Sunday, June 12, 2022

What's selling at Boswell? Week ending June 11, 2022

Here's what's selling at Boswell.

Hardcover Fiction
1. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel
2. Nightcrawling, by Leila Mottley
3. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
4. Sparring Partners, by John Grisham
5. Jackie and Me, by Louis Bayard (Register for June 27 in-person event here)
6. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
7. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
8. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
9. Meant to Be, by Emily Giffin
10. Woman of Light, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Top debut goes to Nightcrawling, the debut from Leila Mottley, the current Oprah Book Club selection. As is frequently noted, Mottley is the youngest author picked for this honor. From Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal: "With dizzying speed, a combination of need and misfortune casts her into prostitution, and it isn’t long before she’s been co-opted by a ring of corrupt Oakland police officers and forced to accompany them at depraved all-night parties. Kiara’s retelling of these events is clipped, demotic and, apart from a few moments of emotional catharsis, focused on the brass tacks of staying alive. Her story becomes more and more gripping and desperate as the trap around her closes. Ms. Mottley accesses the feelings one sometimes has while reading Dickens, the breathless sense that some massive unfairness is being inflicted on a good and innocent person."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris (Tickets and free signing following for June 17 here)
2. Battling the Big Lie, by Dan Pfeiffer
3. Illogical, by Emmanuel Acho
4. The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym, by Paula Byrne
5. Architects of an American Landscape, by Hugh Howard (Register for June 15 virtual event here)
6. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
7. Catholica, by Suzanna Ivanic
8. Bittersweet, by Susan Cain
9. Speak, by Tunde Oyeneyin
10. My Life in the Sunshine, by Nabil Ayers (Register for June 14 in person and virtual event here)

Normally if we have a ticketed event, people buying books in advance are not planning to attend. But in the case of David Sedaris's appearance on June 17 for Happy-Go-Lucky, anyone can attend the free signing that follows the ticketed reading - you don't even have to buy the book from us. The key here is that we don't expect to get to the free part for a few hours - I'm expecting between 7 and 8. But if you register (!!!), we will keep you posted about when to line up and save you a whole bunch of time. And don't worry, Mr. Sedaris will spend as much time with you as he did with the ticketed folks, maybe more. I spent my Saturday reading Happy-Go-Lucky (which mentions Milwaukee), as well as Cindy House's Mother Noise, which Sedaris is championing. 

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Proposal They Can't Refuse, by Natalie Caña
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. Dare to Know, by James Kennedy
4. Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
5. Raft of Stars, by Andrew J Graff
6. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
7. The Great Mistake, by Jonathan Lee
8. The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
9. Seven Days in June, by Tia Williams
10. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

Now in paperback is Seven Days in June a Reese's book club selection in hardcover. When an erotic fiction writer meets an award-winning novelist, sparks fly! From Rumaan Alam: "Tia Williams conjures a seductive fantasy-rich friendships, star-crossed lovers, artistic fulfillment. But Williams, a canny anthropologist of contemporary urban life, is writing realism, exploring personal pain, family entanglements, and the negotiation of black identity in a world defined by whiteness. The result isn't escapism (though the book is a delight) but a vision of life at it truly is: complications and difficulties punctuated by profound joy."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
2. George Wallace in Wisconsin, by Ben Hubing (Register for June 21 in-person event here)
3. Midwest Gardeners Handbook, by Melinda Myers
4. The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee
5. How to Be a Woman Online, by Nina Jankowicz
6. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
7. Noise, by Daniel Kahneman
8. Somebody's Daughter, by Ashley C Ford
9. America's Calling, by Rajika Bhandari (Register for June 13 in-person event here)
10. Waterfalls of Wisconsin, by Troy Hess

Out in paperback on the nonfiction side is Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, by Daniel Kahenman, with Oliver Sibony and Cass Sunstein. If the book has the legs of Thinking Fast and Slow, you'll see it on the Boswell Bestseller list for 2032. I'm guessing somebody else will be writing the blog copy, or maybe we'll just beam it into your brains. Robert Sutton in The Washington Post gets at the issue of random scatter, which can be as problematic as bias: "Fluctuations in a person’s mood, fatigue, physical environment and prior performance that are (objectively) irrelevant, yet shape judgments. Like the study titled 'Clouds Make Nerds Look Good,' which examined 682 actual decisions by college admissions officers: They weighted applicants’ academic strengths more heavily on cloudier days and applicants’ nonacademic strengths more heavily on sunnier days."

Books for Kids:
1. I Must Betray You, by Ruta Septys
2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz
3. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L Sánchez (Sánchez is coming in September)
4. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
5. First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris
6. I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston
7. Lizzy and the Cloud, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
8. She Gets the Girl, by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse and Renée Graef
10. Cat Kid Comic Club On Purpose V3, by Dav Pilkey

Lots of Pride in this list. She Gets the Girl from Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick chronicle the friendship and more of two first-year students at Pitt. Publishers Weekly writes: "Using lightly funny alternating narration, Lippincott and debut author Derrick, spouses, infuse the opposites-attract trope with some real suspense via a rom-com starring two seemingly dissimilar characters seeking the same things." And this from the starred Booklist review: " It's a treat to see Molly's and Alex's authentic growth, and their slow-burn romance pays off for the same reason: Lippincott and Derrick have built characters and relationships that shine with nuance and colorful personality."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins weighs in on the latest from Katherine Addison: "At heart, Madison novelist Katherine Addison is a horror writer. She said as much during a virtual event with Boswell Books last year. Readers of her new novel, The Grief of Stones, can decide which horror is greater: the centuries-old undead abomination that a cleric must face, or the living people who exploit orphaned girls."

No comments: