Sunday, August 7, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending August 6, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 6, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. All This Could Be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews (Register for August 11 virtual event here)
2. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
3. Upgrade, by Blake Crouch (Register for August 12 in-person event here)
4. The Last White Man, by Mohsin Hamid
5. Death Casts a Shadow, by Patricia Skalka
6. Switchboard Soldiers, by Jennifer Chiaverini
7. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
8. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabriel Zevin
9. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan
10. The Rabbit Hutch, by Tess Gunty (Register for August 10 in-person event here)

Our big debut, non-event category, this week is The Last White Man from Mohsin Hamid. From Ron Charles's rave review in The Washington Post: "More than a century ago, Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams and found himself transformed into a monstrous insect. Mohsin Hamid’s new novel, The Last White Man buzzes with an ironic allusion to that unsettling metamorphosis. In the opening sentence, a White man named Anders awakens one morning to discover that his skin has turned 'a deep and undeniable brown.' Following Kafka’s lead, the cause of this sudden alteration remains unknown; its meaning is equally elusive. What follows sometimes feels like a curious thought experiment - or Tucker Carlson’s worst nightmare, a racist fever dream of 'the great replacement theory.'"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Reading for Our Lives, by Maya Payne Smart (more signed copies to come soon)
2. Milked, by Ruth Conniff
3. Memoirs, by Robert Lowell
4. An Immense World, by Ed Yong
5. Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them, by Antonio Padilla
6. The Well-Plated Cookbook, by Erin Clarke
7. Plantyou, by Carleigh Bodrug
8. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris
9. Slenderman, by Kathleen Hale (Register for October 13 in-person event here)
10. Crying in the Bathroom, by Erika L. Sánchez (Register for September 16 in-person event here)

Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them is the new work from Antonio Padilla, a leading theoretical physicist and cosmologist at the University of Nottingham who shared the Buchalter Cosmology Prize. If I didn't work in a bookstore and feel obligated to read more than one book a month, I'd try this. For now, I can admire your focus. And the Kirkus reviewer, who wrote: "Though parts of the book are extremely challenging, like James Gleick's Chaos and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, it is a remarkable piece of work that is well worth the effort. Astonishing in its sweep and depth, this book offers a unique way of looking at the universe."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. Verity, by Colleen Hoover
4. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (10 more copies to sell until we hit 400!)
6. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover
7. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
8. The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
10. Thank You for Listening, by Julia Whelan

I wouldn't be quibbling about whether Thank You for Listening went in fiction or romance (our buyer put it in the former) if I hadn't listened to the All Things Considered feature with Julia Whelan. When asked by Mary Louise Kelly if the author meant to write a novel that pokes fun at romance but is itself a romance,  Whelan replied, "Yes, that was sort of the intention. I love romance. I'm a romance reader. I love recording it. But I understand the typical issues that people take with it. So I wanted to write a book that was firmly rooted in romance while also saying, if you found yourself living in a romance novel, would you actually trust it or would you sabotage yourself?"

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Stuck Improving, by Decoteau J Irby
2. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
3. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
4. The Oregon Trail, by Rinker Buck (Register for in-person August 16 event here for Life on the Mississippi - on sale this Tuesday)
5. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
6. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
7. Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest, by Teresa Marrone
8. Tacky, by Rax King
9. Feminism's Empire, by Carolyn J Eichner (Register for August 26 in-person event here)
10. Complete Mushroom Hunter Revised, by Gary Lincoff

Mushroom mania! Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest is just one of three titles in this week's top 10. So many mushrooms. The New York Times had a story about foraging for mushrooms in Chile. USA Today has a story about psilocybin therapy. Oprah Daily on the surprising power of mushrooms? What could be next - broccoli mushroom carrot pilaf? No, that was actually last night's dinner, with mushrooms from the River Valley Ranch stand at the South Shore Farmers Market. 

Books for Kids:
1. The Night Before First Grade, by Natasha Wing and Deborah Zemke
2. Magical Black Tears, by Decoteau J Irby with illustrations by Dominique Duval Diop
3. Heartstopper V1, by Alice Oseman
4. The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han
5. Magic Tree House Knight at Dawn V2 graphic novel by Mary Pope Osborne
6. Peekaboo Sun, by Camilla Reid and Angela Arrhenius
7. Noodle and the No Bones Day, by Jonathan Graziano and Dan Tavis
8. Heartstopper V2, by Alice Oseman
9. Cat Kid Comic Club on Purpose V3, by Dav Pilkey
10. Magic Tree House Mummies in the Morning graphic novel, by Mary Pope Osborne

It is so rare to have a bestselling picture book that's not a quantity sale from a less-than-well-known author in the Boswell top ten anytime except Christmas. But Noodle and the No Bones Day is an exception, because TikTok has invaded another category. Jonathan Graziano and his pug are social media stars. From Kirkus: "Among Noodle's followers, a 'no bones day' has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy. However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews David Maraniss's Path Lit by Lightning, which goes on sale Tuesday and is featured at our joint event with David Maraniss at the Milwaukee Public Library on August 17. From Higgins: "In a case of remarkable timing, Maraniss' biography lands in the wake of the International Olympic Committee's recent action fully restoring Thorpe as gold medal winner of the decathlon and pentathlon in 1912."

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