Sunday, September 29, 2013

What Sold at Boswell for the Week Ending September 28? It's Time for Nonfiction to Pop, with Hastings, Barnes, and Dawkins, Plus Lots of Event Books and a Reminder to Mark Your Calendar for the Doctor Sleep Book Club,

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Someone, by Alice McDermott
2. Enon, by Paul Harding
3. Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King
4. Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon
5. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent

We're hosting a Doctor Sleep book club with former bookseller-turned-rep Halley on Saturday, November 2, 7 pm. Spread the word with our Facebook event page The Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez observers that "In the latter stage of this remarkably prolific writer’s career, his trademark penchant for ghastly, bloody horror is gradually being overshadowed by humane, heartfelt compassion." This review is reprinted in the print edition of the Journal Sentinel today.

After our morning event with Alice McDermott, we had a quick lunch before she got her flight back East. Instead of one of the inevitable pictures of me with the author (there is at least one an earlier blog post this week), I asked if I could take one with Bill, her escort. If you would like to know more about the event, please ask Jane, Anne, or Sharon. She is a wonderful speaker and quite eloquent about the craft of writing.

One thing I noticed is that sometime during the publishing process, the ink color darkened on the Someone jacket. It turned out that original jacket was more yellow than gold and didn't pop well; I had noticed this as well. The final cover works much better, and I particularly like the contrasting spine. Did I mention signed first editions are available?

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Layton's Legacy, by John Eastberg and Eric Vogel (event today, September 29, 3 pm)
2. Catastrophe 1914, by Max Hastings
3. Levels of Life, by Julian Barnes
4. Schlitz: Brewing Art, by Paul Bialas
5. Appetite for Wonder, by Richrad Dawkins

Here's what happens when the new release blog covers fiction two weeks in a row--the bestseller list is filled with titles that haven't yet been covered. I'm just going to mention Max Hastings' new Catastrophe 1914, as Jason had noted to me that his newest was selling quite well. Here's a review in The Washington Times from James Srodes that looks at how today's military intervention rhetoric echo the pre-Great War pundits.

"One of the disturbing echoes for today’s reader is how certain the leaders on both sides of the impending conflict were that the new technologies of warfare would enable them to triumph over their perceived enemies without the traditional cost of the lives of their troops or the destruction of their cities." 

Paperback Fiction:
1. The President's Hat, by Antoine Laurain
2. Buddenbrooks, by Thomas Mann
3. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
4. Tinkers, by Paul Harding
5. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

The release of The Round House reminds me that it's time to update our book club brochure. Let's see if I can limit myself to updated just a few titles instead of a complete overhaul. I would think The President's Hat would also make a good addition. If you want to know about the Buddenbrooks pop, that one is being bought by students!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Indian Inspired Gluten Free Cooking, by Alamelu Vairavan (event Wed. October 16 ,7 pm)
2. The Distancers, by Lee Sandlin
3. Mediterranean Slow Cooker, by Michele Scicolone
4. Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, Volume II (event Tues. October 1, 7 pm)
5. 1775, by Kevin Phillips (event Wed. October 2, 7 pm, at the American Geographical Society Library at UWM Golda Meir Library, 3rd floor)

One doesn't expect to see so many upcoming events being among our bestsellers, but there's a lot of interest in all these events. I'll have more on Eddie Trunk and Kevin Phillips tomorrow, and if I am particularly disciplined, there will also be an email newsletter coming.

Books for Kids:
1. The Eyes of India, by M. W. Greer
2. CommuniTree, by Andrea Skyberg
3. Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo
4. More Than This, by Patrick Ness
5. Squircle, by Andrea Skyberg

I mentioned that authors and arts educators Andrea Skyberg and M.W. Greer were all about collaboration, and their Friday event showed the fruits of their labor with a great multi-media show. Both authors are working on their new projects and each still have at least one school slot open. If you'd like to get in touch with them, please email me. That's some of their work above.

In the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Lore Segal's Half the Kingdom. His verdict? "Slide over, Thomas Pynchon, and make room for another older writer's sardonic novel about contemporary New York, infused with conspiracy theory."

Also don't miss the Higgins blog recaps of John Updike's stories, chronicled week by week as he reads the Library of America John Updike collection, Collected Early Stories.  

In addition to the Rodriguez review noted above, the print edition of the Journal Sentinel also offers Nina Tannenwald of the San Francisco Chronicle and her take on  Eric Schlosser's Command and Control.

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