Saturday, July 9, 2016

The annotated Boswell bestsellers, week ending July 9, 2016

Here are the Boswell Book Company Weekly Bestsellers for the week ending July 9, 2016

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Dead Don't Bleed, by David Krugler
2. The Girls, by Emma Cline
3. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
4. Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley
5. Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler
6. Barkskins, by Annie Proulx
7. City of Mirrors, by Justin Cronin
8. The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
9. As Good as Gone, by Larry Watson
10. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

The Hogarth imprint of Crown has two books in the top ten this week. In addition to Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl, The Vegetarian, by Han Kang, makes its first appearance. It is currently in our awards case for winning the Man Booker International Prize, which is for the best book in translation. Han Kang's novel, first published in South Korea, is about a dutiful wife who decides to become a tree. She has a second novel translated into English, Human Acts, that to date has only come out through Portobello Books in the UK. In the press release, it was noted that translator Deborah Smith is only 28.

Oh, and it's another strong week for The Girls. Emma Cline's debut novel made the top five for Milwaukee (and that's hardcover and paperback, fiction and nonfiction combined).

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. One in a Billion, by Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Help Thanks Wow, by Anne Lamott
5. Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
6. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
8. Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (event at Boswell, Mon Sep 12, 7 pm)
9. Einstein, by Steven Gimbel
10. Wisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round (event at Boswell, Mon Aug 8, 7 pm)
of note: White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg

The two highest profile local-interest nonfiction books take the top spots, but they've had different trajectories. Pulitzer winners Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher have keep One in a Billion in the public eye with local events and publicity, but Evicted hasn't had to do much consistency place in the top 50 of the Bookscan Milwaukee chart. Here's an interview with Desmond in Madison's Isthmus, where they note that Evicted is this year's freshman incoming read for UW-Madison.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
2. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
3. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
4. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald
5. A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler
6. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
7. So Many True Believers, by Tyrone Jaeger
8. Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George
9. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
10. The Coincidence of Cononut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert (event at Boswell, Mon Jul 18, 7 pm)
of note: 13. The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown (ticketed event at Lynden Sculpture Garden, Tue Jul 19, 7 pm)

The 19th Inspector Lynley novel released in paperback this week, which had a good Washington Post review from Patrick Anderson when Banquet of Consequences came out in hardcover last fall. He writes "George’s mystery unfolds with great psychological depth, finely drawn characters and gorgeous portraits of the English countryside." And Moira Macdonald in the Seattle Times added: "While George, a Seattle-area resident, doesn’t vary the rhythms of her books much — they’re all long, dialogue-heavy and pleasantly crowded — she excels at creating and developing her characters, revealing just enough to leave readers happy yet yearning for more."

Paperback Nonfiction"
1. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
2. The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman
3. Looking at Mindfulness, by Christophe Andre
4. Milwaukee in the 1930s, by John D. Buenker
5. Barbarian Days, by William Finnegan
6. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
7. Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
8. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
9. Happy Felsch, by Thomas Rathkamp
10. Hold Still, by Sally Mann
of note: 11. Max Perkins, by A. Scott Berg (the film Genius was playing at the Downer for the last two weeks)

The Zookeeper's Wife is being read by the Milwaukee Catholic Home book club. I don't generally know why certain books pop but there was a little extra discussion about ordering titles in, enough that I became aware of it. The book's been a steady seller since its 2007 release, but I expect to see it pop up more in 2016 as a film version is expected to be released next spring with Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh in the roles of the Zabinskis. We have another book club reading the Mindfulness titles.

Books for Kids:
1. Snail and Worm, by Tina Kügler
2. In Mary's Garden, by Tina and Carson Kügler
3. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
4. There is a Tribe of Kids, by Lane Smith
5. A is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
6. The Thank You Book, by Mo Willems
7. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
8. Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
9. The Book of Impossible Objects, by Pat Murphy
10. Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
of note:
14. Peril at the Top of the World: Treasure Seekers V4, by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Rainbow Rowell pop comes from a backlist display that Amie bought that had signed copies of Eleanor and Park and Carry On, as well as Fangirl. While a paperback of Eleanor and Park is not likely until a movie comes out, there's a special edition due to be released this fall with a new jacket, an exclusive interview with Rowell, and a collection of fan art.

If you haven't seen Lane Smith's There Is a Tribe of Kids, most of the trade reviewers implore you to explore a copy. It's the story of a little kids odyssey through the animal world--the titular tribe refers to baby goats. Some of the groupings use the real term, while others are imagined by the author. The starred Booklist: "The result is a kaleidoscopic look at nature, imbued with a playful love of language that young readers can't fail to embrace."

Over in the Journal Sentinel, this week's featured local review is The Big Book of Science Fiction. Jim Higgins begins: "Surprisingly, the literary spirit that haunts Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's massive new anthology, The Big Book of Science Fiction, isn't Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov or even H.G. Wells. It's Jorge Luis Borges, the creator of miniature fables of humans grappling with their double-edged longing for and terror of infinity and omniscience. He's represented by a signature story, name-checked in another one and appears to influence several more." He notes that several Wisconsinites are included.

Also included is a profile of Terry McMillan by Jeneé Osterheldt, originally published in the Kansas City Star. On the philosophy of her books, and of I Almost Forgot About You in particular, McMillan said: "It’s a given with black women: We see ourselves as sisters, not just friends. We don’t B.S. each other. We are very honest. We get angry with each other. Sometimes we don’t speak for months, but usually, almost 90 percent of the time, what made us mad was the truth. I’m not saying other women don’t have these types of relationships, I know they do. I just know black women in particular consider their friends to be the people who are supportive and have your back but will also give you a lashing when your behavior was silly. Our friendships are another way of parenting.” Read the rest of the interview here.

Also featured is Marion Winik's review of The Girls, which as you can see above has been a big hit both nationally and at Boswell. She writes in the piece, which was originally published by Newsday: "I missed a meeting at work recently because I was so lost in Emma Cline’s novel, “The Girls,” that I didn’t even look at the clock until it was an hour past time to leave. At that point, I figured I might as well give in and spend the day finishing it — then lay awake, turning its final images over in my mind. Consider yourself warned."

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