Monday, November 14, 2016

Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending November 12, 2016.

Here's what sold at Boswell this past week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz
2. Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch
3. The Fields Where They Lay, by Timothy Hallinan
4. Rough Trade, by Todd Robinson
5. The Mistletoe Murder, by P.D. James
6. This Was a Man, by Jeffrey Archer
7. The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
8. The Whistler, by John Grisham
9. Murder on the Quai, by Cara Black
10. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie

Happy Murder and Mayhem weekend! Among the bestsellers at the show were Lisa Lutz's The Passenger, Blake Crouch's Dark Matter, Timothy Hallinan's The Fields Where They Lay, and Todd Robinson's Rough Trade, or to put it another way, our top four selling hardcover fiction titles from last week. Note that The Passenger is due out in paperback shortly.

Not attending was Jeffrey Archer, whose This Was a Man is the seventh and final installment of The Clifton Chronicles. I'd like to link to a review but I can't find any, which seems odd. There isn't even a Kirkus or Publishers Weekly!

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Mamaleh Knows Best, by Marjorie Ingall
2. Drink Like a Woman, by Jeanette Hurt
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, by Blanche Wiesen Cook
5. Dogs As I See Them, by Lucy Dawson
6. My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
7. Gunslinger, by Jeff Pearlman
8. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
9. Upstream, by Mary Oliver
10. Women in Science, by Rachel Ignotofsky

The long-awaited third volume of Blanche Wiesen Cook's multi-volume biography, Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After, had a nice pop this week, with reviews like Jay Strafford's in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "An unabashed admirer of her subject, Cook writes glowingly — but not blindly - of the final quarter-century of ER’s life, weighing her great achievements against her flaws - among them, she could descend into moodiness, and she forgave slights but seldom forgot them -and recognizing that she evoked strong reactions."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Arrow: The Dark Archer, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
2. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie (Burning Bright event at Boswell, Tue Jan 10, 7 pm)
3. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
4. Salem's Cipher, by Jess Lourey
5. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
6. The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild (book club discussion, Mon Dec 5, 7 pm)
7. Good Behavior, by Blake Crouch
8. The Silent City, by Alex Crouch
9. The Killing Kind, by Chris Holm
10. Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

Once again, Murder and Mayhem authors dominate, including Nick Petrie's The Drifter, Jess Lourey's Salem's Cipher, a new series following her Murder by Month series, and Blake Crouch's Good Behavior, just starting as a TNT series starring Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery. It was interesting to see that the publishers ascendant in at least this mystery convention were Hachette's Mulholland, Polis, distributed by Ingram Publisher Services, and Amazon's Thomas and Mercer.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Destiny and Power, by Jon Meacham
2. Milwaukee Frozen Custard, by Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo (event Tue Nov 22, 7 pm, at Boswell)
3. The Road to Little Dribbling, by Bill Bryson
4. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
5. Swimming Studies, by Leanne Sharpton
6. Your Book, Your Brand, by Dana Kaye
7. You Can't Touch My Hair, by Phoebe Robinson
8. WtF: What the French?, by Olivier Magny
9. Writing in the Age of Silence, by Sara Paretsky
10. We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

Phoebe Robinson got as close as Chicago (our friends at Women and Children First) for You Can'tTouch My Hair. Melissa Locker profiled her in Elle, and pondered her platform: "In the thick of a media blitz for her new collection of essays, You Can't Touch My Hair, the multi-talented Robinson is indeed enjoying success that would make any comedy newbie (or grizzled veteran) envious. As well as being an author, she hosts two podcasts: Sooo Many White Guys and 2 Dope Queens, the comedic storytelling podcast she co-hosts with former The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams. She's had guest spots on TBS's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, and Broad City."

