Monday, August 10, 2009

Boy, It's Fun to Have Big-time Releases Come Out. Is That What Fall is Like?

For the second week in a row, there was energy in in the store as folks came in to purchase the new novels by Thomas Pynchon and Richard Russo. In the end, the former outsold the latter by 50%. We also had a nice bump on Eugenia Kim's The Calligrapher's Daughter, an author with some local connections and a great champion in our bookseller Anne.
Our hardcover fiction bestsellers for the week ending August 8th:

1. Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon (Bosweller's Best at 20% off)
2. That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo (same)
3. The Calligrapher's Daughter, by Eugenia Kim (see above)
4. The Girl who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson (also a Best, and last week's #1)
5. Fool, by Christopher Moore (Lamb was #98 on NPR beach reads)
6. The Defector, by Daniel Silva (our sales on this have far exceeded what Downer Avenue Schwartz used to sell. This is a good example of a book that is selling to folks that frequented our Shorewood location. Also, I'm pretty good at talking it up. We sold two backlist titles last week to new readers as well).
7. The Help, by Katherine Stockett. (flurry of publicity about how folks are reading this created more people who want to read this).
8. The Strangers, by Anita Brookner. (OK, that was me.)
9. Jericho's Fall, by Stephen Carter
10. The Dead of Winter, by Rennie Airth (selling substantially better than his last one, which my coworker Catherine at Schwartz said was disappointing).

Still not selling is Jonathan Tropper's new novel, despite our over-the top rec in both our email newsletter and event calendar. This week Entertainment Weekly made a similarly bold proclamation, putting it on their must list and also giving it a big A-rated write up.

We were struck by the similarities in type and background color of these three recently-released novels. We'd probably only noticed it because our Boswell Best titles are currently arranged by title.

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