Sunday, January 11, 2015

Boswell Bestsellers for the Week Ending January 10, 2015

Yes, I've been on blog hiatus, but it's one of those things where the only way I could clean up my close to 1000 email backlog was by taking it on full throttle. It's a little better now, but still not where I want it to be. Someday, someday.

The second thing I wanted to note is that we are scheduled for inventory tonight at 5 pm, so Boswell is closing early. We're open 10 am to 5 pm instead of our normal 6 pm closing time. It's great that we'll probably have the best weather of the week, but a little unfortunate that it comes during the Packers-Cowboys game, when most of you will be staying home or will be riveted to a bar stool. But life can be like that. We're still grateful for a warm, dry December.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
2. The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
3. Reployment, by Phil Klay
4. Honeydew, by Edith Pearlman
5. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

A new exciting book to sell! Edith Pearlman's first book of stories published by a "major" was featured on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. Laura Van Der Berg calls Honeydew "a majestic, fleet-footed new collection."

And did you hear that Redeployment's Phil Klay will be one of the last guests on The Colbert Report?

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast
2. Seventh Generation Earth Ethics, by Patty Loew (appearing at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center January 20)
3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
4. This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein
5. The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore

Both have far surpassed what we've sold of Jill Lepore in the past, but this week The Secret History of Wonder Woman edged passed sales of The Book of Ages, Lepore's previous book about Ben Franklin's sister. As Audrew Bilger said in her San Francisco Chronicle review, "Suffering Sappho!

Paperback Fiction:
1. Oedipius at Colonus, by Sophocles, translated by David Mulroy
2. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
3. The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, by Lesley Kagen (rescheduled at Boswell for January 19)
4. Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
5. Badlands, by Thomas Biel

We're gearing up for our visit with Mary Doria Russell for Epitaph by trying to get folks to read Doc beforehand. We've got two aggressive hand-sellers in the store in Jason and Anne, plus the in-store book club reading Doc on February 2.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
2. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
3. What We See When We Read, by Peter Mendelsund
4. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
5. Worth Fighting For, by Rory Fanning

Dwight Garner wrote in The New York Times that "like a TED talk or a lesser Alain de Botton book, Peter Mendelsund’s What We See When We Read is friendly and shyly philosophical, filled with news you can almost use" by which he seemed to mean that he didn't really like the book until page 200, when he started to get into it.

Books for Kids:
1. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
2. Sisters, by Raina Telgemeier
3. Goodnight Moon board book, by Margaret Wise Brown
4. Squirrels on Skis, by J. Hamilton Ray, with illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre
5. Love Monster board book, by Rachel Bright

The Love Monster is a slightly hairy creature trying to fit in with the other residents of Cutesville. If this book exploded beyond Valentine's Day, maybe we'd get to 100 copies, something that Goodnight Moon does most years at Boswell. And Love Monster shows that for most books, the path is from hardcover picture book to board book, not paperback. And then you spin off to a Christmas book, Love Monster: The Perfect Present? There will likely be a paperback, but that will likely be an early chapter book. And then a Halloween book. And then a first-day-at-school book.  But we'll always love the original Love Monster the best.

This week in the Journal Sentinel, the print edition has Chris Vognar's review of Fire Shut Up in My Bones and a profile of Patton Oswalt's Silver Screen Fiend, both already enjoying recommendations from Boswellians. Jim Higgins reviews The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord. "Lord has created a complex universe here. Her opening chapter fills in some background for people who haven't read The Best of All Possible Worlds" but Higgins seems to really think you need to read that book first.

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