Sunday, March 11, 2012

What's Selling This Week? New Mysteries, Pop-Ups, Upcoming Book Club Selections.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
2. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
3. Open City, by Teju Cole
4. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
5. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell

This Random House corporate sweep has most of the regulars, plus an apparance from Teju Cole's Open City, which we'll be discussing at the April 2 in-store lit group. This novel about a pschology grad student wandering around New York City is said by Atlantic to be a "psychological hand grenade." Let's hope a read from me (finally, much apologies to enthusiasts everywhere) can keep sales popping. And I should note that Stacie's pick, Glaciers, is #6 this week.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell
2. Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco
3. Ed Begley, Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living
4. Please Stop Laughing at Us, by Jodee Blanco
5. The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne

I'm sure you're shocked that Sarah Vowell is this week's #1 seller. We're very event and offsite heavy on this list--and we have signed copies of many of Vowell's previous novels, including Assassination Vacation and The Wordy Shipmantes.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Please Stop Laughing at Me Journal, by Jodee Blanco
2. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, by Michael E. Mann
3. Revelations, by Elaine Pagels
4. Religion for Athiests, by Alain de Botton
5. Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman

I was lucky enough to hear Elaine Pagels interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air this week, which is no doubt part of the reason for the book's sales pop. This historical look this book of the new testament was a prophecy of the fall of the Roman Empire, but has since been subject to many interpretations.

Interestingly enough, another interpretation of Christianity from a more philsophical than historical angle comes from Alain de Botton in Religion for Athiests. The Seattle Times review notes that de Botton's newest looks more at what is lost when people lose faith. Folks who've liked his takes on everything from architecture to travel to anxiety will be happy to see a new addition to his complete life experience canon.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar
2. Murder at the Lanterne Rouge, by Cara Black
3. Anatomy of Murder, by Imogen Robertson
4. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Roberts
5. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

Two new mysteries pop up on our bestseller list this week. In Murder at the Lanterne Rouge, Cara Black's 12th Aimée Leduc mystery, Leduc suspect's her business partner René's new girlfriend Meizi if being involved with the mysterious death of a young scientist, particularly when she disappears and her photo is found in the dead man's wallet.

In Anatomy of Murder, Imogen Robertson's second period (19th century London) mystery featuring amateur detective Harriet Westerman and her sidekick, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are called on to investigate a mysterious drowning in the Thames.

Books for Kids:
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
4. The Lorax pop-up, by Dr. Seuss
5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

I read one bad review of The Lorax and thought it might bomb, but it turns out most other reviews were positive and the marketing and audience response led it to be a big hit. So what if there's said to be only one line in the movie that's in the book?  The pop-up version is created by the wonderful David Carter, creator of the wonderful Bugs in a Box and other pop ups.

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