Sunday, March 22, 2015

Boswell Bestsellers for the Week Ending March 21, 2015, Including Annotations and Journal Sentinel Reviews.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Whites, by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt
2. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
3. Epitaph, by Mary Doria Russell
4. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
5. Leaving Berlin, by Joseph Kanon

Nothing new popped into our top five this week, but it's nice to see not just our current week's event, with Richard Price for The Whites, who was also a guest on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me this week, but also former event titles Epitaph and Leaving Berlin (and below in paperbacks, Lydia's Party).

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. On the Edge, by Alison Levine
2. Better and Faster, by Jeremy Gutsche
3. Dead Wake, by Erik Larson (our event on 3/24 is sold out)
4. The Politics of Promotion, by Bonnie Marcus
5. Small Miracles from Beyond, by Yitta Halberstam

Some of this week's bestsellers are from the Women's Leadership Conference, and the other two are for offsite events that weren't part of our programming, and Erik Larson's event is sold out, so really, there's nothing to talk about this week. The big news is at #7, where for the second week, Pioneer Girl has been in our top. So glad that the South Dakota State Historical Society was finally able to reprint Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

Oh, and while we didn't run out during the signing, by the end of Women's Leadership Conference we we out of On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments. We'll have more copies on Tuesday.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Euphoria, by Lily King
2. Clockers, by Richard Price
3. The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain
4. Citizen, by Clauida Rankine
5. Lydia's Party, by Margaret Hawkins

Congratulations to Claudia Rankine, whose book Citizen won the National Book Critics Circle award for poetry. And we're thrilled to see the release of Antoine Laurain's new book, The Red Notebook, his follow-up to The President's Hat. Here's Anne McMahon's recommendation: "It may not be a complicated story, but what a story it is! Laure gets mugged. Laurent the bookseller finds her purse. He tries to find her. As he gets clues to her life and gets closer and closer, he finds himself wanting to know everything about her but at the same time, scared to meet her. It takes his precocious daughter (his fairy goddaughter?) to put them together. Such a delightful tale, perhaps even better than The President's Hat. I thoroughly enjoyed it!"

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Milwaukee Mafia, by Gavin Schmitt
2. How to be a Heroine, by Samantha Ellis
3. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
4. North Africa, by Phillip Naylor
5. How to be Interesting, by Jessica Nagy (event at Boswell 4/27)

Our How to be a Heroine promotion is going strong, where now you can also pick your favorite heroine, enter our drawing, and win a copy of...How to be a Heroine! Time for Jane Glaser's recommendation: "Traveling the Haworth moors of the Bronte sisters sets off a query between the author and her friend as to whether Jane Eyre or Catherine Earnshaw is the more admired heroine. Part memoir of growing up in an Iraqi-Jewish family and part informed commentary, readers will travel on a literary journey of self discovery, focusing on the impact that the joy of reading has on shaping our lives, in all its fluidity. Revisiting the heroines of her favorite books, among them as diverse as fairy tale's The Little Mermaid, to Jane Austen's Lizzie Bennett, Thomas Hardy's Tess, E M Forster's Lucy Honeychurch, Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett and Melanie, Salinger's Franny, Sylvia Plath's Esther Greenwood, the author also interweaves a reflection of her life as a writer with the inspired storytelling of Scheherazade. So engaging and enjoyable was this book that it sent me back to the back to the bookshelves to rediscover my favorite heroine!"

Books for Kids:
1. The Thickety V1: The Path Begins, by J.A. White
2. The Thickety V2: The Whispering Trees, by J.A. White
3. Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg
4. Witherwood Reform School, by Obert Skye
5. Arlo Needs Glasses, by Barney Saltzberg
6. The Keepers V1: The Box and the Dragonfly, by Ted Sanders
7. A Little Bit of Oomph, by Barney Saltzberg
8. Creatures from my Closet V1: Wonkenstein, by Obert Skye
9. In Mary's Garden, by Tina and Carson Kugler
10. The Thickety V1: The Path Begins (cloth edition), by J.A. White

This week's top 10 is completely event driven, and like the adult list, there are authors who came to town who did not do a public event, like Barney Saltzberg. What a great day two schools had celebrating Beautiful Oops. For J.A. White, we did the opposite and had two public events, in addition to our three school visits. If you haven't dived into The Thickety series, start with The Path Begins and you'll want to continue with The Whispering Trees. The great thing was that at all the events, lots of kids had read the books already and they were so excited to talk to the author about the books (and since Jerry White teachers third grade, he certainly was the perfect person to talk to him about it.) If you are at a K-12 school within commuting distance of Milwaukee, what are you waiting for? Sign up with Phoebe for our authors in schools program.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins offers his take on Jill Ciment's new novel, Act of God: "Forgive me, mycologists and 'shroom-heads, but few things unsettle me more deeply than the unexpected discovery of fungi where fungi are not supposed to be. Adult twin sisters Edith and Kat make such a find in the opening of Jill Ciment's novel Act of God: 'A small phosphorus organism, about as bright and arresting as a firefly's glow, bloomed in the seam of the hall closet.... A swell rose out of the glow until the head of whatever was fighting to get born pushed through... Kat gasped. Her breath must have disturbed the new life, or awakened it, because a puff of spores sprayed out, luminous and ephemeral as glitter.'Oh dear."

And also from Jim Higgins, here's that Richard Price (writing as Harry Brandt) review of The Whites. "The Whites grips a reader as firmly as any cable or pay-cable cop show you can think of — plus it offers the rich texture of Price's deeply informed writing." If you now feel the desperate urge to see Price in person, my apologies, but it was yesterday. Perhaps it's time to sign up for our email newsletter. But you should also note that we do have some signed copies.

And reprinted from the Miami Herald, Connie Ogle waxes about Phil Klay's Redeployment, just in time to encourage you to read the book and come to our May in-store lit group discussion on May 4.

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