Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pop Goes the Boswell Bestseller...for the Week Ending September 12, 2015.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Secondhand Souls, by Christopher Moore
2. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, by Bradley Beaulieu
3. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
4. Girl in the Spider's Web, by David Lagercrantz
5. Purity, by Jonathan Franzen
6. Lamb, special gift edition by Christopher Moore
7. Make Me, by Lee Child
8. The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny
9. Days of Awe, by Lauren Fox (event at Shorewood Public Library 9/15, 6:30 pm)
10. Two Years, Eight Months, and 28 Nights, by Salman Rushdie
11. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
12. X, by Sue Grafton
13. Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
14. A Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman
15. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

Make Me is Lee Child's 20th Jack Reacher novel, and is still pleasing the fans. Jeff Ayers on the AP wire says that "The climax is shocking and grotesque — and also a fantastic payoff for readers who will not figure out what truly has been going on." Child is doing some events in Chicago with folks like Stephen King, Laura Lippman, and Linda Fairstein. I thought he was doing something with his brother Andrew Grant in Chicago as well.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
3. Black Earth, by Timothy Snyder
4. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
5. Black Man in a White Coat, by Damon Tweedy
6. Boathouses, by Tom Freeman
7. The Road to Character, by David Brooks
8. Jesus, by James Martin
9. A Little History of the United States, by James Davidson
10. Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life, by Harold Kushner

Timothy Snyder's new book, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning is a companion to his 2010 work, Bloodlands: Between Hitler and Stalin. Per the Guardian review from Richard J. Evans: "We have got the Holocaust all wrong, says Timothy Snyder in his new book, and so we have failed to learn the lessons we should have drawn from it. When people talk of learning from the Nazi genocide of some six million European Jews during the second world war, they normally mean that we should mobilise to stop similar genocides happening in future. But Snyder means something quite different, and in order to lay out his case, he provides an engrossing and often thought-provoking analysis of Hitler’s antisemitic ideology and an intelligently argued country-by-country survey of its implementation between 1939 and 1945."

Paperback Fiction:
1. A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore
2. The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
3. Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng (Event 9/28 at Boswell)
4. Euphoria, by Lily King
5. Moriarty, by Anthony Horowitz
6. The Complete Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino
7. Meet Me Halfway, by Jennifer Morales
8. The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
9. The Story of the Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante
10. Again and Again, by Ellen Bravo

Elena Ferrante isn't the only Italian writer taking the bestsellers lists by storm. Also on our top ten is the paperback edition of The Complete Cosmicomics. Michael Dirda reviewed the hardcover in the Washington Post last year. He tells of coming upon a huge display of Calvino's work in a Mondadori bookstore in Italy: "One of those books was Cosmicomiche, (1965), which first appeared in English as Cosmicomics in 1968, and was soon followed by Time and the Hunter (1969), the further adventures of a seemingly immortal multi-form entity named Qfwfq. Calvino occasionally produced additional stories in this serio-absurdist vein — essentially the early history of the universe retold as a series of unhappy love affairs and old family legends — and all of them have now been brought together in The Complete Cosmicomics.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Everyday Makeup Secrets, by Daniel Klingler
2. Reformation: A History, by Diarmaid MacCulloch
3. Vietnam: A History, by Stanley Karnow
4. Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler
5. You are Doing a Freaking Great Job, published by Workman
6. Mary Nohl: Inside and Out, by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith
7. How Not to Be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg
8. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
9. Fantastic Cities, by Steven McDonald
10. How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh

We've got a lot of books selling off displays this week. Jordan Ellenberg's How Not to be Wrong is featured on our math nonfiction and fiction display for Eugenia Cheng's event on September 19 while How to Love was moved off the impulse table to a special Thich Nhat Hanh display, which we might feature in a future blog. But perhaps it's the coloring book display that is working the best, with Jason saying we're selling 4-5 titles a day off it. There was a little bit of discussion as to whether we'd count these as books or gift items, and while both kinds of publishers are churning them out, we decided that the bestselling titles are indeed being treated as books. This week's top seller is Steve McDonald's Fantastic Cities, and here is a profile of the artist on the CBC news blog.

