Sunday, November 2, 2014

This Week (ending November 1, 2014) the Boswell Bestseller List Digs a BIt Deeper, Plus Links to the Journal Sentinel Book Reviews.

Here we go, deeper into the lists, what with the holiday purchases beginning. Oh, and before we start, don't forget that we close at 5 pm tonight, for our last round up rep presentations. It's out in Oconomowoc, at Books and Company, so we need some time to get there.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
2. The Thing Beneath the Bed, by Patrick Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor
3. The Dark of Deep Below, by Patrick Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor
4. Rogues, edited by George R.R. Martin
5. The Lesser Dead, by Christopher Buehlman
6. Lila, by Marilynne Robinson
7. Peripheral, by William Gibson
8. The Narrow road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
9. The Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe, by Alexander McCall Smith
10. Prince Lestat, by Anne Rice
11. A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
12. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
13. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami
14. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
15. Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle

Since we were treated to a vampire night with Christopher Buehlman this week, it seemed fitting to check in with a classic, and I don't mean Dracula. Its been 11 years since the last Vampire Chronicle from Anne Rice, and regarding Prince Lestat, Publishers Weekly writes: "Compared to the poorly received Blood Canticle, Rice's newest Vampire Chronicles installment is triumphant." The newest installment finds the vampires in crisis, and moves from present day America to ancient Rome and Egypt in pursuit of the story. Daniel D'Addario in Time magazine proclaims the newest "bloody marvelous."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Make it Ahead, by Ina Garten
2. Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler
3. Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunahm
4. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow
5. I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
6. Fields of Blood, by Karen Armstrong
7. Twelve Recipes, by cal Peternell
8. Empire of Sin, by Gary Krist
9. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
10. Food: A Love Story, by Jim Gaffigan
11. The Cooks Illustrated Meat Book, by America's Test Kitchen
12. Worthy Fights, by Leon Panetta
13. The Half Has Never Been Told, by Edward E. Baptist
14. Inventing the Individual, by Larry Siedentop
15. Even This I Get to Experience, by Norman Lear

While I'm fascinated by Amy Poehler's book Yes, Please, I do sometimes think that it would be great to do something that Tina Fey didn't do, being that they've both had SNL breakouts, did the newscast together, hosted the Golden Globes Together, had long-running television shows, starred separately in advertising campaigns (American Express and Old Navy)and together in at least one film (Baby Mama). Now they can both say they have bestselling books. It would be nice if Poehler could break new ground, perhaps by designing by finding a new element for the periodic table or developing a shoe collection, but we'll have to wait for that. Rachel Dry says the new book is "funny and honest" in The Washington Post.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Torchwood: Exodus Code, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
2. The Name of the Wind (trade), by Patrick Rothfuss
3. If Not for This, by Pete Fromm
4. A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas
5. The Name of the Wind (mass market), by Patrick Rothfuss
6. Wise Man's Fear (trade), by Patrick Rothfuss
7. Wise Man's Fear (mass market), by Patrick Rothfuss
8. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
9. The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
10. The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
11. Does Not Love, by James Tadd Adcox
12. Crazy Horse's Girlfriend, by Erika Wurth
13. Dissident Gardens, by Jonathan Lethem
14. The Circle, by Dave Eggers
15. The Martian, by Andy Weir

Two pretty different fiction books crack the paperback bestseller list after good runs in hardcover. The Luminaries won the Man Booker in hardcover (Catton was the youngest winner ever) and Back Bay/Hachette made the decision to hold out on the paperback release for the traditional year cycle. We'll see if that pays off. Meanwhile The Martian, a spring hardcover that first gained traction as a self-published book in 2012, was in part powered by an app, per this article in Wired magazine.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
2. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
3. Children's Writers and Illustrators Market 2015
4. Christianity without God, by Daniel Maguire
5. Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
6. Anything Goes, by John Barrowman with Carole E. Barrowman
7. Fresh Off the Boat, by Eddie Huang
8. Writing with Pictures, by Uri Shulevitz
9. Cat Sense, by John Bradshaw
10. What We See When We Read, by Peter Mendelsund
11. Assholes, by Aaron James
12. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
13. How to Eat, by Thich Nhat Hanh
14. Milwaukee, by Todd D'Acquisto
15. After Visiting Friends, by Michael Hainey

To answer you're questions, we've got a particularly active book club reading After Visiting Friends while Fresh Off the Boat is being read by a class. You'll notice it more in the kids' bestsellers, but we were also at the SCBWI conference selling last weekend, and that led to nice pops for things like the Childrens Writers Market. Jason noted we have been doing very well with these nicely packaged Thich Nhat Hanh books, not just How to Eat, which is on the list this week, but also How to Sit.

Books for Kids:
1. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, by Wendelin Van Draanen
2. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
3. This is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen
4. Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
5. President Taft is Stuck in the Bath, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
6. Hollow Earth, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
7. Bone Quill, by Jon and Carole E. Barrowman
8. I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen
9. Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, by Wendelin Van Draanen
10. Road Rash, by Mark Huntley Parsons
11. Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, by Wendelin Van Draanen
12. The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove
13. Sophie's Squash, by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
14. Telephone, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jen Corace
15. Hula Hoopin' Queen, by Thelma Lynne Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
16. Double Exposure, by Bridget Birdsall
17. Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, by Wendelin Van Draanen
18. Stubby the War Dog, by Ann Bausum
19. Kate Walden Directs Night of the Zombie Chickens, by Julie Mata
20. It's a Tiger, by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

With three school visits being closed out this week and the Barrowmans appearing at Fantasicon, a new comic book convention that hopes to move downtown next year, after a debut at an airport hotel, it's hard to see the wonderful authors that were at SCBWI this year, including locals like Thelma Lynne Godin, whose picture book The Hula Hoopin' Queen, about a girl with a special talent, came out this past summer. Publishers Weekly called it "a snappy story about a tight-knit urban community."

In the Journal Sentinel books section, Mike Fischer reviews the latest novel from Richard Ford, Let Me Be Frank with You, where his Frank Bascomb (get it? It's a pun!) character from The Sportswriter visits four folks over four sections who are all contemplating death as Frank himself, a cancer survivor at 68, is still genial and upbeat. In the end, it appears to be a story about mindfulness as Frank tells us: "living in the moment makes each such moment — and the choices made within them — count more."

Also in the Journal Sentinel, Chris Foran takes on A History of America in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps, from Chris West. This originally from the UK publication is riding the wave of the history in objects wave that we have reviously noted has been particularly popular across the pond. Foran's take: "More than the 'Britain" book,' however, A History of America in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps reverse-engineers its subject. West finds stamps that he thinks express something about an epoch in American history, and then offers an idiosyncratic synthesis of each period.The approach doesn't always work. But when it does, West delivers dollops of insight on American history and how stamps played a role in it."

Jim Higgins notes in the Journal Sentinel that "Toronto artist Sarah Lazarovic grapples thoughtfully and humorously with the art, ethics and seductive power of shopping in her beautiful little book, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy." To me, it looks like a millennial's version of Sara Midda, but instead of drawing beautiful pictures about Provence, her topic appears to be malls and flea markets and internet websites and various closets. I admit I am fascinated.

And don't forget about the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books in Waukesha next weekend.

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