Sunday, August 6, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending August 5, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending August 5, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett
2. The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese
3. Hang the Moon, by Jeannette Walls
4. The Fourth Wing, by Rebecca Yarros
5. Crook Manifesto, by Colson Whitehead
6. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
7. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
8. Babel, by RF Kuang
9. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
10. All the Sinners Bleed, by SA Cosby

No competition this week. It may be August but the first bestseller of fall is here with Tom Lake. Reviews are superb and with the added bonus of being a Reese's Book Club pick, maybe we'll get a #1 debut on The New York Times. Patchett's not coming to Boswell this time, but we did get a nice shout out on The New York Times podcast. From Helen McAlpin at The Wall Street Joural: "...The result is a master class in narrative - and parental! - control. Ms. Patchett glides easily between past and present, manipulating the rate and timing of the release of key information for maximum effect - such as one character’s identity, and news of another’s untimely demise."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Good Life, by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz
2. The French Art of Living Well, by Cathy Yandell (Register for August 11 Boswell event)
3. A Guide to Midwestern Conversation, by Taylor Kay Phillips (Register for August 9 Boswell event)
4. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
5. The Heat Will Kill You First, by Jeff Goodell
6. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman (Register for September 6 virtual event)
7. Building, by Mark Ellison
8. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
9. Little Frog's Guide to Self Care, by Maybell Eequay
10. Baking Yesteryear, by B Dylan Hollis

Around since May is Building: A Carpenter's Notes on Life and the Art of Good Work by Mark Ellison, who was profiled back in a 2020 issue of The New Yorker as New York's best carpenter - that might have led to this book. We gifted a copy to our wonderful carpenter, who I won't mention by name, because it's hard enough to get an appointment.

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan (Register for August 23 WFB library event)
2. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
3. Switchboard Soldiers, by Jennifer Chiaverini (Register for August 9 Tosa library event)
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
5. Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney
6. The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave
7. Red White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
8. The Genesis of Misery, by Neon Yang
9. Too Late, by Colleen Hoover
10. All This Could Be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews (Register for September 20 Boswell event)

Second week out for The Genesis of Misery is Neon Yang's first week in our top 10. From the publisher: "An immersive, electrifying space-fantasy, Neon Yang's debut novel The Genesis of Misery is full of high-tech space battles and political machinations, starring a queer and diverse array of pilots, princesses, and prophetic heirs." From Oli's staff rec: "A tale of divine messages, faith, war, void-madness, and gemstone battle mechs will keep you on your toes."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Joy Ride, by Kristen Jokinen
2. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frederic Gros
3. Jews in the Garden, by Judy Rakowsky (Register for August 10 Boswell event)
4. America Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
5. Kodachrome Milwaukee, by Adam Levin
6. Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green
7. Vagina Obscura, by Rachel E Gross
8. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
9. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
10. Slenderman, by Kathleen Hale

Shortlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, plus a New York Times Editor's Choice, Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage came out in paperback in May and continues to sell off Parker's rec shelf. From Ed Yong: "Through her seamless storytelling and meticulous research, Rachel Gross shows how long we have misunderstood the bodies of half the people who have ever lived, how much we still have to learn, and how wondrous and rewarding that quest can be. Vagina Obscura is science writing at its finest--revelatory, wry, consequential, necessary, and incredibly hard to put down." I wrote this up once before, but I think every book in our paperback nonfiction top 10 has been highlighted here already.

Books for Kids:
1. The Skull, by John Klassen
2. Peekaboo Pumpkin, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
3. Nimona, by ND Stevenson
4. When You Can Swim, by Jack Wong
5. Hippos Go Berserk, by Sandra Boynton
6. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renee Graef
7. Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, by Dav Pilkey
8. The Eyes and the Impossible, by Dave Eggers
9. The Sinister Booksellers of Bath, by Garth Nix
10. How to Count to One, by Caspar Salmon

After Workman became part of Hachette, the Sandra Boynton library consolidated at Simon and Schuster as Boynton Bookworks. For Hippos Go Berserk, we are stocking both the classic board book and the deluxe anniversary picture book edition. We sold out of both this week, so I don't know the difference. As a person who gave the "Hippo Birdy Two Ewes" card more than a few times in my younger days, you would think I would know these things.

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