Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Bestsellers for the Week Ending May 17, 2014.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
2. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
3. The Serpent of Venice, by Christopher Moore
4. The Skin Collector, by Jeffery Deaver
5. The Painter, by Peter Heller

With my natural inclination for pacifism, I'm hoping that the new Jeffery Deaver novel is about collecting the dead cells of skin that naturally fall off our bodies. But no, The Skin Collector is a sequel of sorts to The Bone Collector, and the criminal isn't an archeologist. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to stop a killer who murders victims with tattoos containing poison ink.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty
2. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, by Roz Chast
3. Congratulations, by the Way, by George Saunders
4. Countdown, by Alan Weisman
5. No Place to Hide, by Glenn Greenwald

Well, so much for Roz Chast's non event sales record for 2014. We sold double that this past week, as orders piled up for Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. A lot of press this week popped Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, including this interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Selector of Souls, by Shauna Singh Baldwin
2. The Tiger Claw, by Shauna Singh Baldwin
3. The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, by Edward Kelsey Moore
4. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay
5. Saving Kandinsky, by Mary "Peetie" Basson

One of the problems with offsite events when we have have a partner is sometimes it takes some time for us to be able to log sales, as we don't know exactly how many books we've sold to attendees. In the case of Edward Kelsey Moore, we sold the books several different ways and the each waves was reported separately. I should also note I mentioned Moore to Roxane Gay, and she told me he attended her event for An Untamed State in Chicago!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Strength for the Struggle, by Joseph Ellwanger
2. Countdown, by Alan Weisman
3. We Flew Over the Bridge, by Faith Ringgold
4. Banning DDT, by Bill Berry
5. Hidden History of Milwaukee, by Robet Tanzilo (event Wed. May 21, 7 pm)

I think this is going to Robert Tanzilo's third event at Boswell. There was talk of hosting him for one of his books which was published in Italian, but I think that fell through! Hidden History of Milwaukee promises to be his most accessible book yet, and could well have the largest turnout this Wednesday.

Books for Kids:
1. The Search for WondLa (volume 1), by Tony DiTerlizzi
2. The Battle for WondLa (volume 2), by Tony DiTerlizzi
3. Tar Beach (paperback), by Faith Ringgold
4. Tar Beach (hardcover), by Faith Ringgols
5. A Hero for WondLa (volume 3), by Tony DiTerlizzi

Heading down the list, it's a lot of DiTerlizzi and Faith Ringgold, until you reach The Fault in Our Stars. And yes, we have signed copies of The Battle for WondLa, still in stock.

Over in the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins offers high praise for Edwyn St. Aubyn's new novel, Lost for Words. "The English press has speculated that Lost for Words may be Edward St. Aubyn's revenge against the Man Booker Prize and its various judges. If so, the prize's best response might be adding this wormwood-flavored novel to the next Booker longlist."

It's time for Carole E. Barrowman's monthly column, "Paging Through Mysteries." She calls Karin Salvaggio's debut work, Bone Dust White, "outstanding." From Barrowman: "Set in Montana's Flathead Valley, Salvalaggio's characters and the landscape of their lives are astutely drawn." Deborah Crombie calls Salvaggio "a stunning new voice in crime fiction."

Barrowman says that The Book of You, by Claire Kendal, is also outstanding. "Dusted with allusions to fairy tales, this is a portrait of an obsession, a tale of terror and an impressive thriller" that starts with a woman whose being stalked, learning that the only way for the police to step in is when a crime is committed. Then she reports for jury duty... Every psychological thriller these days is compared to Gone Girl, but Barrowman calls up Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters as comparisons.

As we mentioned earlier on Facebook, we knew Downing's review in the Journal Sentinel was going to miss our event by a couple of days. What we didn't know was that Downing would also miss our event! I picked him up at the airport and got books signed for both us and Mystery One, and can vouch that he had some good stories to share. Let's home he comes back. Barrowman says, regarding Jack of Spies, that "Downing treads into fresh territory, the rising nationalist movements in Europe and Asia, including Ireland and India's independence movements, leading up to World War I."

I've heard good things about Ace Atkins Spenser reboot. For the latest, Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot, Barrowman notes "the plot is thin, but pacing is swift and dialogue driven, and although the clichéd racial mockery between Spenser and Hawk is a bit tired, it's Spenser and Susan and Boston and who cares about the rest."

Also in the print edition of the Journal Sentinel, David Ulin's review of Laline Paull's The Bees is reprinted from the Los Angeles Times

And finally, a reminder that Elfrieda Abbe reviewed two books from Janet Burroway in Thursday's Cue section. Losing Tim and A Story Larger than My Own. She writes: "Though disparate topics, the books have in common the idea that looking at the past helps us understand the present, and both benefit from Burroway's abiding curiosity, her sense of decency and literary sensibilities."

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