Sunday, December 11, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending December 10, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending December 10, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy
3. A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny
4. Liberation Day, by George Saunders
5. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
6. The Ingenue, by Rachel Kapelke-Dale (Register for December 13 offsite event here)
7. Musical Tables, by Billy Collins
8. The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy
9. The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O'Farrell
10. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt

Penguin Random House holds six of our top ten bestselling titles, with Knopf claiming two slots for Cormac McCarthy and one for Maggie O'Farrell's The Marriage Portrait, my sister's current book club book and also the current selection of the Reese's Book Club (shockingly enough, not at pub month!) Our sales are great, but they still are dwarfed by Hamnet,  which was a virtual event, and being in the midst of COVID, was the lucky recipient of Boswell selling more copies, but of fewer books. Browsing really spreads sales out over more books.

It took four weeks, but Bill Collins muscles into the top ten with his Musical Tables, a collection of bite-sized poems. Once again, not sure why it's not a Book Marks title, but looking through searches, I can't really find any reviews, but here's Scott Simon talking to Collins on Weekend Edition.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. An Immense World, by Ed Yong
2. The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama
3. The Number Ones, by Tom Breihan
4. The Book of Days, by Patti Smith
5. Smitten Kitchen Keepers, by Deb Perelman
6. Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Totenberg
7. Birds and Us, by Tim Birkhead (Register for January 18 virtual event here)
8. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
9. Number One is Walking, by Steve Martin, illustrations by Harry Bliss
10. The Philosophy of Modern Song, by Bob Dylan

Surprise! A hardcover nonfiction book, without an event or a bulk order, is outselling Michelle Obama. An Immense World has been popular at Boswell since its release and showing up on two big best-of lists (top ten on both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal) didn't hurt.

I mentioned a few week's ago that cookbooks have a particularly strong fourth quarter, but another genre that tends to save a lot of heavy hitters (especially ones that skew a little older) for this season is music. We've got three in the top ten, from Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, and the one I'm pushing, Tom Breihan's The Number Ones, not to be confused with Steve Martin's Number One Is Walking: My Life in Movies and Other Diversions. And come to think of it, Martin once hit Billboard's top 20 with a comic song from a Saturday Night Live sketch. Plus all those banjo bits. But I don't think he counts.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Wizard's Dream, by Louisa Loveridge Gallas
2. The Sleeping Car Porter, by Suzette Mayr (Register for January 10 virtual event here)
3. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie 
4. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna (Watch Rachel's video event here)
5. Still Life, by Sarah Winman (Register for December 16 virtual event here)
6. The Thursday Murder Club V1, by Richard Osman
7. Circe, by Madeline Miller
8. A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
10. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

We're trying to up our virtual events for January and February to two a week (when we can!), and the nice thing is that for books that are already out, we're also seeing benefits in holiday sales. Birds and Us (on the hardcover nonfiction list), The Sleeping Car Porter, and Still Life (both on this list) are all doing nicely and with good reason - they are great books! It's also nice to see fall event favorite The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches continuing to place here. We just looked up sales on Edelweiss and we're in the top five for indie bookstore sales for Sangu Mandanna's adult debut.

Paperback Nonfiction event:
1. Brewtown Tales, by John Gurda
2. Fuzz, by Mary Roach
3. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
4. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
5. An Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
6. These Precious Days, by Ann Patchett
7. A Short History of Queer Womenn, by Kirsty Loehr
8. Happy Holiday Book of Mini-Crosswords, from The New York Times
9. Wisconsin Waters, by Scott Spoolman
10. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A Shory History of Queer Women was selling steadily since its November 1 release, but had a nice pop in sales this week. At first I thought this was from the Random House One World imprint, but no, it's distributed by Simon and Schuster and is a UK publisher (that by the way, has the UK rights for The Rabbit Hutch). Is Oneworld being one word enough to distinguish it from One World? Being that we had a discussion about whether books could have the same title (they can, but someone argued they shouldn't, referencing Still Life), I guess everything is up for grabs. Some references come up to podcast interviews, but goodness they are hard to find on search engines - it's an impulse buy off our paperback tables.

Speaking of same names, here's a shout out to a different Daniel Goldin and his label, Exploding in Sound Records

Books for Kids:
1. A Place to Belong: Debbie Friedman Sings Her Way Home, by Deborah Lakritz, illustrations by Julie Castano (signed copies available)
2. Green Is for Christmas, by Drew Daywalt, illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
3. The Crayons' Christmas, by Drew Daywalt, illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
4. The Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jon Classen
5. The Greatest in the World, by Ben Clanton
6. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
7. Farmhouse, by Sophie Blackall
8. Collaborations V4: Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey
9. Meanwhile Back on Earth, by Oliver Jeffers
10. Peekaboo Love, by Camilla Reid

Oliver Jeffers may not have had an event at Boswell, but a visit from Green Crayon was enough for him to get three books in our kids top ten. His latest picture book is Meanwhile Back on Earth...Finding Our Place in Time and Space, which is one of Jen's picks. Billed as "a cosmic view on conflict," the editor notes: "This book is based on a huge installation exhibit Oliver created that is traveling the world, showing people just how far the Earth is from other planetary objects - and just how special it is that we’re all living here"

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