Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bestseller Lists--Big Leon! Big Hachette! Big Classic Cover Trend!

Our Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library literary lunch with Donna Leon wound up going quite well.  After her wonderful talk, which focused as much on her intriguing new classical music book and CD, Handel's Bestiary, as much as it did on her new novel, Drawing Conclusions (hence the bestseller list results), I mapped out some nearby thrift stores in the area for her before she left town.  She's also a big fan at the Renaissance Books in the airport.  Who isn't

hardcover nonfiction
1. Handel's Bestiary, by Donna Leon
2. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
3. Brunetti's Cookbook, by Ro Pianaro
4. Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg
5. Wicked River, by Lee Sandlin (at Boswell next Saturday, 2/16, at 2 pm)
6. Before the Revolution, by Daniel K. Richter
7. Beyond DiMaggio, by Lawrence Baldassaro
8. Malcolm X, by Manning Marable (Alas, here is Mr. Marable's obituary.)
9. The Information, by James Glieck (I come back to this later)
10. Moby Duck, by Donovan Hohn (Jason is a fan)

The seemingly other big news this week is the arrival of David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King.  With the large pop we had for Bossypants, it was sort of a one-two punch for Hachette this week.  Congrats!

hardcover fiction
1. Drawing Conclusions, by Donna Leon (signed copies available!)
2. The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace
3. Emily Alone, by Stewart O'Nan
4. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
5. The Solitude of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano (yes, a hardcover event pop!  We ran out of cloth, but we have signed paperbacks.)
6. She Walks in Beauty, edited by Caroline Kennedy
7. Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
8. The Fifth Witness, by Michael Connelly
9. The Troubled Man, by Henning Mankell
10. Treason at Lisson Grove, by Anne Perry

a. Mr. Giordano, who also held the #1 spot for fiction paperbacks this week for his Premio Strega winning novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, was asked who his favorite author was.  He pointed at our display for David Foster Wallace and his backlist, and said, he's over there. 

b. Nice pop for Stewart O'Nan's Emily Alone!  Folks are coming in looking for the first novel of the Maxwell family, Wish You Were Here.  I've been tracking O'Nan sales for many years, and I don't remember folks rushing in like this in quite a while.  On top of the great reviews, that teal jacket really pops, whereas last year I think it would have gotten lost.

c. Remember all those blue-green book jackets last spring?  Well in 2011, everybody's going classic.  We looked at new releases and it was all black on white.  Sometimes all type, other times with a little Malcolm Gladwell style icon, occasionally with a small pop of red or blue or gold.  The big decision, however, seems to be white or off-white.  It's all very old school. What's going on with that? 

Not all old school, I guess.  The layout on James Glieck's The Information (#9 this week) really conveys that sense of overload that most people feel nowadays, doesn't it?

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