Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Boswell Bestsellers, Week Ending March 8, 2014, and This Time I'm Remembering to Post It.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Bark, by Lorrie Moore (signed copies available)
2. Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson (event 3/22/14)
3. The Red Road, by Denise Mina (signed copies available)
4. One More Thing, by B.J. Novak
5. Still Life with Bread Crumbs, by Anna Quindlen

It take a great books to make a career, but it is clear that charisma doesn't hurt. Denise Mina's first visit to Milwaukee was full of both, and we all fell in love with her. While we were pleased with her turnout, she's the kind of author who could one day get hundreds of attendees, so keep watch for a return visit someday. She's also a voracious reader, recommending not only The Goldfinch and The Luminaries, but several UK novels that haven't come out you, like Suzanne Berne's The Dogs of Littlefield. To keep with the animal motif, she's also hot on Claire Cameron's just released The Bear.

Speaking of charisma and great turnout, we're looking forward to our event with Brandon Sanderson on Saturday, March 22, 7 pm. We'll be running it just like our Michio Kaku event, with line letters for everyone, partly so we don't miss anyone and partly so we can gauge the size of the crowd.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Things that Matter, by Charles Krauthammer (a few signed copies available)
2. Zealot, by Reza Aslan
3. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow
4. Schottenfreude, by by Schott
5. Good Stock, by Sanford D'Amato

When we fear a capacity crowd, we try to mention it as much as possible, suggesting you come early for an event. Folks who liked to time their day so they showed up at 6:59 have been disappointed by not one but two sellouts in the last two weeks. Not just Michio Kaku (and congrats to his #1 New York Times bestseller) but also Charles Krauthammer, who hit the 700 capacity of Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall.

Boy, we've had quite the role of authors. We've now co-hosted four of the #1 bestselling authors this year at Milwaukee events: Malcolm Gladwell, Sue Monk Kidd, Charles Krauthammer and Michio Kaku. I have the strangest feeling that Brandon Sanderson, though he's never hit #1 before as a solo writer, could join that list. We'll see next week.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat, by Edward Kelsey Moore
2. The Selector of Souls, by Shauna Singh Baldwin
3. Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson
4. Freeman, by Leonard Pitts
5. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra

Not one but two of the authors in this week's top five are being feted at upcoming Milwaukee lunches. The Delta Memorial Endowment Fund is hosting their 38th annual literary lunch at the ICC on Saturday, April 26 with Edward Kelsey Moore. Information is available at their sponsor's website, Jammin' 98.3.

The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Lunch is Thursday, May 8, at the Wisconsin Club. More information in the latest issue of The Reader. And if you want to really lunch out this week, on May 7 is the annual Ozaukee Family Services annual spring brunch with Barbara Rinella as Elizabeth the Queen. It's at Shully's in Thienesville.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Monuments Men, by Robert Edsel
2. Shakespeare Saved my Life, by Laura Bates
3. Brewing in Milwaukee, by Brenda Magee
4. Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
5. Alone on the Ice, by David Roberts

Alone on the Ice (W.W. Norton) didn't make it to our bestseller roundup in hardcover, but its story was compelling enough to pop off the new paperback table. Sandra Dallas in the Denver Post wrote: "In Alone on the Ice, former Colorado resident Roberts, whose first book The Mountain of My Fear, about his own brush with death on an icy mountain a generation ago, tells the Mawson story in cold prose. You feel the freezing temperatures, the fear, the desperation, along with the loyalty of the other AAE members."

Books for Kids:
1. The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau
2. Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowmn
3. Independent Study, by Joelle Charbonneau
4. When Audrey Met Alice, by Rebecca Behrens
5. Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done, by Stephan Pastis
6. What the Moon Said, by Gayle Rosengren
7. Wanderville, by Wendy McClure
8. Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage
9. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
10. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, by Sheila Turnage

Hollow Earth's run as the All-City book club selection for teens is keeping the book on our bestseller lists, in between current and former event runs with, well, everyone else except John Green. I think I mentioned last week that Stephan Pastis made some school visits in the area; we still have signed copies of his books, plus Sheila Turnage, Joelle Charbonneau, Gayle Rosengren, Rebecca Behrens, and Wendy McClure.

I'm in the process of scheduling an event for Joelle Charbonneau for Graduation Day (the book goes on sale June 17) shortly. For those who missed her wonderful presentation, stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to the trilogy. And for those who aren't aware of Joelle Charbonneau's fight to stop penalizing wrong answers on the SAT (in the series, wrong answers are deadly), the College Board announced they have made that change going forward in 2016.

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dina Mengestu's All Our Names (Knopf, he moved over from Riverhead) gets a strong review from Mike Fischer. He notes: "Names both invokes and channels Great Expectations--a novel, like this one, about letting go of myths we'll never inhabit, so that we might craft new stories that set us free."

Jim Higgins rounds up some of our March events that might have a strong interest to teen readers, including Kathy Reichs and Shannon Hale, and even adult novels like Nickolas Butler's Shotgun Lovesongs, and The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat, with Edward Kelsey Moore appearing at Books and Company on March 20. I second that Moore's book is very teen friendly, and Butler's too; both are about adults whose relationships were formed by their high school years and in both cases, parents can read along, not worrying about things being too violent, too racy, or too cursey.

One day we hope to host Laura Lippman, but it's something to aspire to, right? Meanwhile we can admire from afar, with this nice profile of the author, in conjunction with the publication of After I'm Gone. Leslie Gray Streeter for the Palm Beach Post notes that Baltimore looms large as always, but Lippman defends her license to make stuff up. She is a novelist, after all.

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