Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dateline Kansas City--Boswell's Bestsellers for the Week Ending February 23, 2013.

Hardcover nonfiction:
1. Thinner This Year, by Chris Crowley and Jennifer Sacheck
2. Detroit City is the Place to Be, by Mark Binelli
3. Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright
4. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo

After chatting with the publicist at Workman about Chris Crowley's new book on the bestseller list and how maybe a firm on-sale date would help a book like this pop better in the new world order, Thinner This Year has a strong sales pop at Boswell this week. I also wondered if the Binelli Detroit book was keeping up with LeDuff in other channels the way it was here, or are our sales an anomaly due to 1) a particularly good review from Mike Fischer in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 2) the fact that we share some of Detroit's problems gravitates us to the more positive prognosis.

Hardcover fiction:
1. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
2. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
3. The Dinner, by Herman Koch
4. A Week in Winter, by Maeve Binchy
5. Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Rusell

Jason got an email from our rep Jason after the first week of sale that A Week in Winter, Maeve Binchy's newest, her first since passing last year (who knows what they'll find in the trunk?) was selling better than her usual pace, but at that point, it wasn't for us. Apparently just that contact jump-started sales. And we also noticed that The Dinner looks like their first breakout bestseller. Jason's hoping for a repeat performance with A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, coming in May, mostly because he loved it. It's one of the buzz books at the Winter Institute we are currently attending. Why not have us call or email you when Marra's novel arrives?

Paperback nonfiction:
1. Milwaukee Garage Bands, by Peter Roller
2. Quiet, by Susan Cain
3. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
4. Schuster's and Gimbels, by Paul Geenen
5. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

Peter Roller's event for Milwaukee Garage Bands last Tuesday was quite popular, and if you want to know what all the fuss was about, he'll be at Books and Company in Oconomowoc on Sunday, March 3, 1 pm. Meanwhile Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of  Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking continues to get new press and buzz. Recently Fast Company announced her foray into public speaking for introverts.

Paperback fiction:
1. DEROS Vietnam, by Doug Bradley
2. Learning to Stay, by Erin Celello
3. The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
4. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
5. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Our joint event with Bradley and Celello turned out to be a nice match. I see a bunch of fiction events coming up in April and May, and I  wish I could figure out a way that I could put two authors together in an interesting way, the way these two authors talked about veteran's issues. Aside from that, the rest of the top five come from authors in the Random House group. Cathryn at a bookstore we went to in Des Moines (more about that on another post) is a huge fan of The Language of Flowers, and was rather disappointed in me that I haven't read it yet.

Books for Kids:
1. I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarrey
2. Penny and Her Marble, by Kevin Henkes
3. Exclamation Mark, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
4. Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz
5. Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes

It's just a week away now, our afternoon with Kevin Henkes. He'll be appearing at 2, with an opening kids' concert from Fox and Branch, starting at 1 pm. Our customers clearly can't wait either, as several Henkes titles wound up on this weeks' bestseller list. Sign up for a signed copy of Penny and Her Marble here.

New to the list is Exclamation Mark, from the folks who brought us Duck! Rabbit! Publishers Weekly offers this praise: " Thanks to savvy design, the exclamation mark’s announcements are printed in different sizes and colors to subtly indicate emphasis and tone, yet the mark never meets others like himself and therefore never suffers from overuse"

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen collaborate on a biography of Al Capp called surprisingly enough, Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary. Jim Higgins offers a positive review on "the tumultuous life of a talented, complicated, difficult man, whose satirical strip paved the way for the commentary that Garry Trudeau, among others, delivers in the comics

Kathy Flanigan interviews Philip Galanes, author of the Social Q's column in The New York Times, and the resulting book of the same name.

Kent Haruf's new novel, Benediction, is the #1 Indie Next book of March, and being among the very booksellers that voted for it at Winter Institute, there's been much talk about the quality of the new novel. Michael Fischer would agree, calling the story "splendid" and comparing it to Our Town and The Country of the Pointed Firs.  Read his review here in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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