Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bestseller Recap: Discworld Adventures and Bosnia Discoveries, No Drama Prom-as and a Heroic Battle Between Shannon Hale and Brandon Sanderson for Bestseller Domination.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
2. Blackberry Pie Murder, by Joanne Fluke
3. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler
4. Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett
5. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

I am still recovering from our late night with Brandon Sanderson (in a good way) and have noticed as I've been compiling bestseller lists that many of his favorite authors also had sales pops. One fellow he mentioned more than once is Terry Pratchett, whose new Discworld novel, Raising Steam, just came out this week. Yes, after 40 novels, steam engines have finally come to Discworld. Ben Aaronovitch in The Guardian (UK) calls Pratchett "one of the most consistently funny writers around; a master of the stealth simile, the time-delay pun and the deflationary three-part list."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Astoria, by Peter Stark
2. Jesus, by James Martin
3. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
4. Command and Control, by Eric Schlosser
5. The Future of the Mind, by Michio Kaku

I looked at the bestseller lists and saw Sheryl Sandberg back in ascendance and also saw Peter Stark pop onto the Indie Bound bestseller list and wondered where our pop was, considering Stark is appearing for Astoria at Boswell on Tuesday, April 8 and Sandberg is being heavily touted by the panelists at the Women's Leadership Conference on April 4 (though I should emphasize here that she's not coming--Vernice Armour and Dara Torres are, however). So here they are, both on our top five this week. Here's The Wall Street Journal review, where Gerald Helferich writes that Stark "recounts the colony's history as a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure tale."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
2. The Emperor's Soul, by Brandon Sanderson
3. Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson
4. Dear Life, by Alice Munro
5. The Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline

Harper muscles another breakout novel to the #1 slot of The New York Times bestseller list with Orphan Train. There's no particular media hit to my knowledge, just good word of mouth and strong placement at retailers. For all the book clubs reading this book, hope you have this NPR interview from last year. I'm sure it will be very helpful.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff
2. Monkey Mind, by Daniel Smith
3. The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
4. The Bosnia List, by Kenan Trebincevic
5. The Unwinding, by George Packer

New to our bestseller list is Kenan Trebincevic's The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return, where a displaced Muslim tells of returning to his homeland to visit the scene of the carnage that tore apart his country. Ian Frazier wrote "“Kenan Trebincevic’s story of survival and remembrance is moving, well-told, and important for all of us to hear. He makes a powerful case for courage and human decency as the only way through the divisive madness of modern life.” And Laura Eggertson reviews this "powerful memoir" in The Toronto Star.

Books for Kids:
1. Ask Again Later, by Liz Czukas
2. Dangerous, by Shannon Hale
3. Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
4. Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
5. Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson
6. The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
7. Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
8. The Palace of Stone, by Shannon Hale
9. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
10. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers

Friends Shannon Hale and Brandon Sanderson battled it out for domination on our bestseller lists but local Liz Czukas squeeked in a victory with her launch event at the Manpower headquarters for her new paperback original, Ask Again Later. This prom-like party, a fundraiser for the Cinderella Project, played off the prom theme in the novel, where a teenage girl decides to not do a traditional prom (no drama prom-a), only to have two offers. Booklist wrote "Czukas' debut is pure fun; at times, readers will feel as if in a John Hughes movie, and that's a good thing."

In the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins talks up Angela Sorby's new collection of poetry, The Sleeve Waves, while also noting her editorship of the children's poetry anthology, Over the River and Through the Wood. Our event is Wednesday, March 26, 7 pm.

Mike Fischer reviews Teju Cole's novel, Every Day is for the Thief, finally published in the USA. Fischer notes "The Lagos presented here teems with stories; the question confronting Cole's unnamed narrator is whether he'll be able to tell them without falling apart."

And reprinted from the Los Angeles Times is Carolyn Kellogg's profile of Ayelet Waldman, whose new novel, Love and Treasure, is out on April 1.

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