Sunday, October 8, 2017

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending October 7, 2017

Here are our bestsellers for the week ending October 7, 2017

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King and Owen King
2. The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott
3. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
4. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
5. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
6. Origin, by Dan Brown
7. Forest Dark, by Nicole Krauss
8. Fresh Complaint, stories by Jeffrey Eugenides
9. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
10. A Legacy of Spies, by John Le Carre

The gentleperson at #3, Amor Towles, reviewed the gentleperson at #4, in this week's New York Times Book Review. Of Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan's newest, Towles wrote: "An 11-year-old girl named Anna Kerrigan visits the titular stretch of Brooklyn shoreline on a winter day in the company of her father, Eddie, and an underworld figure named Dexter Styles. Though this encounter in 1934 is brief, and circumstances quickly send the three characters in disparate directions, readers will understand that their fates have just become inextricably intertwined. They may also understand, rightly, that this will turn out to be a more traditional novel than the raucous and inventive Goon Squad, although the two books offer many of the same pleasures, including fine turns of phrase, a richly imagined environs and a restless investigation into human nature."

I should note that our event with Stephen King and Owen King is our biggest ticketed event to date. Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
2. Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean (shortlisted for the National Book Award)
3. Talking Pictures, by Ann Hornaday
4. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
5. What Happened, by Hillary Clinton
6. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
7. Going into Town, by Roz Chast
8. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
9. Draft No. 4, by John McPhee
10. Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris

By far the top non-event, first-week sales pop is for Ta-Nehisi-Coates's new collection of essays, We Were Eight Years in Power. Michael Kleber-Diggs writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "We Were Eight Years in Power is built around eight essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates, one from each year of President Barack Obama’s administration. Those eight years also happen to represent an ascendant time in the writer’s life. In 2008, Coates languished in an unemployment office, confronting dismal career options as a college dropout, but by 2016 he was a bestselling author, a National Book Award winner and a recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship." His take: "The man and his writing will be studied and revered for generations."

Paperback Fiction:
1. It, by Stephen King
2. The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur
3. Double Feature, by Owen King
4. The End of Watch, by Stephen King
5. Intro to Alien Invasion, by Owen King
6. News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
7. Lost City Radio, by Daniel Alarcón
8. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert (Reichert with Stacey Ballis on October 20 at Boswell)
9. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
10. The Atomic Weight of Love, by Elizabeth J. Church
11. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
12. Mr Mercedes, by Stephen King
13. The Simplicity of Cider, by Amy E. Reichert
14. The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown
15. Karolina's Twins, by Ronald H. Balson (two events with Balson, 3 pm at Chai Point, 7 pm at Boswell)

From the publisher: "Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms." It is definitely a trend in poetry to use lower-case letters. Though we don't always use the format here, Rupi Kaur is officially rupi kaur. Another poet who has found an online following is Yrsa Daley-Ward, who'll be at Boswell this Friday (October 13, 7 pm) for bone. If you're expecting a small crowd for her, I should note that her turnouts in other cities have been closer to the 100-150 range. And finally, there is our local bela suresh roongta, who has just reissued ...fill in the beauty formatted more like a poetry book with art than its previous oversized layout.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
2. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
3. Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson
4. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
5. Barron's Spanish English Dictionary
6. Hero of the Empire, by Candice Millard
7. Books for Living, by Will Schwalbe
8. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, David Luhrssen
9. Milwaukee Frozen Custard, by Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo
10. The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee, by Thomas H. Fehring

Jane and I spoke at the Bluemound Country Club for their Book Lovers Luncheon, which led to pops in sales such as The Ninth Hour and Pachinko in hardcover and News of the World, Hero of the Empire, and Books for Living: Some Thoughts on Reading, Reflecting, and Embracing Life on the paperback lists. Both Millard and Schwalbe made an impression on us when they visited in hardcover, and their influence continues to resonate in paperback, as they are both featured on our blook club flier and table. And Schwalbe will be in Wisconsin this week for the Fox Cities Book Festival, which runs from October 9-15. He speaks on October 12, at 12 and 6:30 pm. Catch the whole schedule here.

Books for Kids:
1. To the Stars, by Kathy Sullivan, with illustrations by Carmella Van Vleet
2. The Explorer, by Katherine Rundell
3. The Vanderbeekers of 141st St, by Karina Glaser
4. The Wonderling, by Mira Bartok
5. After the Fall, by Dan Santat
6. The Ugly Pumpkin, by Dave Horowitz
7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling, with illustrations by Jim Kay
8. Lego Chain Reaction, by Pat Murphy
9. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Ship of the Dead, by Rick Riordan
10. I'm Just No Good at Rhyming, by Chris Harris, with illustrations by Lane Smith

Oh, and if you're wondering who Chris Harris is, who wrote I'm Just No Good at Rhyming, here's his bio: "Chris Harris is a writer and executive producer for How I Met Your Mother and The Great Indoors, and a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. His pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times. He was also the author of the anti-travel guide Don't Go Europe! Judith Viorst offered this recommendation: "Ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged - and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it Immediately."

I'm just guessing that #1 next week will be The Ship of the Dead, the 3rd book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, only because we are hosting a sold out ticketed event at the Italian Community Center later today.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer tackles Ron Chernow's Grant: "Chernow - author of the great biography that inspired the musical Hamilton and winner of the Pulitzer for his biography of Washington — devotes most of his book to dismantling two of the most damaging myths involving Grant: that he was a thoughtless butcher as a general and an incompetent leader amid the corruption marring his two terms as president." His take: "Reading this compelling book, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll continue to define Grant by these scandals rather than all he accomplished in winning the war and doing his best to make peace, on inclusive terms that would be fair to all. No president after Lincoln and before Lyndon Johnson did so much for civil rights. It was the bravest and hardest of many battles this great general fought."

Journal Sentinel editor Jim Higgins reviews The Driftless Reader, a collection edited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley. Higgins writes: "The editors' selections describe the distinctiveness of the region, and how it shapes the people who have lived and still live there. They're impressed by its beauty, but mindful of the difficulties, sometimes harsh, of traversing this hilly country, making a living from it and getting along with others trying to do the same. Meine and Keeley have organized this mosaic thematically, beginning with a segment on 'geologic origins.' If your mind, like mine, absorbs geology in small doses, you can always skip forward to people-centered selections, then return for more bedrock."

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