Sunday, May 8, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 7, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Search, by Michelle Huneven (signed copies available)
2. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt (Register for May 13 event here - in-person and virtual)
3. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel
4. The Good Left Undone, by Adriana Trigiani (New date to come)
5. The Book of Night, by Holly Black
6. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan
7. Marrying the Ketchups, by Jennifer Close
8. Danger on the Atlantic, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
9. Trust, by Hernan Diaz (front page NYT Book Review)
10. Eyes of the Void V2, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Our top non-event debut is Holly Black's The Book of Night. Boswellian Jenny Chou is a fan: "If you, like me, are waiting not-so-patiently for Leigh Bardugo to write the sequel to her adult novel, The Ninth House, here’s something to keep you busy in the meantime. Holly Black’s first foray into writing for grown-ups is an urban fantasy with a stunning mix of magic, horror, heists, and the perfect amount of impossible romance." Leigh Bardugo herself writes: "Dark, strange, thick with mystery and twists - a story so believable in its magic, you'll be keeping one eye on your shadow as you turn the pages."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Hero of Two Worlds, by Mike Duncan
2. This Will Not Pass, by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns
3. Magic Season, by Wade Rouse (Register for May 10 in-person event here)
4. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
5. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
6. Gangsters Vs. Nazis, by Michael Benson (Register for May 9 virtual event here)
7. Half-Baked Harvest Every Day, by Tieghan Gerard
8. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
9. Architects of an American Landscape, by Hugh Howard (Register for June 15 virtual event here)
10. Easy Beauty, by Chloe Cooper-Jones (Register for May 16 virtual event here)

Top debut this week is This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future from New York Times correspondent Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, a take on the 2020 election, that to my observation, had a somewhat bigger reception than our buyer reception. Advance blurbs come from George Stephanopoulos, Walter Isaacson, and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, who writes, "What an account of these extraordinary times. Martin and Burns deliver reporting from deep inside both parties with fresh facts and new details on nearly every page about a political system pushed to the brink." Here is the authors of Trevor Noah's The Daily Show.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
2. Shady Hollow V1, by Juneau Black
3. Mirror Lake V3, by Juneau Black
4. Cold Clay V2, by Juneau Black
5. The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles
6. Ordinary People, by Judith Guest (not a bulk order - on a high school reading list!
7. The House of Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell
8. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
9. The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
10. The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams (current Hello Sunshine pick)

Not much competition this week for Emily Henry, whose third novel, Book Lovers, dominates paperback fiction. From our resident Romantista Rachel Copeland: "I really appreciate this book not only for the steamy romance and the meta-commentary on romance novel tropes, but also the representation of people who are not warm and cuddly. There's someone out there for everyone!" Oh, and Taylor Jenkins-Reid also liked it: "Book Lovers is a rom-com lover’s dream of a book. It is razor-sharp and modern, featuring a fierce heroine who does not apologize for her ambition and heartfelt discussions of grief.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Thrivers, by Michele Borba
2. The Storm Before the Storm, by Mike Duncan
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
5. The Midwest Gardener's Handbook, by Melinda Myers
6. Nudge: The Final Edition, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
7. More Mediterranean, by America's Test Kitchen
8. America Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner
9. A Man Walks into a Barn, by Chad Oldfather
10. Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin, by Steve Johnson

One of my regrets of this spring is that there are so many local authors with great books out there that we haven't been able to host, due to the lack of slots and the extra time that it takes to stage events in the COVID era. Shorewoodian Chad Oldfather's new memoir is A Man Walks Into a Barn: Navigating Fatherhood in the Flawed and Fascinating World of Horses, which per the publisher, is a smart, funny memoir exploring the evolution of a man and his relationship with his daughters as they grow up in the grips of the equestrian life." From The Wall Street Journal: "A Man Walks Into a Barn is his witty, often wistful take on parenting, pedagogy, and life lessons learned while navigating the insular and expensive world of horses and ‘horse people.’”

Books for Kids:
1. Remarkably Ruby, by Terri Libenson
2. Zia Erases the World, by Bree Barton
3. Invisible Emmie, by Terri Libenson
4. Just Jaime, by Terri Libenson
5. Truly Tyler, by Terri Libenson
6. Positively Izzy, by Terri Libenson
7. Wonder, by RJ Palacio
8. Superman: Dawnbreaker, by Matt de la Peña
9. Mexican Whiteboy, by Matt de la Peña
10. I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston

This week was our fist truly packed children's author day of schools (for Remarkably Ruby - signed copies available), because not only were we at Whitefish Bay and Glen Hills Middle Schools, we did an evening event at Greenfield Public Library. Not unusually for a graphic novel or especially graphic novel lite (Wimpy Kid style) author/illustrator, Libenson came from the world of newspaper comic strips. I don't think The Pajama Diaries appeared in the Journal Sentinel, but it generated three books. Her current books are not exactly a series but more like a kids version of Tana French - a minor character in one book becomes the hero of a later title. And despite the titles, the focus is generally on two kids - one story is told graphic novel style while the other is Wimpy Kid style - text with lots of illustration.

Fascinating facts from The Geography of Wisconsin - revealed in Jim Higgins's Journal Sentinel review.

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