Sunday, April 8, 2012

Boswell's Sunday Bestseller Wrap-up for the Week Ending April 7, 2012, which is Easter.

Happy Easter. We're open 10 to 5 today.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Sacré Blue, by Christopher Moore (event 4/11, get a signed copy)
2. Elegy for Eddie, by Jacqueline Winspear
3. The Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan
4. Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (Volume 13!), by Alexander McCall Smith
5. The Shoemaker's Wife, by Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani's newest novel, The Shoemaker's Wife is a historical that moves from big Italy to Little Italy, following the lives of two young lovers separated by fate. Kathryn Stockett calls this new novel "utterly splendid." Trigiani is going to be at Next Chapter in Mequon on Tuesday, April 24. More info on the Journal Sentinel website.

Also new to the list is The Lifeboat, a novel about a newlywed widow who survived a terrible ocean liner crash, only to go on trial for murdering the captain. The New York Daily News called the book "exquisitely wily" while advance quote from J.M. Coetzee, Emma Donoghue, and Hilary Mantel position this book as not your ordinary woman-on-trial novel.

Jason thinks all the Titanic hoopla is helping this book along a bit. Neither he nor I expected such excitement over the disaster's centennial, particularly when we recalled what a dud Civil War mania was. I think we were resentful that much of the enthusiasm came from the reissuing of the movie in 3D. We both admitted we were wrong on this one--the media has gone crazy, and at least a few customers are wondering where our huge displays of Titanic books are (at least until next week).

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (event 4/16, get a signed copy)
2. The New American Haggadah, by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander
3. Drift, by Rachel Maddow
4. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
5. Dust to Dust, by Benjamin Busch

We don't put every new release on Boswell's Best each week, and usually when Jason or Amie make a decision not to include something, we hold fast and keep it in new and noteworthy instead. Every so often, however, we'll move something over if a book seems to be resonating with our customers and also seems to have legs.

The Power of Habit is one of those books. Duhigg, a New York Times business reporter, looks at habits and how they can be changed, reporting on a lot of scientific research to make his points. It's a book about self-improvment that resonates with the Malcolm Gladwelly, Daniel Pinky fans, which offers not just stories but evidence, and that's probably of interest to the Stephen Pinkery set too. Duhigg was recently intervewed on the website of Daniel Pink himself. As he notes:

"Habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced. And studies show that simply understanding how habits work — learning the structure of the habit loop — makes them easier to control. Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears." More on the Daniel H. Pink website.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Straits* of Kalahesh, by Bradley Beaulieu
2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
3. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
4. Lesser Apocalypses, by Bayard Godsave
5. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman

Our first week of Fifty Shades of Grey was perfectly respectable, but no, we didn't sell out. We did sell through our first order of Bayard Godsave's story collection (thanks to ex-Boswellian Carl, who noted that I noted it originally as a novel here), however, with more coming.

Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers hits our top five. As her best reviewed book in a number of years, and her first historical novel, about the women of the Masada who defended themselves against Roman invasion, it's really given her new momentum. I had never seen this quote before from Toni Morrison: "Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first century literature."

Ron Charles noted in his Washington Post review, "nothing she’s written would prepare you for the gravitas of her new book, an immersive historical novel about Masada during the Roman siege in the 1st century."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Cluck, by Susan Troller
2. Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo
3. Unlikely Friendships, by Jennifer Holland
4. Uprising, by John Nichols
5. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

I suspect that sales pops for both Heaven is for Real and Unlikely Friendships are somehow connected to Easter. We had to reorder Fun Home, as our in-store lit group (meeting May 7, 5:30, just before the event) gave the book a nice pop. And the new book, Are You My Mother?, landed at Boswell this week, so we expcect to start seeing Bechdel news and reviews soon.
Books for Kids:
1. Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
4. Duck and Goose: Here Comes the Easter Bunny, by Tad Hill
5. The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo

We've had some nice sales pops this week on upcoming events, particularly Kate DiCamillo and Michael Buckley.  Somewhere in the Cue section today is our ad for several of our upcoming events, including DiCamillo. Ah, there it is, under television highlights.

Looking ahead to possible bestsellers next week, we turn to the Journal Sentinel Cue section. Of course for us, the highlight is Jim Higgins review of Sacré Blue. Who knew that the next Milwaukee Art Museum exhibit is Posters of Tolouse Lautrec? Also reviewed this week is the lost novel of Jack Kerouac, The Sea is My Brother, and Anne Enright's Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood, which notes this acclaimed writer's unmistakably Irish sense of gloom, blanaced by her tenderness. There's also an interview with Judith Viorst.

*Thanks Jason G., for the correction. Nobody proofs my Sunday posts until they are posted.

1 comment:

carl hoffman said...

Correction, please: Bayard Godsave's book is a collection of short stories, not a novel.