Sunday, April 22, 2018

Boswell bestsellers, week ending April 21, 2018

We wouldn't have a bookseller without you - buying stuff that we can tabulate into this bestseller list.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Raising the Dad, by Tom Matthews
3. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. The Fallen, by David Baldacci
6. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. Tangerine, by Christine Mangan (#1 Indie Next Pick for April)
9. I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (Pulitzer Prize winner)

The first thing I want to not is that since I have been keeping bestseller lists for first Schwartz and then Boswell, I do not recall a pop for a Richard Powers in hardcover like we had for The Overstory this week. I know we sold a lot of Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, hand-sold by Jack Covert, and we must have sold a good number of The Echo Maker, as it won the National Book Award. Ron Charles offered a rave in The Washington Post: "What makes The Overstory so fascinating is the way it talks to itself, responding to its own claims about the fate of the Earth with confirmation and contradiction. Individual stories constantly shift the novel’s setting and pace, changing registers, pushing into every cranny of these people’s lives."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey
2. Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris
3. Fascism, by Madeleine Albright
4. David Sedaris Diaries, by David Sedaris
5. Wife Inc, by Suzanne Leonard
6. Promise Me, Dad, by Joe Biden
7. Natural Causes, by Barbara Ehrenreich
8. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
9. Your Story Is Your Power, by Elle Luna
10. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

Unlike Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, James Comey's A Higher Loyalty did not have the same sort of stock shortages. That said, it's life has probably been extended by the demand that the Justice Department release the Comey memos (Business Insider), with interesting results (New York Times). Michiko Kakutani came out of retirement to review the book for The New York Times.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See (In-Store Lit Group discussion on Mon Jun 4, 7 pm, at Boswell)
2. Frankenstein 1831 Text, by Mary Shelley
3. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
5. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
6. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
7. The Little French Bistro, by Nina George
8. My Dear Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray
9. Miss You, by Kate Eberlen
10. The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katharine Arden (Books and Beer Book Club, Mon May 21, 7 pm, at Cafe Hollander)

Proving that Hamilton fever has not yet abated, Stephanie Dray's My Dear Hamilton has its best week in its third showing. Novelist Karen White compared this historical novel to Erik Larson's Dead Wake. The publisher noted that Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza's story as it's never been told before--not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal--but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right. Kathe Robbin at RT Reviews noted that "a complete and very human portrait of Eliza will resonate with today's readers."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. With One Shot, by Dorothy Marcic
2. Rock 'n' Roll Radio Milwaukee, by Bob Barry (rescheduled to Wed May 9, 7 pm, at Boswell)
3. Ina's Kitchen, by Ina Pinkney
4. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris
5. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan (event at Schlitz Audubon Thu May 17, 7 pm)
6. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris
7. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
8. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
9. Naked, by David Sedaris
10. Good Food, Strong Communities, edited by Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey

Congratulations to Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan, whose The Death and Life of the Great Lakes hits The New York Times bestseller list at #7. It looks like this was helped by its selection as PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club for April. Here are some great discussion questions from Elizabeth Flock on the PBS web page. And here's an interview with Egan where he notes that he's probably the only reporter in America whose beat is the Great Lakes.

Books for Kids:
1. Hello, by Liza Wiemer
2. Sail Away Dragon V3, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Randy Cecil
3. Better Together, by Barbara Joosse and Anneka Lisberg
4. Avalanche, by Terry Lynn Johnson
5. Sled Dog School, by Terry Lynn Johnson
6. Lovabye Dragon V1, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Randy Cecil
7. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, by Paul Noth
8. Overboard, by Terry Lynn Johnson
9. Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
10. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

It seemed a little late for Terry Lynn Johnson to be visiting area schools in April for books like Survivor Diaries: Avalanche and Sled Dog School, only for us to have two major snowstorms in the month. I hope you are not thinking this weather was our fault! Of Sled Dog School, Kirkus Reviews called this novel "A tale of loyalty and friendship - with a strong dose of validation for readers who learn from doing rather than books—that hits all the right notes." Watch the trailer here. And don't forget that if you're an educator, you probably want to get on the Jenny list and get the opportunity to propose author events for your school.

Here are highlights from the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page!

--Laurie Hertzel profiles Cleveland's Loganberry Books and their Stump the Bookseller website. This print-only story originally appeared in the Star Tribune. In her attempt to find the answers to the missing titles from her own childhood, Hertzel wrote: "The books we read as children make a lasting impression. Even if we can’t recall the details, we recall the feelings, and these are important. Reading these queries is heartening – so many beloved books, so many people trying to reconnect."

--Loraine Ali reviewed Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, but You Can Read Them Too, written by Louis Anderson, who plays a mom on the FX comedy Baskets. Of this role, Ali (writing for the Los Angeles Times) writes: "It’s a move that has made Anderson, 65, the latest in a long line of beloved TV moms. In playing Christine, the mother of Chip Baskets, a would-be professional clown, and his twin brother, Dale, (both portrayed by Galifianakis), Anderson has gained newfound acclaim and an Emmy for supporting actor." In his profile Anderson discussed "how channeling his mother helped him create the wonderfully nuanced Christine, deal with his own demons, and come to terms with the memory of his abusive, alcoholic father."

--Jim Higgins offers some upcoming events going on around town: Meg Wolitzer (last minute to buy tickets here), Christopher Moore, Paula McLain, Arundhati Roy, Luis Alberto Urrea, Katherine Applegate, and Jennifer Egan. The website version also includes the delightful-but-please-don't-bring-your-children-because-I-only-have-so-many-fingers-to-cover-little-one's-ears Samantha Irby on May 10.

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