Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hamsters, Dreams, Quests, China, and Post-Apocalyptic Shakespeare Rules in This Week's Roundup of Boswell's Bestsellers, Plus the Journal Sentinel Reviews.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
2. The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
3. All the Lights We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
4. Perfidia, by James Ellroy
5. The Secret Place, by Tana French
6. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
7. North of the Tension Line, by J.F. Riordan (event 9/29 at MPL's Loos Room)
8. The Edge of Eternity, by Ken Follet
9. To Dwell in Darkness, by Deborah Crombie (event 10/15 at Boswell)
10. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Ian McEwan has been on the bestseller lists for several weeks, but I think it fell through the cracks regarding our new and noteworthy roundups. The Children Act is about a judge who must rule on whether a teenage boy from the Jehovah's Witness faith can have a blood transfusion when his parents choose against it, while at the same time, she herself is dealing with a crisis in her own family. But as McEwan notes in his interview with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition, according to the 1989 Children Act, children don't belong to parents, they belong to the world. 

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Happiness of Pursuit, by Chris Guillebeau
2. The Burglary, by Betty Medsger
3. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow
4. This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein
5. The Grumpy Cat Guide to Life
6. Tennessee Williams, by John Lahr
7. Plenty, by Yottam Ottolenghi
8. How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
9. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda
10. In the Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides

Betty Medsger visited the Milwaukee Film Festival for two screenings of 1971. Her book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI was part of the discussion following Saturday's screening, sponsored by the ACLU-Wisconsin. Boswell's other sponsored film is the 20th anniversary airing of Crumb, the documentary from 1994 We've got a nice selection of R. Crumb books at Boswell right now.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Anatomy of Dreams, by Chloe Benjamin
2. This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper
3. Saving Kandinsky, by Mary Basson
4. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
5. Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
6. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy (event 9/30 at Boswell)
7. This Day, by Wendell Berry
8. Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
9. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
10. Infatuations, by Javier Marias

Just out in paperback is This Day, Wendell Berry's collection of Sabbathday poems. Berry has written these poems about his solitary Sabbath walks for 35 years. The collection was recently included in a list of ten books to read this fall for deeper faith in Relevant magazine. 

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Once Upon a Time in China, by Christine Merritt
2. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
3. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
4. Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
5. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon

The Journal Sentinel reports here on Michelle Alexander's visit to MATC for The New Jim Crow. "Here in the state of Wisconsin, more than half of young black men from Milwaukee County have been incarcerated in state correctional facilities and then stripped of their civil rights — rights supposedly won during the civil rights movement," Gina Barton reported.

Books for Kids:
1. Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show, by Janet Tashjian
2. Einstein the Class Hamster, by Janet Tashjian
3. My Life as a Book, by Janet Tashjian
4. My Life as a Cartoonist, by Janet Tashjian
5. My Life as a Joke, by Janet Tashjian
6. Afterworlds, by Scot Westerfeld (event 10/1 at Shorewood Public Library)
7. Positive, by Paige Rawl
8. My Life as a Stuntboy, by Janet Tashjian
9. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
10. Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld

Guess who was in Milwaukee this week? We still have signed copies of Einstein the Class Hamster, the sequel set at "a very real game show," and many of Janet Tashjian's other books. Paige Rawl and Scott Westerfeld sales are also event related, though Westerfeld is not here until this coming Wednesday, October 1, 6:30, at Shorewood Public Library, sales at our school events have already begun. Our bestselling book that is not event or class related? Its A Halloween Scare in Wisconsin, all the way down at #16.

This week's featured profile in the Journal Sentinel is Paige Rawl, who was in town this week for her memoir, Positive. Higgins notes: "Education and prevention are the most important things schools can do about bullying."

Also featured is a review of The Betrayers, by David Bezmozgis, originally from the Los Angeles Times. David L. Ulin discusses how setting his book in Crimea made the story particularly timely, but it was unintentional.Ulin had some issues with the story, but it certainly led him to ponder the issues raised. As you may know, The Betrayers was just longlisted for the Giller prize; you should also know that Bezmozgis will be at Boswell on Monday, November 17, in an event co-sponsored by the Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

And finally, the Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce is featured in the print edition in the Journal Sentinel, an semi-autobiographical novel about a self-loathing novelist that "hurts herself as a way of life." Chris Vognar's review is from the Dallas Morning News. There's also a profile from Joyce Sáenz Harris of this Dallas writer, a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and now executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund.

Oh, and I've never posted Jim Higgins' video review of the Milwaukee County Zoo book from Arcadia Publishing.

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