Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boswell Bestseller Blast Off: What Wowed Our Customers for the Week Ending May 9, 2015

Hardcover Fiction:
1. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (Pulitzer pop!)
2. A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson
3. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
4. God Help the Child, by Toni Morrison
5. Beneath the Bonfire, by Nickolas Butler
6. We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas (event at Boswell Mon 6/8)
7. The Dream LoveR, by Elizabeth Berg (MPL lunch is Thu 6/4, see below)
8. The Fall, by John Lescroart
9. Falling in Love, by Donna Leon
10. The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell

Tickets sales have closed for the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Lunch on Thursday, Mary 14 with Elizabeth Berg. That said, you can still get a copy of The Dream Lover signed. Ask your friendly bookseller. Many of the novels of George Sand (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, Baroness Dudevant) are only available in academic and contract-published editions, if at all, but we've got two available for purchase. Indiana is probably her best known novel and What Flowers Say is a collection of her stories.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The China Mirage, by James Bradley
2. The Power Playbook, by La La Anthony
3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
4. The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough
5. Dead Wake, by Erik Larson
6. The Road to Character, by David Brooks
7. Missoula, by Jon Krakauer
8. On the Move, by Oliver Sacks 9. Listen to Your Mother, edited by Ann Imig
10. Between You and Me, by Mary Norris

By coming in right before Mother's Day, David McCullough does triple duty by being a great gift for moms, dads, and grads. The Wright Brothers is getting a lot of review attention, including this piece from Reeve Lindbergh (Charles's daughter) in The Washington Post. She writes: "The detailed glimpses of the Wright family revealed in the first pages of David McCullough’s superb new book, The Wright Brothers, give more personal information than most of us can claim to know about aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright." The Associated Press's Hillel Italie (reprinted in the Journal Sentinel) offers a profile. And here's a piece from the (I think it was originally Bridgeport) Connecticut Post where they report that McCullough dismisses Gustave Whitehead's claim that he flew before the Wrights.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Into the Realm of Time, by Scott Douglas Prill
2. The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain
3. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
4. Listen and Other Stories, by Liam Callanan
5. The Doors You Mark are Your Own, by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement
6. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
7. Euphoria, by Lily King
8. Meet Me Halfway, by Jennifer Morales (event Sat 6/6 2 pm at Washington Park Library)
9. The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty
10. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler

When a book sells in hardcover for a really long time, one wonders whether it will have life in paperback. Usually the movie release is the thing that's needed for that next pop, and while there will be a film version most likely (the rights were acquired by Oprah's Harpo Films, Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings is not one of those books where they were forced to release the paperback because the film was imminent, and really, it's only about 15 months past the hardcover release. We've gotten so used to these 6-8 months paperback cycles that when something takes a year, it feels like a delay.

We had several nice launches this week, including Silvia Acevedo's for God Awful Loser and Scott Douglas Prill for Into the Realm of Time. Congratulations to both authors.

 Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore
2. Dotcom Secrets, by Russell Brunson
3. The Boys on the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
4. Flags of Our Fathers, by James Bradley
5. How to Be a Heroine, by Samantha Ellis
6. At the Table, by Elizabeth Crawford
7. Enchanted Forest, by Johanna Basford
8. Milwaukee Mafia, by Gavin Schmitt (event at MPL Central Mon 7/13)
9. The Lady in Gold, by Anne Marie O'Connor
10. Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

For the last three years, we've been invited to the Ozaukee Family Services breakfast fundraiser, featuring Barbara Rinella, and it's a great chance for us to chat about books with the attendees, both before and after the talk (plus Rinella makes a lot of book recommendations too). This year we asked Boswellian Jane Glaser to get involved, and of course she saw a lot of old friends from Schwartz and Next Chapter. How to be a Heroine was of course a huge hit for her, and I had fun helping folks discover The Red Notebook. One book she suggested bringing was Kelly Corrigan's Glitter and Glue.

Books for Kids:
1. Pieces and Players, by Blue Balliett
2. Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett
3. God Awful Loser, by Silvia Acevedo
4. Geronimo Stilton #1: The Lost Treasure of Emerald Eye, from Scholastic
5. Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana, by James Dean
6. If You Were a Dog, by Jamie A. Swenson, with illustrations by Chris Raschka
7. The Adventures of Beekle, by Dan Santat
8. Wringer, by Jerry Spinelli
9. I Love Dogs, by Sue Stainton, with illustrations by Bob Staake
10. Saint Anything, by Sarah Dessen

Happy National Children's Book Week, with 40% of the bestseller list being titles that were featured in our programming. Jamie Swenson's books involve a lot of sounds (onomatopoeia, which I probably would not have spelled correctly without some sort of dictionary) with her previous book using the noises of a truck and a thunderstorm. For her newest book, If You Were a Dog, she was inspired by a boy who came into her library (she's a librarian!) and woofed at her. A very nice woman explained to her that on this day, her grandson was a dog. At storytime, said dog convinced other kids that they were also animals. I have completely paraphrased this story and apologize for any details i got wrong. We've already used If You were a Dog at storytime, and boy, is it great to read aloud!

In the  Journal Sentinel Jim Higgins reviews Dasha Kelly's Almost Crimson. He writes: "While Almost Crimson is not a YA book per se, the scenes of CeCe's childhood, coping with her mother's condition, with social workers and with school conflicts, are so compelling I would want to put this novel in the hands of teens like CeCe with a depressed parent. Portions of the novel about her adult life deal, tastefully and with humor, with her virginity and what she might do about that, so parents, librarians and teachers will want to consider that. I would have been fine with either of my teens reading Almost Crimson. Our event with Dasha Kelly is Tuesday, May 12, 7 pm, at Boswell.

Also reviewed by Jim Higgins is The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The Mostly True Story of the First Computer. He's a fan: "Sydney Padua's The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage has so many things going for it, I could go on and on, the way that Ada Lovelace did in her famous footnotes. But for the sake of readers in a hurry, here's the takeaway: It will make you laugh, and it will make you smarter." As Higgins notes, it grew out of a webcomic.

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