Sunday, April 8, 2018

The best of the best of the bestsellers, but only at Boswell, and only for the first week of April - plus Journal Sentinel TapBooks reviews

The best of the best of the bestsellers, but only at Boswell, and only for the first week of April. So really, it's just our regular bestsellers.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer (ticketed event in conversation with Jane Hamilton, Mon 4/23, 7 pm - tickets here)
3. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
4. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
5. The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn
6. Origin, by Dan Brown
7. Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen
8. To Die but Once, by Jacqueline Winspear
9. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
10. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (event coming in July)

A great week for the Penguin division of Penguin Random House with five books in the top ten. It would have been particularly embarrassing for Paris by the Book to not be #1 with the work that we put into it. Our buyer Jason noted that April 3 might be the biggest on-sale date of the spring, but the only other fiction hardcover to make our top ten was The Female Persuasion, which is in conjunction with our very exciting April 23 event. Speaking of events, keep tuned to see an announcement for Tayari Jones, as part of a midwest swing for the author in July for An American Marriage. 

Liam Callanan will be back to sign stock on April 18.

What are folks saying about Anna Quindlen's Alternate Side about a family in Manhattan with off-street parking? Sue Corbett in The New York Times calls it "exquisitely rendered." Patty Rhule in USA Today says it's not her favorite: "Quindlen’s book reads like a metaphor for our divisive times. Americans seem to live on alternate sides, scrapping any sense of unity in desperate pursuit of a parking space in the Big Apple of life."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Our Fifty-State Border Crisis, by Howard Buffett
2. Rocket Men, by Robert Kurson
3. Home of the Braves, by Patrick Steele
4. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan (paperback imminent!)
5. See What Can Be Done, by Lorrie Moore (last week's Mike Fischer review)
6. The Road to Freedom, by Timothy Snyder
7. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
8. A Thousand Crossings, photographs by Sally Mann
9. Recovering, by Leslie Jamison
10. Skin in the Game, by Nicholas Taleb Nassim

It's not often you see a $55 photography book like A Thousand Crossings on our bestseller list but it's also not common that said photographer does an event at Boswell. Mann visited Boswell for her memoir, Hold Still, and she was in conversation with Liam Callanan (see above).

While we're not hosting Leslie Jamison for her acclaimed new memoir Recovering (here's The New York Times review), our former colleague Teasha told us that she will be coming to Eliot Bay in Seattle. That said, if you like Jamison, why not take her advice and come to Boswell for Cutter Wood's Love and Death in the Sunshine State? He'll be at Boswell on Thursday, April 26, 7 pm. She writes: "Cutter Wood subverts all our expectations for the true crime genre. He challenges what we mean by 'true,' by presenting us with feats of imagination alongside traditional reportage, and challenges how we understand 'crime' by asking us to consider the relationship between acts of extraordinary violence and the rhythms of our ordinary lives. Wood's voice is smart, curious, playful, and wholly engaging."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Hum If You Don't Know the Words, by Bianca Marais
2. No One Is coming to Save Us, by Stephanie Powell Watts (In-Store Lit Group, Mon, May 7 at Boswell)
3. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
4. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (see below)
5. Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
6. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller (Literary Journeys title)
7. Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown
8. The Little French Bistro, by Nina George
9. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Literary Journeys title)
10. The Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

Every year on National Library Workers' Day, one of our nearby school districts celebrates with a book club discussion and this year they are doing Hum If You Don't Know the Words. If you haven't read this book, and I don't know why you haven't, you would know that a librarian is one of the heroes of the story.

The finale events of Shorewood Reads Station Eleven - Lauren Fox in conversation, April 10, 10 am, and Daniel-me in conversation with Mandel April 10, 7 pm, both at the Shorewood Public Library.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane will be our In-store Lit Group discussion title on Monday, June 4, 7 pm, at Boswell. But before that, see the great Lisa See at the UWM Golda Meir Library on Thursday, April 19, 7 pm. It's at the fourth floor conference center. Details here.

More Liam. His Paris recommendations are still up, and while you could argue about his impact on The Little French Bistro, there's no question that he drove sales of The Light of Paris, Eleanor Brown's most recent novel. They were in conversation on Friday at Tattered Cover.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. We Are All Fast Food Workers Now, by Annelise Orleck
2. They Will Inherit the Earth, by John Dear
3. We Rise to Resist, edited by Paula vW. Dáil and Betsy Wells
4. This Is an Uprising, by Mark Engler
5. The Body Is Not an Apology, by Sonya Renee Taylor
6. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
7. Parallel Universes, by David B. Bohl
8. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
9. My Bookstore, edited by Ronald Rice (updated from the hardcover)
10. Urban Ecology, by Ken Leinbach (event Wed 4/25, 7 pm, at Boswell)

We sold copies of We Are All Fast Food Workers Now at a labor history conference. We talked about hosting a public event the evening before but decided we were cutting it too close. It turned out her plane came in at 10 pm so that was the right call. We ran out of books, but we'll definitely bring the book back into stock. Orleck teaches at Dartmouth, where she is friends with one of my old professors.

In Eviction news, there's a front page story in The New York Times today about the national eviction database Matthew Desmond is building. And for those who thought, because the field data was based on Milwaukee, that we are egregious in this practice, we're not even in the top ten. Must reading - here's the link.

And don''t forget, Desmond will be the featured speaker at the Jewish Family Services lunch on May 16. It's a rare chance to see Desmond. Buy your tickets here!

Books for Kids:
1. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, by Paul Noth (event today Sun Apr 8, 3 pm, at Boswell)
2. Hello Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly
3. Rebound, by Kwame Alexander (last chance to register for our event on Monday, April 9, 6:30 pm)
4. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss
5. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
6. Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey
7. A Tale of Two Kitties, by Dav Pilkey
8. Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson
9. The Explorer, by Katherine Rundell
10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kim

How is your school not working with us to bring authors? We not only work with some high-profile writers like Newbery winner Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Hello Universe (alas, her schedule is already full), but many of our featured presenters have gone on to greater acclaim. We hosted Kelly Barnhill before she won the Newbery Medal and Katherine Rundell (whose novel The Explorer shows up on our list again) before she won the Costa Prize (the same award J.K. Rowling won for her first book). Contact Jenny for more details.

You might see A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo jumping from kids to adult and back on our reporting. A lot of it has to do with how the sales rep sales it in. So we're shelving it in humor, but The New York Times is reporting it as a children's hardcover, just like the book it is parodying, Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President.

This week in the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page:

--Journal Sentinel editor Jim Higgins reviews Sharp: The Women who Made an Art of Having an Opinion, written by Michelle Dean. He writes: "In a happy case of it takes one to know one, Michelle Dean has delivered a penetrating book about penetrating American writers." Profiled writers range from Dorothy Parker to Janet Malcolm.

--From USA Today, Jocelyn McClurg profiles Where There's Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up. This new book from kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart "interviews survivors of trauma and tells the story of her own recovery." The complete chat is on Facebook Live.

--Matthew Price reviews The Infernal Library: On dictators, the Books They Wrote, and other Catastrophes of Literacy. Per Price, "Daniel Kaler's long march through the writings of 20th century tyrants is mind-numbing and mortifying in equal measure." Price warns "This is the danger of dictator books. They hide in plain site." This review originally appeared in Newsday.

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