Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Bestseller Post for Week Ending February 8, 2014: Madmen of the Year and Book Trailers and Motorcycle Racing.

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Tequila Mockingbird, by Tim Federle
2. Everything I need to Know I Learned through a Little Golden Book, by Dian Muldrow
3. Danubia, by Simon Winder
4. Good Stock, by Sanford D’Amato
5. David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell

I listed nonfiction first, so you'd note that Tim Federle's literary drink guide was #1 this week. You're probably wondering how this happened, since Federle mostly visited schools, as he was not able to attend our evening event. It turns out folks bought the bar guide anyway, and at least one teacher came in after the school event to get Tequila Mockingbird.

Danubia is the new book from the author of the bestselling Germania, a story of the Habsburg Dyanasty's holdings, with the book taking its name from their stronghold along the Danube River. Kirkus Reviews called it a "lucid, often entertaining historical travelogue"

Hardcover Fiction
1. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
2. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
3. An Officer and a Spy, by Robert Harris
4. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival, by Jennifer Chiaverini
5. Still Life with Bread Crumbs, by Anna Quindlen

New to the top five is Robert Harris's An Officer and a Spy, a retelling of the Dreyfus Affair as an espionage novel. As Alan Cheuse said on NPR: "For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called Belle Epoque, the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer."

Paperback Nonfiction
1. 101 Things to Do in Milwaukee Parks, by Barbara Ali
2. My Mexico, by Jackie Reid Dettloff
3. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
4. Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
5. Detroit, by Charlie LeDuff

After a nice paperback run for Detroit City is a Place to be, Charlie LeDuff's Detroit: An American Autopsy pops into the top five for the first week. Since its hardcover release, LeDuff was named "Madman of the Year" by GQ, calling him not just a reporter, but a nightly news performance artist. 

Paperback Fiction
1. The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner
2. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra
3. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
4. Dear Life, by Alice Munro
5. Benediction, by Kent Haruf

Our book club discussion meeting led to pops for The Flamethrowers (being discussed on March 4) and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (scheduled for April 7).  A recent interview with Kushner in The Quietus has Jess Colter summing up what the book is about: "World War One history, motorcycle racing, land art, (and)'70s Italian and American counterculture"

Books for Kids
1. Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle
2. Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, by Tim Federle
3. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
4. Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo
5. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, by Sheila Turnage (coming Feb. 19)
6. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
7. Wildwood Imperium, by Colin Meloy
8. Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs
9. Allegiant, by Veronica Roth
10. The Journey, by Aaron Becker

Those who are wondering about a paperback edition of The Fault in Our Stars can use the film trailer as a guidepost. Books that sell in cloth get delayed but it is very rare that a film release is not accompanied by a paperback. You can say the same for Gone Girl, by the way.

In the Journal Sentinel, Carole E. Barrowman profiles Sue Monk Kidd and her new novel, The Invention of Wings. Per Barrowman, "Kidd's fascinating historical novel is the story of two extraordinary women: the real 19th-century abolitionist and feminist Sarah Grimké, and a female slave, Handful, a character based on one of Grimké's real slaves. The story spans their lives and the lives of their families from 1803 to 1838."

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