Sunday, May 14, 2017

Boswell annotated bestsellers, week ending May 13, 2017

Here are Boswell's bestseller list for the week ending May 13, 2017.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Fallout, by Sara Paretsky
2. The Best of Adam Sharp, by Graeme Simsion
3. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
4. Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout
5. A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline
6. The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck
7. The Thirst, by Jo Nesbo
8. The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories, by Penelope Lively
9. Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins
10. There Your Heart Lies, by Mary Gordon (event Wed 5/17, 7 pm, at Boswell)

The newest Harry Hole mystery from Jo Nesbo is The Thirst. It's my feeling that starred reviews of series should be for installments that are substantially better than the predecessors (such as John Sandford's Golden Prey, which several readers told me was a step above the last few novels) but it looks like the Publishers Weekly anonymous reviewer called the #11 exceptional, but there's nothing in the review of the newest that thinks that this is any better. I have nothing to quote. Read the review here.

On the other hand, there is much to quote from in Charles McGrath's profile of Penelope Lively in The New York Times. His article, released with the publication of The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories, notes that "Lively’s prose is sharp, precise, perfectly pitched, but shrinks from flashiness in a way that has sometimes been mistaken for cozy or middlebrow." And it's so great to see 2017 as a year with one great collection of short stories after another.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The President Will See You Now, by Peggy Grande
2. Fearless at Work, by Molly Fletcher
3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
4. Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
5. This Fight Is Our Fight, by Elizabeth Warren
6. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
7. Hallelujah Anyway, by Anne Lamott
8. Make Your Bed, by William H. McRaven
9. Native Plants of the Midwest, by Alan Branhagen
10. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

This week's bestseller list is filled with behind the scenes events. President Reagan's former executive assistant Peggy Grande spoke at a lunch about The President Will See You Now. We have some signed copies. One of the books that brunch guest Barbara Rinella recommended was Make Your Bed, a grad-friendly new release from Navy Seal William H. McRaven. And finally, Molly Fletcher spoke at a corporate conference about her book Fearless at Work. We had a nice chat about signing options--the full-title page, the half-title page, and the endpaper. This topic might be worth further discussion.

One political book with staying power has been Elizabeth Warren's This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class. It's the 4th week in Boswell's top ten, including one week at #1.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lost City Radio, by Daniel Alarcón
2. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
3. A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny
4. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
5. Brush Back, by Sara Paretsky
6. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
7. The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
8. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
9. The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion
10. Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur

Congratulations to Louise Penny who received the Agatha Award for best novel for A Great Reckoning. The other finalists were Bed on the Bayou, by Ellen Byron, Fogged Inn, by Barbara Ross, Say No More, by Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Quiet Neighbors, by Catriona McPherson, who won best historical novel for a different novel, The Reek of Red Herrings by Catriona McPherson. It's interesting to note that only three imprints from the top 5 publishers are represented in the three categories of best novel, best first novel, historical novel: Minotaur, Forge, and Berkley.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Family Stories, from the Attic, edited by Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. Wisconsin Literary Luminaries, by Jim Higgins
4. Take It to the Bridge, by Steve Dawson and Mark Caro
5. The Winner's Guide to Negotiating, by Molly Fletcher
6. The Grace in Aging, by Kathleen Dowling Singh
7. Borchert Field, by Bob Buege (event at Tippecanoe Library, Tuesday, 6/20, 6:30 pm)
8. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
9. Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
10. First Women, by Kate Anderson Brower

I think you can see a bit of Mother's Day purchasing in this week's bestseller lists. The hardcover and paperback fiction list saw resurgent sales pops for several titles we'd been promoting this spring, including A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline, and The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. On this list, I would think that Mom might be the recipient for any of these titles, including First Women (which we mentioned was connected to the Ozaukee Family Services Barbara Rinella brunch) and even Borchert Field. If you missed Bob Buege, he'll be at Tippecanoe Library on South Howell in June.

Books for Kids:
1. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Adam Rex
2. The Good for Nothing Button, by Cherise Mericle Harper, with illustrations by Mo Willems
3. Posted, by John David Anderson
4. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
5. The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
6. Sidekicked, by John David Anderson
7. Ms. Bixby's Last Day, by John David Anderson
8. The Bone Quill, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
9. The Book of Beasts, by John and Carole E. Barrowman
10. We Are in a Book, by Mo Willems

I'd continue the list out, but it's a lot of Willems, Barrowmans, and Anderson for a bit. This was a very big week for kids books because we rang in a lot of school sales. Here are some highlights of other authors' titles, which would most weeks get them in the top 10:
17. The Someday Birds, by Sally J. Pla
19. Goodbye Days, by Jeff Zentner
20. Windfall, by Jennifer E. Smith
21. Dog Man Unleashed, by Dav Pilkey
22. The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner

The Goodbye Days is a follow up to The Serpent King, won the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. His new book is also a contemporary novel, which got a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Carver Briggs already feels responsible when his three best friends are killed in a car accident after he sent a 'Where are you guys?' text message to the driver. Now it seems as though the whole town wants him to be prosecuted, and he’s having debilitating panic attacks." Yes, we have signed copies.

From the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins rounds up several new books with Wisconsin ties:
--Buildings of Wisconsin, by Marsha Weisinger and contributors*
--This Storied River: Legends and Lore of the Upper Mississippi, by Dennis McCann
--First Thoughts: Conversations with Allen Ginsberg, edited by Michael Schumacher
--Flock Together: A Love Affair with Birds, by B.J.Hollars (signed copies available0
--Snail and Worm Again: Three Stories About Two Friends, by Tina Kügler
--Valient Women: The First 125 Years of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, by Frank Miller**

*Because of this book's cost and distribution, we're not stocking it right now, but we'll be looking at bringing it in fourth quarter, but it probably has to be tied in to some sort of event. Long story!

**If we have interest, we'll investigate sourcing!

Also in the print edition.

From Laurie Hertzel, a review of A $500 House in Detroit, by Drew Philip:
"Philp's book is more than an inner-city A Year in Provence. He writes about the rehab, yes, but he also writes about the people who are 'rebuilding this broken city,' resourceful, self-sufficient characters who scrounge and scrap and work hard."
This was originally published in The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.

From Erin Saxon, a review of Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, by Dani Shapiro "Part memoir, part meditation on time and marriage, Shapiro expertly moves between present and past...Imbued with tender revelations, Hourglass considers the ever-changing nature of love and identity."
This was originally published in the Kansas City Star.

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