Sunday, March 18, 2018

Boswell annotated bestsellers for the week ending March 17, 2018

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending 3/17/18

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
2. The Maze at Windermere, by Gregory Blake Smith
3. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
4. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
5. Sunburn, by Laura Lippman
6. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
7. The Sparsholt Affair, by Alan Hollinghurst
8. Munich, by Robert Harris
9. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
10. A Long Way from Home, by Peter Carey

The bottom of the list is Knopf heavy, with three of the five coming from Borzoi Books. I heard an interesting interview with Peter Carey for A Long Way from Home, when he discussed writing about addressing Australia's colonial legacy with Tom Power on Q, the CBC radio show and how he framed this within the legendary Redex Reliability Tests which were not exactly races but endurance tests. The Guardian says its "his best novel in decades."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Extraordinary Influence, by Tim Irwin
2. The Way of Being Lost, by Victoria Price
3. The World Only Spins Forward, by Dan Kois/Isaac Butler
4. Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
5. Promise Me, Dad, by Joe Biden
6. Einstein and the Rabbi, by Naomi Levy
7. The Deepest Well, by Nadine Burke Harris
8. What Are We Doing Here?, by Marilynne Robinson
9. Packing My Library, Alberto Manguel
10. The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking

It's no Fire and Fury, but we get a pop on Michael Isikoff and David Corn's Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Steven Lee Myers writes in The New York Times: "Although the authors make their view clear from the start, referring to Russian help as the perceived 'original sin' of Trump’s presidency, it is to their credit that they present both campaigns in an unfavorable light. The book will surely infuriate readers on either side of what should be the most urgent question facing the nation today: the vulnerability of our democratic institutions to Russian manipulation."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
2. Call Me by Your Name, by André Aciman
3. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
4. Beartown, by Fredrik Backman
5. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (event Tue 5/8 - Tickets here.)
6. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (event Tue 4/10 at Shorewood Public Library)
7. The Little French Bistro, by Nina George
8. Hum If You Don't Know the Words, by Bianca Marais
9. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
10. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nina George's follow up to The Little Paris Bookshop is now out in paperback. The Little French Bistro did not quite live up to its predecessor, but because we're talking about bookstore sales, perhaps it sold better in bistros that sold it. Novelist Barbara Delinsky offers her take. And Bethanne Patrick in The Washington Post notes this book is part of a legacy of novels about unhappy women stumbling into a new life.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence, by Derald Wing Sue
2. Dreamland, by Sam Quinones
3. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
4. Species of Species and Other Pieces, by Georges Perec
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. Mexicans in Wisconsins, by Sergio Gonazalez
7. Irish Milwaukee, by Martin Hintz
8. The Six, by Laura Thompson
9. Everybody Lies, by Seth Stephens Davidowitz
10. Siddhartha's Brain, by James Kingsland

No that there's often a sales pop for Irish titles in the week's leading up to St. Patrick's Day, but it's nice to see Martin Hintz's Irish Milwaukee have at least a small pop. Our paperback nonfiction list generally has the smallest sales of the five lists, but on the other hand, I read four of the ten this week (Evicted, Janesville, The Six, Everybody Lies) so it seems like a good list for me. One book I'd still like to read on the list is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. Quinones was brought in to do a Rotary Club lunch and a talk/panel discussion at Milwaukee Public Library.

Books for Kids:
1. Stuck in the Stone Age, by Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates
2. Deadweather and Sunrise: Chronicles of Egg V1, by Geoff Rodkey
3. Tapper Twins Tear Up New York V2, by Geoff Rodkey
4. Tapper Twins Go to War with Each Other V1, by Geoff Rodkey
5. The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani
6. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
7. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
8. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
9. Love, Hate, and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
10. The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

New to our kids list is Samira Ahmed's YA novel Love, Hate, and Other Filters, about an Muslim Indian American girl in Illinois whose destiny is to go to a good school in the Chicago area and marry a good match. But she wants to go to film school! But in the midst of this personal dilemma comes a tragedy - a terrorist attack in Springfield. Katie Ward Beim-Esche in the Christian Science Monitor says "Ahmed has a tangled web to weave, and you’re in for a blistering and blunt experience that will not end the way you expect." The headline says it's the most important YA novel of 2018 so far.

Here's what's happening on the TapBooks page of the Journal Sentinel:

-Mark Athitakis reviews Chris Bohjalian's The Flight Attendant: "A woman. A murder. A mode of public transportation... It was only a matter of time before someone gave it wings." Athitakis calls it "an assured novel about reckoning not just with some ruthless bad guys, but private sadness as well." Originally from USA Today

--Diane Werts reviews Stealing the Show: How Woman Are Revolutionizing Television: "We hear you, straight white guys. You hardlyl see yourselves on television anymore. Seems like it's all black people, LGBT people, chubby chucks, prison inmates, and female butt-kickers now. Whom can you guys identify with? Must be frustrating. Welcome to the club of 'other' viewers." Originally from Newsday

--Steph Cha reviews The Hunger, by Alma Katsu: "You've heard of the Donner Party. You know they were pioneers who set out for California, that things went poorly and did not end well. If nothing else, you probably know that they ate one another to survive. The Hunger, Alma Katsu's new novel, assumes some familiarity with this California trail horror show." Cha notes that Katsu adds a supernatural twist. Originally from USA Today

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