Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending December 24, 2022 (catching up from the holiday!)

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending December 24, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
3. The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy
4. A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny
5. Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy
6. All This Could Be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews
7. Liberation Day, by George Saunders
8. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
9. The Rabbit Hutch, by Tess Gunty
10. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel

Lessons in Chemistry may be number one on The New York Times, but at independents (according to the American Booksellers Association), including Boswell, Demon Copperhead is the novel of the holiday season. It is her fourth novel since we've been open (2009) and by far our biggest seller. Is it possible we lost the edge on Bonnie Garmus since a certain other retailer gets to sell a nicer looking edition?

For purposes of this list, I split the boxed Cormac McCarthy sets up and gave the sales to the individual books, The Passenger and Stella Maris. We sold a decent number last week. I can't really compare sales to any other Cormac novel as these are his first two since we've been open. But as of our next sale, we'll have sold more Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow than we did of Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, her previous top seller for us, in hardcover. And with that, I should note that our Knopf/Doubleday sales rep sold in six of this week's top 10.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama
2. An Immense World, by Ed Yong
3. What If 2, by Randall Munroe
4. Cinema Speculation, by Quentin Tarantino
5. A Book of Days, by Patti Smith
6. I'm Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy
7. The Philosophy of Modern Song, by Bob Dylan
8. And There Was Light, by Jon Meacham
9. Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, by Stacy Schiff
10. Birds and Us, by Tim Birkhead (Register for January 18 virtual event here)

The Book of Days is our second best Patti Smith hardcover since we've been open. Number one is not Just Kids, which had a modest hardcover sale for us before exploding in paperback, by M Train. And There Was Light beats out Revolutionary on the historical bio side. Our bestselling Stacy Schiff hardcover continues to be Cleopatra, for which she made an appearance locally. Meacham's bestselling hardcover is, by a nose, His Truth Is Marching On (over The Soul of America)

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
2. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
3. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
4. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, by Shehan Karunatilaka
5. Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
6. The Sleeping Car Porter, by Suzette Mayr (Register for January 10 virtual event here)
7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
8. A Visit, by Shirley Jackson, illustrated by Seth
9. Legends and Lattes, by Travis Baldree
10. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna

More than half the books on this top 10 have some sort of speculative element, with ghosts (not witches for once!) being the most popular trope. The Sentence, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, and A Visit, part of Seth's Christmas haunting graphic short stories series, are all ghost stories of a sort.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Brewtown Tales, by John Gurda
2. A Book of Delights by Ross Gay
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
5. Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest, by Terea Marrone
6. Happy Holiday Book of Mini Crosswords, from The New York Times
7. Vegan Cooking for Two by America's Test Kitchen
8. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi
9. 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss, by Michele Madden

We were running two to three hardcover cookbooks in our top 10 since the start of the season, but this week, the only appearances were on our paperback list, where Vegan Cooking for Two and Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things both placed. With price poitns of $32 and $34.99, they are priced within range of our top hardcover cookbook bestseller, Smitten Kitchen Keepers. I should also note they didn't exactly outsell their hardcover friends; they were just on a less competitive list, which I can assure you is true for the national lists too. 

Books for Kids:
1. Peekaboo: Love, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela Arrhenius
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Diper Överlöde V17: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinnney
4. Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, illustrations by Paloma Valivia
5. Farmhouse, by Sophie Blackall
6. The Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jon Klassen
7. What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, by Tina Oziewicz, illustrations by Aleksandra Zajac
8. Collaborations V4: Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey
9. Christmas Eve with Veranda Santa, a Bluey Book
10. Spin to Survive: Deadly Jungle, by Emily Hawkins

You might have noticed that we had a different Peeakaboo book on our bestseller list last week, with Peekaboo: Love replacing Peekaboo: Moon. Jen has been rotating the display and they all sell! Coming up in 2023 - Peekaboo: Baby in January and Peekaboo: Pumpkin in October. Apparently it's all about the slider mechanism!

Another week with no traditional middle grade or YA books, unless you include the two graphic series, which to me straddle early readers. Five are traditional picture book hardcovers, though I should note that two (Book of Questions and What Feelings Do When No One's Looking) are translated, the former by Sara Lissa Paulson and the latter by Jennifer Croft.

No comments: