Sunday, April 16, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 15, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 15, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Society of Shame, by Jane Roper
2. I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai (Tickets for April 27 MPL lunch here)
3. The Guilty One, by Bill Schweigart
4. Pineapple Street, by Jenny Jackson
5. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
6. Hello Beautiful, by Ann Napolitano
7. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
8. Above Ground, by Clint Smith
9. When in Rome, by Liam Callanan
10. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

Clint Smith, who received the National Book Critics Circle for How the Word Is Passed, hits our bestseller list for his second collection of poetry, Above Ground. He is also a staff writer for The Atlantic.I'm not sure why this isn't tracked by Book Marks. Elisabeth Egan at The New York Times discusses the rare feat of Smith - having books in the nonfiction and fiction lists in short order.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. A Fever in the Heartland, by Timothy Egan
2. Building Boys, by Jennifer LW Fink
3. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond (Register for May 23 MPL event here)
4. You Could Make This Place Beautiful, by Maggie Smith (Tickets for April 21 event here)
5. The New Art of Coffee, by Ryan Castelaz
6. The Devil's Element, by Dan Egan
7. It Goes So Fast, by Mary Louise Kelly
8. The Language of Trees, by Katie Holten
9. Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Toltenberg
10. Sit in the Sun, by Jon M. Sweeney

The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape is a new anthology edited by Katie Holten. Tin House sent out attractive customized posters to bookstores for display. The book has two raves and a positive from Book Marks. Kristin Millares Young notes in The Washington Post that "Holten has designed an entire typeface wherein each letter of the alphabet is assigned a tree whose popular name shares that first letter: P is a pine, E is an elm and so forth. The book’s poems, quotes and short essays are all translated into Holten’s tree language; the resulting groves illustrate the text."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Short End of the Sonnenalee, by Thomas Brussig, illustrated by Jonathan Franzen and Jenny Watson
2. The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen
3. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
4. The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
5. To Swoon and to Spar, by Martha Waters
6. Groundskeeping, by Lee Cole (Boswell book club selections and meeting dates here)
7. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
8. Heroes Like Us, by Thomas Brussig
9. Olga Dies Dreaming, by Xochitl Gonzalez
10. Portrait of a Thief, by Grace D. Li

Former wedding planner, tarot card reader, and Iowa Writers Workshop grad got much attention for Olga Dies Dreaming, and her debut novel is on our bestseller list this week. It had four raves and four positive reviews from Book Marks. From Ron Charles in The Washington Post: "Aside from a collection of winning characters and an ingenious plot, what’s most impressive about Olga Dies Dreaming is the way Gonzalez stretches the seams of the rom-com genre to accommodate her complex analysis of racial politics."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Born Extraordinary, by Meg Zucker
2. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
3. Fighting Times, by Jon Melrod (Register for April 19 event here)
4. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
5. The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
6. The Gardeners Guide to Prairie Plants, by Neil Diboll (Register for June 17 event here)
7. 111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
8. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei (Tickets for April 18 event here)
9. Every Good Boy Does Fine, by Jeremy Denk
10. The Icepick Surgeon, by Sam Kean

Another paperback reprint with strong Book Marks creds (5 raves, 4 positives) is Jeremy Denk's Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story, in Music Lessons, by MacArthur Fellowship recipient Jeremy Denk. From Simon Callow in The New York Review of Books: "The book is laid out in musical form: three substantial sections on harmony, melody, and rhythm...Denk writes feelingly on the artist’s self-dramatization, the formation of a self, sometimes manifesting as arrogance, the conviction that you have something special to contribute to the appreciation of what you are performing, grasping whatever gives you the audacity to present yourself before the public."

Books for Kids:
1. Global (2 editions), by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Gioavanni Rigano
2. She Persisted: Sally Ride, by Atia Abawi
3. The Eyes and the Impossible, by Dave Eggers
4. Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, by Dav Pilkey
5. School Trip, by Jerry Craft
6. Inheritance Games, by Jenifer Barnes
7. Big Tree, by Brian Selznick
8. The World and Everything in It, by Kevin Henkes
9. Better Than the Movies, by Lynn Painter
10. Peekaboo Sun, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P. Arrhenius

School Trip is the third in the graphic series that follows New Kid and Class Act. Jordan goes to Paris, but the bully is coming along. Fortunately, as School Library Journal notes: "The characters that readers love grow and mature while they travel across the globe...This heartfelt, must-read title belongs on all library shelves." Publishers Weekly (also a starred review) called it "a zestful graphic novel adventure that mixes lighthearted fare with thought-provoking observations on lasting friendship in the face of future-based anxieties."

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