Sunday, May 17, 2015

Straight form Milwaukee, it's Boswell's Bestsellers for the Week Ending May 16, 2015, Featuring the Journal Sentinel Book Reviews.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Dream Lover, by Elizabeth Berg
2. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
3. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
4. A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson
5. Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry
6. Pleasantville, by Attica Locke
7. The Green Road, by Anne Enright
8. My Struggle Volume 4, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
9. The Daylight Marriage, by Heidi Pitlor
10. The Book of Aron, by Jim Shepard (event Jun 18 at Boswell)

Though we are still basking in the glow of an absolutely lovely lunch with Elizabeth Berg (and yes, we're now #1 for The Dream Lover on Above the Treeline), It's time to move on, right? But not before noting that we even got one of George Sand's books, the story collection, What Flowers Say, into our top ten paperbacks. But there's lots of other interesting things going on this week, like a first week pop into the top ten for Jim Shepard's The Book of Aron, coming to Milwaukee on June 18, co-sponsored by the UWM Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, which Ron Charles called "a masterpiece" in the Washington Post. And Sharon's pick, Heidi Pitlor's The Daylight Marriage, which got a nice review by Nick Romeo on The Boston Globe, who praises its "taut suspense and subtle characterization." And look, there's Attica Locke's Pleasantville, her follow-up to the terrific Black Water Rising. Isabel Berwick in The Financial Times uses the adverb "brilliantly" to describe what Locke takes on. Read this review for context; you won't be disappointed.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Children of the Stone, by Sandy Tolan
2. Elsie De Wolfe's Paris, by Charlie Scheips
3. Hold Still, by Sally Mann
4. A Lucky Life Interrupted, by Tom Brokaw
5. The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough
6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Condo
7. H is for Hawk, by Helen MacDonald
8. The Art of Forgery, by Noah Charney
9. Believer, by David Axelrod (signing at Marquette Jun 2, 1:15 pm following sold out talk)
10. It's a Long Story, by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson's back! I thought he said it all in Roll Me Up and Smoke me Till I Die, but It's a Long Story is, per Nathan Whitlock in The Globe and Mail, "a piece of work that is soulful, goofy, profane, heartfelt, tossed off, a little sloppy around the edges and deeply idiosyncratic." The big pop for the week, though, was Sally Mann's Hold Still. Lots of advance holds on this one, and that was before her featured turn on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Oh, and Tom Brokaw was featured on Fresh Air too for his memoir, A Lucky life Interrupted.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Almost Crimson, by Dasha Kelly
2. Rise from the River, by Kathie Giorgio
3. Shotgun Lovesongs, by Nickolas Butler
4. Euphoria, by Lily King
5. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
6. Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy
7. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
8. Colorless Tuskuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami
9. What Flowers Say, by George Sand
10. Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

After a strong hardcover run nationally, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You pops into our top ten on its paperback run. Here's The New York Times review from Alexander Chee. And yes, Far From the Madding Crowd opened at the Downer Theater on Friday. It's playing at 4, 7, and 9:50. How can one not link to a review (the New Orleans Advocate) that calls it "masterpiece cinema" Amusingly enough, basic searches still bring up the 1968 version.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Emotional Life of Your Brain, by Richard J. Davidson
2. At the Table: by Elizabeth Crawford
3. Mindset, by Carol Dweck
4. Isaac's Storm, by Erik Larson
5. Escaping Into the Open, by Elizabeth Berg
6. How to Be Interesting, by Jessica Hagy
7. Growing in the Midwest, by Edward Lyon
8. Abominable Science, by Daniel Loxton
9. Strength for the Struggle, by Joseph Ellwanger
10. The Third Plate, by Dan Barber

Congratulations to The Third Plate's Dan Barber, who just received the James Beard award for food writing. Many books received honors, but cookbook of the year came from University of Texas Press, which published David Sterling's Yucatan. And of course our local food writer, Elizabeth Crawford, continues to sell at Boswell. Here's Nancy Stoh's story on At the Table in the Journal Sentinel.

Books for Kids:
1. Galactic Hot Dogs V1: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway, by Max Brallier
2. Nightsiders V1 The Orphan Army, by Jonathan Maberry
3. Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens V1, by Julie Mata
4. Kate Walden Directs: Bride of Slug Man v2, by Julie Mata
5. Pieces and Players, by Blue Balliett
6. Oh, the Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss
7. An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir
8. Home, by Carson Ellis
9. Rot and Ruin V1, by Jonathan Maberry
10. I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarr

It's almost the last of our school visits (Andy Rash and Elissa Brent Weissman should still have sales pops in the coming week) and we celebrate with no less than 7 of the top 10 being from authors who did events with Boswell. Max Brallier celebrated the release of his middle grade series Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway with mini dogs from Dr. Dawg at the North Shore Library. I wanted to serve something for Jonathan Maberry's The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army but what? Candy guts? It can be hard to do public events for first-timers, and while both Brallier and Maberry are seasoned authors, this was their first time targeting the 8-12 crowd. Come to think of it, we had a lot of first-time middle grade authors in school year 2014-2015. It appears to be the sweet spot for school tours.

Wow! Neal Stephenson is profiled by Jim Higgins in the Journal Sentinel for his new novel, Seveneves. We're hosting a ticketed event with Stephenson on Friday, June 5, 7 pm. $36 includes admission and the book. On the origin of the story: "Going way back, there's a subgenre of science-fiction books about the end of the world, people getting on an ark and going into space. I read some of those when I was a kid. On some level, I always thought it would be cool to write one of those. But I didn't really act on it until recently."

And here's Carole Barrowman's round up of her mystery picks for May.
--Ripped from the Pages, by Kate Carlisle, is "a charming story highlighting Brooklyn's passions as a book restorer and bibliophile"
--On the Wales-set Slated for Death, by Elizabeth Duncan: " this charming mystery is as tasty as a slice of Bara brith (a cake bread with raisins or currants)"
--Charlotte Chanter's The Well is "speculative, suspenseful and deliberately unsettling (think Margaret Atwood in style and tone)"
--The "completely unnerving and wickedly perverse" Luckiest Girl Alive from Jessica Knoll is "the book you insist all your friends read this summer."

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