literary crossover thrillers with a touch of romance, but to our customers' unflagging interest in books about maps. The latest bestseller is An Atlas of Extinct Counties from Gideon Defoe, author of the The Pirates(!) series, which Pantheon hoped would be a thing but never took off stateside, at least with the Schwartz stores. I can still remember my rep's enthusiasm for the books. From Foreword Reviews: "Both educational and entertaining, An Atlas of Extinct Countries is an irreverent look at the history of defunct nations and the larger-than-life personalities behind them."

Books for Kids:
1. Zia Erases the World, by Bree Barton
2. Room to Dream, by Kelly Yang
3. Allergic, by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter
4. Nana Loves You More, by Jimmy Fallon, illustrations by Miguel Ordóñez
5. Cat Kid Comic Club on Purpose V3, by Dav Pilkey
6. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
7. Josephine Against the Sea, by Shakirah Bourne
8. Starfish, by Lisa Fipps
9. Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality V5, Roshani Chokshi
10. Playing the Cards You're Dealt, by Varian Johnson

Zia Erases the World is brand new, and it's got a nice blurb from Katherine Applegate: "Luminous, empowering, and full of heart-healing truths, this is a novel that belongs on every shelf." It's the enthusiasm of Boswellian Jenny Chou that drove it to #1 this week, with a great virtual school visit. Jenny offers up Zia Angelis's situation in her staff rec: "When her difficult and unhappy grandmother, who is sliding into dementia, moves in with Zia and her single mom, she brings along an old family dictionary with an odd accessory - an eraser shaped like an evil eye. Imagine you could erase everything that scared you from the world by erasing the word from the dictionary! That’s just what Zia learns to do, and the results are both hilarious and heartbreaking."

Over at the Journal Sentinel Jim Higgins profiles Mario "The Poet" Willis, Milwaukee's new poet laureate.

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