Sunday, August 20, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 19, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 19, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett
2. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
3. The English Experience, by Julie Schumacher (Register for August 30 Boswell event)
4. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
5. No Strangers Here V1, by Carlene O'Connor
6. The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese
7. The Fourth Wing, by Rebecca Yarros
8. Good Night Irene, by Luis Alberto Urrea
9. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
10. Murder at an Irish Bakery V6, by Carlene O'Connor
11. Crook Manifesto V2, by Colson Whitehead
12. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
13. Canary Girls, by Jennifer Chiaverini
14. Mister Magic by Kiersten White
15. Dead Eleven, by Jimmy Juliano

Aside from The English Experience, which is getting plenty of love from our event marketing (and staff recs from Rachel C. and me), the top debut is down at 14 on a particularly vibrant hardcover fiction list. Mister Magic, like Dead Eleven just below it, is playing to horror nostalgic with its story about the supernatural secrets of a cult classic children's show. Regular virtual event viewers might remember that White was the conversation partner for Chuck Wendig a couple of years ago. Starred Booklist: "Savvy readers will devour the subtext and ponder philosophical questions about reality."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman (Register for September 6 virtual event)
2. The Wager, by David Grann
3. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
4. The French Art of Living Well, by Cathy Yandell
5. Beyond the Story, by BTS and Myeongseok Kang
6. Freedom's Dominion, by Jefferson Cowie
7. The Book of Nature, by Barbara Mahany
8. Congratulations, The Best is Over, by R. Eric Thomas
9. Pulling the Chariot of the Sun, by Shane McCrae
10. Sit in the Sun, by Jon M. Sweeney

It's two weeks in a row for a pretty quiet hardcover nonfiction list. I can't remember this list not dominating or at least equal to fiction in quite a long time. Is it price increases? Releases that are not capturing the imaginations of our customers? Or is it just the summer of fiction, as one pundit noted. Among the first timers are Freedom's Dominion, by Jefferson Cowie, which came out last November and has some nice reviews, including this from Kirkus: "A broad-ranging history of resistance to the federal government, especially in matters of civil rights reforms... Toward the end of a lucid narrative that spans three centuries, the author argues that the federal government has been an unreliable ally and sometimes an open enemy of the rights of non-White people. Even so, without federal power, as current events richly suggest, even those tenuous rights would almost certainly be diminished or eliminated."

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan (Register for August 23 WFB Library event)
2. All This Could Be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews (Register for September 20 Boswell event)
3. The Rabbit Hutch, by Tess Gunty
4. Bride of the Tornado, by James Kennedy (Register for August 22 Boswell event)
5. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
6. Murder in an Irish Village V1, by Carlene O'Connor
7. A Court of Mist and Fury V2, by Sarah J. Maas
8. The Nix, by Nathan Hill (Register for October 23 Boswell event here)
9. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
10. Search, by Michelle Huneven

We find that publishers don't tour paperback fiction reprints too much anymore, but somehow four of our top ten are connected to upcoming programs, and three more are for books that were featured at previous programs. Annelise Ryan and James Kennedy are in driving distance - much thanks to them for the commute. The Nix is selling because we're reading it for Lit Group in conjunction for the tour of Wellness, his next hardcover. But Sarah Thankam Mathews's All This Could Be Different is on a short but real tour for the paperback. We had a wonderful virtual for the hardcover, and it was perfect for our Rose Petranech Lecture series (which is usually not a lecture - it just sounds better that way).

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Kodachrome Milwaukee, by Adam Levin
2. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
3. American Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
4. Slenderman, by Kathleen Hale
5. Dopamine Nation, by Anna Lembke
6. Vagina Obscura, by Rachel E. Gross
7. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris (Tickets for October 25 theater event)
8. Quarterlife, by Satya Doyle Byock
9. Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman
10. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence has been on this list for multiple weeks now (last highlighted in May), which makes me think if I paid attention, I would spot it on The New York Times. Nope, not there, at least this week! Only three reviews in BookMarks too, though all were good, also too complicated for pull quotes. How about this blurb from Lori Gottlieb: "Anna Lembke deeply understands an experience I hear about often in the therapy room at the nexus between our modern addictions and our primal brains. Her stories of guiding people to find a healthy balance between pleasure and pain have the power to transform your life."

Books for Kids:
1. Spin to Survive: Deadly Jungle, by Emily Hawkins
2. Out and About, by Liza Wiemer, illustrations by Margeaux Lucas (The event is today at 2 at Friendship Cafe -registration requested)
3. Peekaboo Farm, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P. Arrhenius
4. Bluey: Camping, from Penguin Random House
5. Gertie the Darling Duck of World War II, by Shari Swanson, illustrations by Renée Graef
6. Peekaboo Pumpkin, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P. Arrhenius
7. Bluey: Pool, from Penguin Random House
8. Spin to Survive: Frozen Mountains, by Emily Hawkins
9. Goddesses and Heroines, by Jean Menzies
10. One of Us Is Back, by Karen M. McManus

We hosted Karen McManus back in the day of One of Us Is Lying, though we had no idea it would become a phenomenon, with a series on Peacock. The latest, One of Us is Back, has been out for several weeks. Publishers Weekly has this to say: "Someone from the Bayview Crew's past has resurfaced to finish what they started in this electrifying mystery, the third installment in McManus's One of Us Is Lying series... Bombshell reveals unfurl alongside reflections on honesty, empathy, and cycles of violence, resulting in a soulful, high-stakes thrill ride."

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