Sunday, October 22, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending October 21, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending October 21, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Brotherless Night, by VV Ganeshananthan
2. Roman Stories, by Jhumpa Lahiri
3. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
4. Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett
5. The Fourth Wing, by Rebecca Yarros
6. The Postcard, by Anne Berest
7. The Exchange, by John Grisham
8. The Fraud, by Zadie Smith
9. Wellness, by Nathan Hill (Register for October 23 Boswell event)
10. Distant Sons, by Tim Johnston (Register for October 25 Boswell event)

Our first event with Tim Johnston took place during a bad snowstorm. It's unlikely this time, and we're excited that Distant Sons takes place in Wisconsin. We've had two great staff recs on the title, from Tim, who wrote "I won’t call Tim Johnston an outstanding writer of thrillers. He’s an outstanding writer. No qualifications are needed, and thriller fans reap the rewards." And from Kay: "The story slips easily between the past and present and slams into full thriller mode after a dramatic turn of events. You’ll be speed reading to the end."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Death of Public School, by Cara Fitzpatrick
2. Surely You Can't Be Serious, by David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abra (Register for November 2 Boswell event)
3. Prequel, by Rachel Maddow
4. C'mon Get Happy, by David Fantle and Tom Johnson
5. The Civil War: A Concise History, by Louis P Masur
6. Enough, by Cassidy Hutchinson
7. The Comfort of Crows, by Margaret Renkl (Register for November 20 virtual event)
8. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
9. The Soul of Civility, by Alexandra Hudson (Register for October 22 Boswell event-today)
10. Democracy Awakening, by Heather Cox Richardson

Rachel Maddow's latest book Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism,  is inspired by her podcast Ultra, and has four raves on LitHub, including from reviews from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Katherine Belew writes in the latter: "Prequel is a vivid, urgent, smart history of the years before and during World War II, when German agents, Nazi sympathizers, theocrats and others attempted to steer the United States away from fighting Germany - sometimes through isolationism, sometimes hoping the United States might align with Adolf Hitler’s Germany."

Paperback Fiction: 
1. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
2. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna
3. The Thursday Murder Club V1, by Richard Osman
4. Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney
5. A Court of Mist and Fury V2, by Sarah J Maas
6. Bunny, by Mona Awad
7. A Death in Door County V1, by Annelise Ryan (Register for December 14 Boswell event here)
8. Big Girl, by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
9. The Anomaly, by Herve Le Tellier
10. Kingdom of Ash V7, by Sarah J Maas

I have been working with one book club off and on for over thirty years, and over the next few weeks, we should see some of my picks hit the list. Out of about 25 titles, they usually pick 6-7, with 1-2 selections coming from the members.  One title I recommended was Big Girl, by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. From my rec: "Sullivan does a great job immersing you in 1980s and 1990s New York and Philadelphia and effortlessly balances carefree moments with some very serious observations about race, gender, body image, and gentrification." The book was also shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. 

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Lincoln's Last Speech, by Louis J Masur
2. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
3. Where the Deer an the Antelope Play, by Nick Offerman
4. The Indigenous Continent, by Pekka Hämäläinen
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. The Bald Eagle, by Jack E Davis
7. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
8. Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman
9. The US Civil War: A Very Short Introduction, by Louis P Masur
10. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M Perry

Just out for a few weeks, the paperback edition of Nick Offerman's  Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Likes to Walk Outside. From the publisher: " In 2018, Wendell Berry posed a question to Nick, a query that planted the seed of this book, sending Nick on two memorable journeys with pals - a hiking trip to Glacier National Park with his friends Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders, as well as an extended visit to his friend James Rebanks, the author of The Shepherd's Life and English Pastoral." Maybe we should be bringing this book to our Jeff Tweedy event.

Books for Kids:
1. See the Ghost, by David LaRochelle, illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka
2. See the Cat, by David LaRochelle, illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka
3. See the Dog, by David LaRochelle, illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka
4. Ups and Downs, by Mike Wohnoutka
5. How to Apologize, by David LaRochelle, illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka
6. Peekaboo Pumpkin, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
7. The Wild Robot Protects, by Peter Brown
8. Ghostly Tales of Milwaukee, by Anna Lardinois
9. Chalice of the Gods V6, by Rick Riordan
10. When Stars Are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

So much of our promotion for David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka's visit to schools and the Greendale Public Library focused on the See the Ghost series, but Mike Wohnoutka wrote and illustrated the September release Ups and Downs: A Book of Emotions. Kirkus wrote: "Children will feel reassured to have their own emotions validated, perhaps under circumstances they've experienced, and to note that the book ends happily. The soft gouache illustrations are comforting; occasional onomatopoeic words add dramatic interest to scenes." Emotion books can do very well!

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