Sunday, August 21, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending August 20, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 20, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Women Could Fly, by Megan Giddings
2. Elizabeth Finch, by Julian Barnes
3. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
4. Heat 2, by Michael Mann
5. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
6. Wrong Place, Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister
7. All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers
8. Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
9. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
10. Mercury Pictures Presents, by Anthony Marra

Top debut this week is Julian Barnes's Elizabeth Finch, his first novel since 2018's The Only Story. I should warn you that while there are plenty of great reviews for this novel, there are a good number of negative reviews as well. I think the Kirkus, which is mixed, explains the book well: "A man processes his crush on a former teacher and the impact of what she taught. Late-period Barnes novels have either been tales of doomed love or intellectual persecution. This slim, contemplative, modestly successful novel blends those two themes."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Path Lit by Lightning, by David Maraniss
2. Life on the Mississippi, by Rinker Buck
3. Slenderman, by Kathleen Hale (Register for October 13 in-person event here)
4. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
5. Slaying the Dragon, by Ben Riggs
6. All That Moves Us, by Jay Wellons
7. All of This, by Rebecca Woolf
8. Emperors of Byzantium, by Kevin Lygo
9. France, by Graham Robb
10. River of the Gods, by Candice Millard

All of This has gotten mostly positive reviews, but her sales strength will come from her prominence in the blogger space, where her fans include Roxane Gay, Rebecca Traister, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Jenny Lawson. From Library Journal: "What if you were planning to divorce your husband when suddenly he received a terminal diagnosis? From the opening salvo, Woolf makes it clear to readers that this is not going to be a traditional grief memoir. Rather, it is a forthright portrait of one marriage, and the things that came after."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Verity, by Colleen Hoover
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
4. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
5. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St John Mandel
6. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
7. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
8. Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, by Rivka Galchen
9. Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
10. The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle (Register for September 29 virtual event here)

While our bestseller list is not 60% Colleen Hoover the way the New York Times list is, our top book this week still is Verity, from Colleen Hoover, and as Atria releases some of her other titles, they are destined from our new and noteworthy tables at the front of the bookstore. A large print edition of Verity is planned by Grand Central for September. 

What with the attack on Salman Rushdie Buffalo's Chautauqua arts festival, there's some talk on locking down cultural institutions and perhaps another reason why certain authors who might have visited independent bookstores (that don't have budgets for massive security) might not in the future. There's also been a resurgence in sales for The Satanic Verses, the 1988 novel that led to the fatwa, both in paperback and hardcover. 

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
2. The Paris Commune, by Carolyn Eichner (Register for August 26 in-person event here)
3. When Pride Still Mattered, by David Maraniss
4. The Icepick Surgeon, by Sam Kean
5. This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan
6. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
7. The New Handbook for Post-Roe America, by Robin Marty
8. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
9. Death by Landscape, by Elvia Wilk (Register for August 24 virtual event here)
10. The Oregon Trail, by Rinker Buck

We are out of Braiding Sweetgrass as we had a book club purchase a quantity of copies. I guess we probably didn't expect when this book was published in 2013 that we would sell over 700 copies, which is probably a pittance compared to other bookstores.  Sure enough, there's at least one bookstore out West that has sold over 1300 copies in the last twelve months, and another that's sold over 1000.

Since Wisconsin is one of the states dealing with changes to reproductive rights, it's not a surprise that 2021's The New Handbook for Post-Roe America has seen strong sales.   

Books for Kids:
1. What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, by Tina Oziewicz, illustrations by Aleksandra Zajac
2, Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Noodle and the No Bones Day, by Jonathan Graziano, illustrations by Dan Tavis
4. The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!, by Mo Willems
5. Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning graphic novel, by Mary Pope Osborne, adapted by Jenny Laird
6. Berry Song, by Michaela Goode
7. She Gets the Girl, by Rachel Lippincott and Alyson Derrick
8. Heartstopper V1, by Alice Oseman
9. The Belly Button Book, by Sandra Boynton
10. See You Yesterday, by Rachel Lynn Solomon

There are several unusual things about What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, the big hit from our kids emotions table. For one thing, it's published by an indie, Elsewhere Editions. For another, it prominently lists the translator, Jennifer Croft, on the book jacket. It's a rare thing, though there's been a lot of push for translators to get more credit. Boswellian Tim's staff rec calls this book "brilliant," and clearly others agree - it was featured on the kids Indie Next list for July-August.

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