Sunday, April 30, 2017

Boswell annotated bestsellers for the week ending April 29, 2017, plus the Journal Sentinel book review links

On this week's list, I'm flipping paperback and hardcover because we had a particularly good run with trade paperback fiction this week, and not solely because of Kristin Hannah (although definitely partly because of Kristin Hannah). I am going to be doing some catchup blog posts this week and as a result, the dating will be a bit off.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah (signed copies available)
2. Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah
3. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
4. Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah
5. Home Front, by Kristin Hannah
6. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
7. LaRose, by Louise Erdrich
8. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
9. The Secret History of Las Vegas, by Chris Abani
10. My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
11. Night Road, by Kristin Hannah
12. Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah
13. True Colors, by Kristin Hannah
14. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
15. Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld
16. Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler
17. Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (sf book club Mon 5/8, 7 pm)
18. The Little Red Chairs, by Edna O'Brien (in store lit group Mon 5/1, 7 pm*)
19. Spill Simmer Falter Wither, by Sara Baume
20. The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton

In addition to the backlist associated with Kristin Hannah's event for The Nightingale (signed copies available) and Chris Abani, we had a nice pop in paperback sales from a talk at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin on Friday and a good amount of sales off our tie-in table, including for Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, now showing on Hulu.

*We may vacate the store for the book club talk for Edna O'Brien's The Little Red Chairs if the crowd for Amy Goldstein's Janesville talk gets too large. It well could be.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. My Bookstore, edited by Ronald Rice
3. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
4. The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman
5. The Face, by Chris Abani
6. What Makes a City Great, by Alexander Garvin
7. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
8. Rising Strong, by Brene Brown
9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
10. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

My Bookstore's paperback release did have a nice pop from Independent Bookstore Day. I suggest folks use the book as a travel guide and get the author or bookseller (or both!) to sign their respective chapters. Two more tie ins on the list with The Zookeepers Wife and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. And finally, another Independent Bookstore Day event led to a pop in sales for Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Scholastic's Robin Hoffman did a storytime on Saturday, in memory of a beloved children's book writer.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
2. Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout (ticket sales ended on April 28 for this event)
3. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
4. Beartown, by Fredrick Backman
5. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Golden Prey, by John Sandford
8. Waking Gods, by Sylvain Neuvel
9. The Book of Joan, by Lydia Yuknavitch (this Sunday's front page of the NYTBR)
10. Miss You, by Kate Eberlen

Fredrick Backman's fourth novel (not including his novella), the hockey-themed Beartown, is released this week to a nice sales pop. Here's a really great review from Terri Schlichenmeyer in The Daily Oklahoman: "Indeed, Backman's exciting lead-up to the game is only a fraction of this story, which gives readers time to cultivate a good feel for who the characters are and how they jigsaw together in this small town in the woods. Knowing them and the baggage that keeps them in Beartown will keep you breathless as the fallout rains down, and as you race toward the Perfect-with-a-Capital-P ending of this book." The USA Today review from Eliot Schrefer is also enthusiastic.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. You Are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero
2. How to be Married, by Jo Piazza
3. Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Pabst tickets for 6/5 event here)
4. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein (event tonight 5/1, 7 pm, at Boswell)
5. Identity Unknown, by Donna Seaman
6. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
7. Six Seasons, by Joshua McFadden
8. This Fight Is Our Fight, by Elizabeth Warren
9. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
10. Becoming Ms. Burton, by Susan Burton

From Publishers Weekly on Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, the new book by Portland, Oregon chef Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg: "No surprise that McFadden, a farmer and a chef at some of the country’s most innovative restaurants, would bring a clever spin to vegetables. He’s the man who made the kale salad famous, and this cookbook is filled with recipes that deserve to be as popular." Looking for more cookbook recommendations. Here's a nice roundup in Bon Appétit.

Books for Kids:
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
2. I Am a Bunny, by Ole Rison and Richard Scarry
3. Radiant Child, by Javaka Steptoe
4. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers (event 5/4, 4 pm, at the Wauwatosa Library)
5. The Inquisitors Tale, by Adam Gidwitz
6. Song of Glory and Ghost, by N.D. Wilson
7. Miss Elliott's School for the Magically Minded, by Sage Blackwood
8. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
9. The Girl who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
10. Triangle, by Mac Barnett, with illustrations by Jon Klassen

If you haven't yet bought Javaka Steptoe's Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, here's some more prodding. This Publishers Weekly article from Shannon Maughan talks about what it was like to win the Caldecott Medal. And here's a profile in the Kansas City Star, tied into Mr. Steptoe's recent visit to LitfestKC last weekend.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Book Editor Jim Higgins reviews Imagine Wanting Only This, a graphic memoir from Green Bay native Kristen Radtke about copiing with her grief after the death of a beloved uncle. Higgins writes: "Her book has attracted national attention, and for good reasons. She's both a strong writer and an adept, fluid artist. She has a word lover's eye for found text on jars, postcards, documents, websites, hand-lettering them into her art. Unexpectedly, she also incorporates a few photographs into her panels."

The TapBooks section also has a review from Mike Fischer, Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart, by Scott Anderson. He writes: "For all the stories we read about the Middle East, comparatively few of them discuss the actual combatants, civilians and refugees as people, making it all the easier to dehumanize them...Focusing on six individuals, Anderson aims to use their stories in making sense of the larger story promised by his subtitle." The story was originally in The New York Times Magazine last August.

And finally, reprinted fromt he Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is a review of Joyce Carol Oates's newest, A Book of American Martyrs, reviewed by Marylynne Pitz. Not afraid to take on big issues, Oates "examines the pro-choice and anti-abortion movements through the experiences of the Dunphy and Voorhees families. After writing it, Oates said she realized the story had two martyrs: 'Though ideologically I am not identified with Luther Dunphy, I respected his integrity and wanted to give him as much space as needed to represent his position.'"

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