Sunday, June 18, 2017

Boswell's annotated bestseller lists for the week ending June 17, 2017, plus the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page

Here's what's on this week's Boswell bestseller lists.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Leavers, by Lisa Ko
2. Lonesome Lies Before Us, by Don Lee
3. The Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz
4. Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout
5. Camino Island, by John Grisham
6. Testimony, by Scott Turow (tickets still available Sun 6/25, 2 pm, at the JCC)
7. Edgar and Lucy, by Victor Lodato (event Tue 7/25, 7 pm, at Boswell)
8. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
9. The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry
10. A French Wedding, by Hannah Tunnicliffe

A breakout from Harper is Anthony Horowitz's The Magpie Murders. Horowitz, whose known both for kids series, including the Alex Rider novels, and writing new Sherlock Holmes and James Bond adventures, hit both the Indie Next list and the national bestseller lists with this novel. Ken Favell of Oconomowoc's Books and Company has the Indie Bound quote: "We're treated to two mysteries for the price of one: One set in a peaceful village in England during the 1950s with the one and only Detective Atticus Pund taking the case, and the other set in contemporary times with a book editor who becomes an amateur sleuth. Horowitz pays tribute to the golden age of British crime with references to mysteries created by the likes of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. How many hidden gems can you come up with?"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken
2. Helping Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
3. Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris
4. Hunger, by Roxane Gay
5. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
6. Coach Wooden and Me, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
7. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
8. Raising Human Beings, by Ross W. Greene
9. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie
10. Churchill and Orwell, by Thomas E. Ricks

Roxane Gay's Hunger was finally released to a lot of attention. Originally scheduled for 2016, the wait was worth it. The Atlantic's Adrienne Greene writes: "Hunger is about weight gained and lost and gained—at her heaviest Gay weighed 577 pounds. It’s also about so much more: the body she built to shield herself from the contempt of men and her own sense of shame, her complex relationship with parents who took great interest in solving her weight “problem,” and what it has meant for her to be highly visible and yet feel unseen." If it does as well as Difficult Women, her recent short story collection, expect to see Gay's presence on the list for weeks to come.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Arrow the Dark Archer, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
2. World Without End, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
3. Pestiferous Questions, by Margaret Rozga
4. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
5. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
6. The Thing Itself, by Adam Roberts
7. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
8. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
9. The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown
10. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The SF Book Club's July pick is The Thing Itself, by Adam Roberts. This Victor Gollancz book is recently imported into the United States through parent company Hachette, and is about two people in an Antarctic research station who find they are not alone, but to say this is to oversimplify the novel, according to Julian Baggini at The Guardian: "This main narrative alternates with other chapters involving different characters and stories, each written in a completely different style, including Joycean stream of conscious, 17th-century vernacular, and a pastiche of Thomas de Quincey." For folks who like a good philosophical novel, Baggini adds: "Roberts offers a mystical reading of Kant that has some parallels with recurrent ideas in Indian philosophy. We live trapped in the world of appearances, unable to touch the thing in itself." Should be a great discussion on Monday, July 10, 7 pm.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. 30 Days to the Cotaught Classroom, by Paula Kluth and Julie Causton
2. If At Birth You Don't Succeed, by Zach Anner
3. Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities, by Margo Vreeberg Izzo and LeDerick Horne
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
5. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
6. Lost at School, by Ross W. Greene
7. The Close Encounters Man, by Mark O'Connell
8. No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein
9. The Educator's Handbook for Inclusive School Practices, by Julie Causton
10. The Principal's Handbook for Leading Inclusive Schools, by Julie Causton

Can you tell we were at two different educator conferences for four days?

The breakout book (and actually, the only nonconference book on this list besides Evicted) here is Naomi Klein's No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, from Chicago's Haymarket Books. John Semley in Canada's Globe and Mail notes that Klein does not think the correct response to Trump is other billionaires taking him on, like "two towering behemoths clobbering each other with pointy-edged briefcases full of money, while way down below, normal, everyday people dash around in a blind panic, watching helplessly as their homes, places of business and their very livelihoods are pitilessly stomped on." Semley notes the book, in the end, is optimistic.

Books for Kids:
1. Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
2. Bone Quill, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
3. Book of Beasts, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
4. The Conjuror, by John Barrowman and Carole E Barrowman
5. The Watson Go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis
6. The Jacket, by Andrew Clements
7. Felita, by Nicholasa Mohr
8. The Dark Prophecy V2 (The Trials of Apollo), by Rick Riordan
9. She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton with illustrations by Alexandra Boiger
10. Dog Man Unleashed V2, by Dav Pilkey

Chelsea Clinton's new picture book, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, is #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for picture books. Ella Ceron in TeenVogue explains the book's title: "In March, Chelsea Clinton announced her next book, She Persisted, which tells abridged stories of 13 'girls and women who didn't take no for answer.' If that title strikes you as familiar, it should: In February, Senator Mitch McConnell used the term "Nevertheless, she persisted" as an indictment against Senator Elizabeth Warren when she refused to be silenced and read Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter regarding now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Facebook Live outside the Senate doors. The phrase went viral, though not in the way McConnell intended it. #ShePersisted quickly became a trending hashtag, and people across social media used it as an opportunity to highlight the way women have persisted to change the world for the better."

And here's what's happening on Journal Sentinel's TapBooks page.

First up is Jim Higgins on the new memoir from Sherman Alexie about life with his mom, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: "Writer, poet, filmmaker and performer, Alexie is best known for his acclaimed and occasionally banned classic The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, which won the National Book Award for young people's literature in 2007. His new memoir mixes short prose chapters with related poems. In both modes, he's compulsively readable, a literary writer with the guts of a stand-up comedian."

Then there's Mike Fischer, who compares the opening of balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows to Pride and Prejudice: "As with Austen’s breakthrough book, Jaswal’s novel – her third – unfolds in England. This time, though, the community under the microscope is composed of Sikhs, in which both young women and older widows are no more expected to have their own needs and desires than were the Bennet sisters residing in Austen’s Hertfordshire." In the end, Fischer says the book has potential but perhaps veers away from its strengths (that's me paraphrasing). Read and decide.

Carole Barrowman's summer vacation reading offers five new thrillers:

--Unsub, by Meg Gardiner, for folks who like Val McDermid’s serial killer novels

--The Marsh King's Daughter, by Karen Dionne, for fans of William Kent Krueger’s wilderness mysteries

--The Silent Corner, by Dean Koontz, if your taste runs to Karen Slaughter’s Atlanta mysteries

--Death on Nantucket, by Francine Mathews, if Anne Cleeves’ Shetland novels is your thing

--Afterlife, by Marcus Sakey, for connoisseurs of Stephen King's The Stand. If you're wondering, there are still tickets to Stephen and Owen King in conversation on September 30 at the Riverside. At least on June 18 in the morning.

What starts out as a Chicago spree killer chase turns into something very different when an FBI agent becomes one of the killer's victims. Of Sakey's latest, Barrowman writes: "His world-building is epic and the community of characters Brody connects with are fully realized and compelling. It's amazing what a skillful writer with a 'sense of theater' and brilliant imagination can do."

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