Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Yearend Bestseller Lists Continued--Today We Look at Adult Nonfiction.

We're open New Year's Day from 10 am to 5 pm.

Here is a continuation of our top books of 2013. Today we have adult nonfiction titles. 

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Driven, by Donald Driver
2. Cooked, by Michael Pollan
3. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris
4. Lessons from the Heartland, by Barbara Miner
5. Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
6. Good Stock, by Sanford D’Amato
7. The Drunken Botanist, by Amy Stewart
8. The French Kitchen Cookbook, by Patricia Wells
9. I Wear the Black Hat, by Chuck Klosterman
10. Queen of the Air, by Dean Jensen
11. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
12. The Bully Pulpit, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
13. Visting Tom, by Michael Perry
14. Packers Pride, by LeRoy Butler and Rob Reischel
15. Heretics and Heroes, by Thomas Cahill
16. Zealot, by Reza Aslan
17. The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
18. Wisconsin Supper Clubs, by Ron Faiola
19. The International Bank of Bob, by Bob Harris
20. A People’s Art History of the United States, by Nicolas Lampert
21. Maddie on Things, by Theron Humphrey
22. David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
23. Help, Thanks, Wow!, by Anne Lamott
24. The Men Who United the States, by Simon Winchester
25. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
26. Wheat Belly, by William Davis
27. Hope Against Hope, by Sarah Carr
28. The Unwinding, by George Packer
29. Wonder of Wonders, by Alisa Solomon
30. I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
31. Gulp, by Mary Roach
32. I Could Pee on This, by Francesco Maciuliano
33. The Guns at Last Night, by Rick Atkinson
34. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda
35. Layton’s Legacy, by John Eastberg and Eric Vogel
36. Schlitz: Brewing Art, by Paul Bialas
37. Things that Matter, by Charles Krauthammer
38. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
40. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett

While I’ve made much mention of how women writers dominated the top of our hardcover fiction chart, I should note that at least in hardcover nonfiction, it’s a man’s world in 2013, with only 13 of our top 40 titles penned by female writers.

Bestsellers that tend to be excluded from yearend countdown, which happened this year when more than 90% of their sales are bulk, were for the most part business and education titles on the adult side, but on the kids’ lists, there are lots of classic titles ranging from board books to adult fiction. The International Bank of Bob made the yearend cut because its sales were a combination of individual event and bulk sales, plus we had a number of sales in the store as well.

I’m not sure, but I also think we’ve got less cookbooks on the list than we’ve had in past years. Excluding our event books, no cookbook made either yearend list. In 2012, Barefoot Contessa, Smitten Kitchen, and Jerusalem all made our top 40. That said, both Good Stock and Wisconsin Supper Clubs would likely have made our yearend top 40 even without events.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Some Assembly Required, by Anne Lamott
2. How to be Interesting, by Jessica Hagy
3. My Life with the Green and Gold, by Jessie Garcia
4. Quiet, by Susan Cain (bestselling non event book)
5. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
6. Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
7. Mo: A Loeys Dietz Syndrome Memoir, by Kate Jurgens
8. Milwaukee Garage Bands, by Peter Roller
9. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, by Julia Pandl
10. A Merry Memoir of Love, Sex, and Religion, by Daniel Maguire
11. Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander
12. The Stolen Dog, by Tricia O’Malley
13. Worse than the Devil, by Dean A. Strang
14. Crossing the Healing Zone, by Ashok Bedi
15. Milwaukee at Water’s Edge, by Tom Pilarzyk
16. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
17. Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman
18. Start with Why, by Simon Sinek
19. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
20. More than they Bargained for, by Jason Stein
21. 100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know and Do Before they Die, by Tom Haudricourt
22. Monkey Mind, by Daniel Smith
23. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
24. How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, by The Oatmeal
25. Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, Volume 2, by Eddie Trunk
26. Riding Through Grief, by Barbara Manger
27. Schusters and Gimbels, by Paul Geenen
28. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
29. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
30. The American Craft Beer Cookbook, by John Holl
31. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
32. Imperfect Spirituality, by Polly Campbell
33. Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses, by Bobby Tanzilo
34. Shakespeare Saved my Life, by Laura Bates
35. Bits and Pieces, by Barry Blackwell
36. Drive, by Daniel Pink
37. A Tale of Two Soliders, by Max Gendelman
38. Living Large for the Long Haul, by Clark Howard
39. Revelations, by Elaine Pagels
40. Heroes in the Night, by Tea Krulos

Many kinds of nonfiction books have a better sale in hardcover, so it’s important to be aware that even though paperbacks are cheaper, the cutoff for sales is lower. I haven’t kept good enough records to know if ebooks have eroded paperback bestseller sales in our store as even when we opened, we were a strong hardcover store. Many folks simply want to buy the book when they hear about it, and almost all the media coverage on books happens in initial publication, not after the reprint.

Amusingly enough, the list was initially completely wrong. When I create the lists, I divide a master bestseller list up by category, and move the kids' books (their categories all begin with J, an old structure we carried over from Schwartz) out of the way. Unfortunately when I made the switch, I didn't combine the before J and after J categories, leading to a surprisingly poor bestseller showing. It was only when I was doing a final review and noticed that Quiet was missing that I caught my mistake. 

One last note. Did all of you catch the piece on NPR's Morning Edition about best new words? "Selfie" has been winning a lot of raves, but Ben Zimmer, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, had a preference for "lean in," and yes, the new non-athletic meaning was coined in a book title. Zimmer acknowledged that his choice was not a word but a phrasal verb, but apparently that qualifies.

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