Sunday, July 17, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 16, 2022

Presenting the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 16, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
2. Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand
3. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
4. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
5. Look Closer, by David Ellis
6. The Poet's House, by Jean Thompson (Register for July 20 in-store event here.)
7. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel
8. Death Casts a Shadow, by Patricia Skalka (Register for July 26 in-store event here)
9. Devil House, by John Darnielle
10. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

I am fascinated by Elin Hilderbrand's sales trajectory in the past few years. She'd been hitting the national bestseller lists for a long time, but we couldn't seem to move more than two copies of her books, and often not even that, until 2019, when Summer of '69 had a stronger pop. And then in 2020, perhaps COVID related, 28 Summers more than doubled that, with the last two books, Golden Girl and Hotel Nantucket, holding steady in double digit sales. It's not the hundreds that may chain stores likely sell, but it takes her from also-ran status to featured player in the store. I'm wondering if a similar story is happening at other indies. You just don't tend to see this on book #26 or so. From the Kirkus rave: "The beloved beach novelist's 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective 'we' of gossipy island residents."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Crying in the Bathroom, by Erika L Sánchez (Register for September 16 in-store event here)
2. Ten Steps to Nanette, by Hannah Gadsby
3. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris
4. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
5. Thank You for Your Servitude, by Mark Leibovich
6. An Immense World, by Ed Yong
7. The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
8. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
9. France, by Graham Robb
10. Rogues, by Patrick Radden Keefe

I enjoyed reading Mark Leibovich's This Town, so I was interested to see if Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission was not a repeat of the scores of others that have already been released. So far, The New York Times review from Geoffrey Kabaservice has kept me interested, noting that the focus of the new book is The Trump International Hotel and that while Thank Your For Your Servitude is 'extremely funny in spots,' it has a 'whistling past the graveyard quality' about it.'

Paperback Fiction:
1. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
2. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Lightning Strike, by William Kent Krueger (Register for September 17 in-store event here)
4. Human Collateral, by Harry Pinkus
5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
6. Verity, by Colleen Hoover
7. Beach Read, by Emily Henry
8. Lore Olympus V2, by Rachel Smythe
9. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
10. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

With two Colleen Hover novels, two from Emily Henry, and one from Taylor Jenkins-Reid, our paperback list is looking a lot like the national bestseller report. Klara and the Sun is making a desperate attempt to keep one Nobel-winner in contention. Meanwhile, in the box office report from Deadline: "Sony/3000 Pictures/Hello Sunshine’s feature take of the Delia Owens novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, is coming in ahead of its $9M-$10M projections with $17M in 3rd. A good win here for a $24 million production before P and A and within the range of other female skewing novels on screen." It goes on to compare it to other female skewerers (skewers?), book-related and not.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency, by Kate MacDougall
2. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
3. City of Florence by RWB Lewis
4. Cuba, by Ada Ferrer
5. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
6. The Icepick Surgeon, by Sam Kean
7. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
8. The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America, by Robin Marty
9. Wonderlands, by Charles Baxter
10. The Second Creation, by Jonathan Gienapp

I didn't pay much attention to it in hardcover, but The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science caught my eye in paperback, much the way it has our customers - it's the second week in our top ten. Here's a case where keeping the hardcover jacket was a particularly smart move - it looks even better in paperback. I like to have our In-Store Lit Group read at least one nonfiction book per year and so this is our November selection. Five raves and four positives in Book Marks - this from Lucina Robb in The Washington Post: "Kean takes his readers on an engrossing - and sometimes horrifying - historical tour of the many ways the search for knowledge can go wrong... Written with the flair of a beach thriller and the thoughtfulness of philosophy, the pages explode with a wealth of information and juicy details, all held together with virtuoso storytelling"

Books for Kids:
1. First Part Last, by Angela Johnson
2. First Crossing, by Donald Gallo
3. Heartstopper V3, by Alice Oseman
4. Heartstopper V4, by Alice Oseman
5. Heartstopper V2, by Alice Oseman
6. Heartstopper V1, by Alice Oseman
7. Peekaboo Sun board book, by Camilla Reid and Angela Arrhenius
8. The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han
9. I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston
10. The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris

Not every streaming series turns into a bestseller for us, but a good half the books on this week's list are stream-driven, noting that four of them are from the Netflix series Heartstopper. As for The Summer I Turned Pretty, this Amazon Prime (what can I do? that's where it's playing, her previous adaptation was Netflix) series is from Jenny Han's novel. From Publishers Weekly: "Han's novel offers plenty of summertime drama to keep readers looking forward to the next installment." The series has a 91% tomatometer score from Rotten Tomatoes and an 83% audience score. 

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