Sunday, March 19, 2023

Boswell bestsellers - week ending March 18, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 18, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. When in Rome, by Liam Callanan
2. Hello Beautiful, by Ann Napolitano
3. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
4. I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai
5. Pineapple Street, by Jenny Jackson (Register for March 22 virtual event here)
6. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
7. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
8. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
9. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
10. A Day of Fallen Night, by Samantha Shannon

There was extra press on Oprah's 100th book club selection, and that helped Ann Napolitano's Hello Beautiful pop a little more than it might have. I'm a little confused as to the positioning that the Napolitano pick lifted a struggling author out of obscurity - Dear Edward was a Read with Jenna pick and did quite well at Boswell. Not of course with every reviewer - Bruce Holsinger not only raves ("radiant and brilliantly crafted") about Napolitano's latest (Little Women, with basketball) in The New York Times, but goes into depth about her previous novels.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Good Power, by Ginni Rometty
2. The Devil's Element, by Dan Egan
3. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
4. Enchantment, by Katherine May
5. Once Upon a Tome, by Oliver Darkshire
6. Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Totenberg
7. Sensitive, by Jenn Granneman and Andre Sólo
8 Femina, by Janina Ramirez
9. The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, by Scott Blackwood
10. The 1619 Project, by Nikole Hannah -Jones and The New York Times

It's the first week on our bestseller list for Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It. Janina Ramirez is an Oxford lecturer and BBC broadcaster, whose book got three positive reviews in LitHub, all from British sources. Publishers Weekly and Kirkus also reviewed it well - why aren't they listed? Simon Seabag Montefiore (a favorite of our buyer Jason) wrote: "Spellbinding, passionate, gripping and magnificently fresh in tone, boldly wide in range, elegantly written, deeply researched, Femina is a ground-breaking history of the Middle Ages. It brings the world to life with women at its very heart, center stage where they belong. What a delight." Maybe it's because review organs aren't used to history coming from the Hanover Square imprint. Note to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post - it isn't too late to schedule a review!

Paperback Fiction:
1. The School for Good Mothers, by Jessamine Chan
2. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
5. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
6. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
7. The Maid, by Nita Prose
8. The Cabinet, by Un Su Kim
9. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
10. The Cat Who Saved Books, by Susuke Natsukawa

Speaking of Read with Jenna book club picks, The School for Good Mothers released in February and sure enough, we have a local book club reading it - they all came in together to buy the book. It's also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, which will be announced shortly - not on March 17, 2022 as it says on the website, but this coming Thursday. The book got six raves, three positives, and a mixed on LitHub's Book Marks. From Ilana Masad's Washington Post review: "Although the book isn’t billed as a horror novel, I felt consistently spooked while reading, disturbed but propelled on by Chan’s excellent pacing"

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. A World Lit Only by Fire, by William Manchester
2. All About Love, by bell hooks
3. A Brief Welcome to the Universe, by Neil deGrasse Tyson
4. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
5. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

All books on this week's list are more than a year old in their current format. A recent note from a writer friend: "You wouldn't believe how few copies you have to sell to get on national nonfiction paperback bestseller lists." I believe it.

Books for Kids:
1. Piecing Me Together, by Renée Watson
2. Our World of Dumplings, by Francie Dekker, illustrations by Sarah Jung
3. When Sea Becomes Sky, by Gillian McDunn
4. Honestly Elliott, by Gillian McDunn
5. Queen Bee and Me, by Gillian McDunn
6. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson
7. This Is a Story, by John Schu, illustrations by Lauren Castillo
8. A Place to Belong, by Deborah Lakritz, illustrations by Julie Castano
9. The Moth Keeper, by K O'Neill
10. Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor
Not an event and not a school order but the #1 Kids Indie Next Pick for March-April 2023 is The Moth Keeper, a graphic novel from Australian Eisner winner K O'Neill. From Publishers Weekly: "O'Neill fashions a sparkling parable about coming into one's own abilities and learning to persevere through dark times in this inviting fantasy graphic novel...Containing a deeply contemplative aura, this worthy volume explores themes of connection, mythology, personal growth, and tradition."

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