Books for Kids:
1. Space Dumplins, by Craig Thompson
2. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarry
3. You're Here for a Reason, by Nancy Tillman
4. Diary of Wimpy Kid in Latin, by Jeff Kinney
5. Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, by Kate DiCamillo
6. Rump, by Liesl Shurtliff (event at Cudahy Library 9/16, 6:30 pm)
7. The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
8. The Queen of Shadows, by Sarah Maas
9. Beyond the Kingdom, by Chris Colfer
10. Ladybug Girl and the Best-Ever Playdate, by David Soman

Another display that just went up is a back-by-popular demand woodland creatures table, which Amie told me was also selling titles off of it. It's mostly kids books and gift, with the strange addition of a promotion for Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy, which includes a super-large Rory the Raccoon blow up. We've also got stuffed raccoons, a raccoon puppet, and raccoon plates and mugs, and books like Sterling North's Rascal and our #5 bestselling title this week: Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, by Kate DiCamillo. Kirkus Reviews writes: "Francine Poulet, the laconic and intrepid animal control officer of Gizzford County, is having a crisis of confidence. Even though she has won 47 trophies for animal catching and hails from a long line of animal control officers, nothing can prepare her for her encounter with one very unusual and creepy raccoon. Mrs. Bissinger has reported a raccoon that shimmers like a ghost and screeches her name." That's the thing about raccoons: they may be adorable little bandits (per our very popular ornaments from Roost, which yes, we have again), but they are often unusual and creepy. Just ask Kate DiCamillo and Jenny Lawson.

In the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Impersonations, by Mark Zimmermann. He writes: "Zimmermann's 62 poems in Impersonations are dramatic monologues, a la Robert Browning, written as lipograms — a constraint that would make Georges Perec proud. For each poem, Zimmermann limited his vocabulary to words drawing on the letters of its title. To take a particularly fiendish example, his poem Moby Dick consists exclusively of words using the letters b, c, d, i, k, m, o and y. Oy, you say? Yes, that's something Zimmermann's whale said, too."  We are not able to stock this book at this time, but it should be available at Woodland Pattern.

Jon M. Gilbertson reviews a new book by Patty Farmer: "Despite its subtitle, Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music, is not exclusively or even principally about what Hugh Hefner and Playboy — the magazine Hefner founded, the company he headed and the brand he grew to represent — did for music, and mainly for jazz music. Instead, it is a book that, not unlike the magazine in its ring-a-ding heyday, slips jazz into the overall story of the Playboy lifestyle. Sometimes, the bebop is integral to the story and to the lifestyle; other times, it is a background murmur or less." This book has a September 14 pub date, but it is not yet at either of our wholesalers. We're following up regarding a new estimated on-sale date.

And Mike Fischer covers the new book from David Maraniss, Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story. He writes: "There are stories here of Detroit mafia dons, the cops trying to trap them and the football players — including Alex Karras, colorful Detroit Lions defensive tackle — entrapped by them. There are stories of black civil rights leaders and white allies like Walter Reuther, leader of the United Auto Workers as well as confidant of presidents Kennedy and Johnson. And, best of all, there are numerous stories and vignettes involving Berry Gordy and his Motown stars, in the year when a rising company became an industry giant...they're all now gone. But they won't be forgotten, thanks to moving books like this one — commemorating the great city that once was and underscoring all we lose, when we allow such cities to die."

Apologies for smooshing the review excerpt into one paragraph. Don't forget that Maraniss will be at Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall on Thursday, October 8, 6:30 pm.

And also don't forget we're closing slightly early tonight, at 5 pm, for a rep night presentation in Oconomowoc.

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