Picture Books for Kids:
1. Bad Kitty Scaredy Cat, by Nick Bruel
2. Melena's Jubilee, by Zetta Elliott, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
3. Calling the Water Drum, by LaTisha Redding, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
4. Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel
5. Luigi and the Barefoot Races (cloth), by Dan Paley, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
6. Pengin's Christmas Wish, by Salina Yoon
7. Gingerbread Christmas, by Jan Brett
8. Luigi and the Barefoot Races (paper), by Dan Paley, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
9. Be a Friend, by Salina Yoon
10. Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty, with illustrations by David Roberts

Have you guessed that we just hosted an event for local illustrator Aaron Boyd? His two new books, Melena's Jubilee and Calling the Water Drum, and last year's Luigi and the Barefoot Races, all sold out! Boyd has also designed tee shirts for Boswell, as well as our new holiday bag. He also designed the old holiday bag! Of Melena, Publishers Weekly writes: " Befitting the sense of grace that Melena clings to, Boyd's vibrant mixed-media images evoke the heft and poise of stained glass windows, whether showing Melena and her elders picking garden vegetables or the girl and her friends perched on the jungle gym, gazing at swirling clouds." Of Water Drum, Kirkus noted that "Boyd's watercolor illustrations expressively convey the love of Henris family, the perils of their sea crossing, and the range of emotions he experiences as he finds his way in New York with his uncle and friends."

Chapter Books for Kids, all the way to Young Adult and Teen:
1. Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey
2. Keeper of the Lost Cities #1, by Shannon Messenger
3. Bad Kitty for President, by Nick Bruel
4. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, by Nick Bruel
5. Lodestar #5, by Shannon Messenger
6. Exile #2, by Shannon Messenger
7. Adventures of Captain Underpants #1, by Dav Pilkey
8. Neverseen #4, by Shannon Messenger
9. Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto #9, by Dav Pilkey, with illustrations by Dan Santat
10. Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot #12, by Dav Pilkey

We hosted a day of schools and public event with Shannon Messenger in conjunction with the releaese of Lodestar, the fifth entry in Keeper of the Lost Cities. We'd had a great time with her for book #3, but were a bit unprepared that the series had exploded with #4 and we wound up with 67 people for our 4 pm event. Amie made Mallowmelt Cupcakes from the book. We found the recipe on Pinterest. It's an ooey gooey concoction with marshmallow creme, as well as chocolate and butterscotch chips. Congrats to the super chharming Messenger - the series also just hit The New York Times bestseller list.

It's a performance themed TapBooks page over at the TapBooks page of Journal Sentinel, where Erin Kogler reviews Carol Birch's Orphans of the Carnival, a novel based on the infamous Bear Woman of the 19th century, Julia Pastrana. Kogler writes: "Birch’s novel does more than tell the story of a woman and performer, it brings to light the dangers of exploitation and dehumanization. With great sensitivity and compassion, Birch reclaims Julia Pastrana’s humanity and offers an opportunity to see this woman the way she should have been seen more than 150 years ago."

The Journal Sentinel also has Jon M. Gilbertson covering The History of Rock and Roll Vol. 1: 1920-1963, the music writer who is the official rock and roll historian for Fresh Air. His take: "The most casual fans of early rock 'n' roll might thus wonder why Buddy Holly’s 1959 death in a plane crash moves him out of this history so swiftly that his career and life feel even shorter than they were, or why Presley’s budding relationship with the 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu gets paragraphs when a couple sentences would suffice. Mostly, however, Ward doesn’t put in or leave out too much, and his geographical shifts — especially to the English musical environment that was doing its best in the 1950s to stifle the boys who would become the Beatles and the Rolling Stones — are well-timed."

And to complete the literary triptych, Mike Fischer takes on Zadie Smith's new novel, Swing Time. It's the story of two girls growing up in London who love to dance, but face unforeseen (and sometimes seen) obstacles. As Fischer notes: "Like Smith herself, who once dreamed of a career in musical theater, both of them love musicals. Both of them love to dance. One of them – Tracey – actually has talent. But neither of them fully grasps the significance of the obstacles athwart the path toward success: Not just race but also – as always, with Smith – class."

Also note that the first 20 people to pre-order or purchase a copy of Swing Time from us will get a really nice cloth tote bag.

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