Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rulers of the Boswell bestseller list, week ending June 23, 2018

Rulers of the Boswell bestseller list, week ending June 23, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
3. Circe, by Madeline Miller (Sabaa Tahir pick!)
4. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
5. There, There, by Tommy Orange
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Florida, by Lauren Groff
8. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (register her for 7/20 event)
9. The Outsider, by Stephen King
10. Murder on the Left Bank, by Cara Black (today at Boswell, 3 pm)

In The New York Times Book Review, Colm Toíbin meditates on There, There, the much-lauded first novel from Tommy Orange: "In this big, noisy novel filled with absences, stray clues, odd traces, Orange has managed to fix his attention fiercely on Oakland as a place of pure stability. 'I feel bad sometimes even saying I’m Native,' one of the characters says. 'Mostly I just feel I’m from Oakland.' Toward the end of the book one of the characters 'is the fire and the dance and the night,” but in the next sentence “he’s standing in front of a BART map.'"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Young Washington, by Peter Stark (event Thu, 6/28, at Boswell)
2. The War on Neighborhoods, by Ryan Lugalia-Hollan and Daniel Cooper
3. Calypso, by David Sedaris
4. Yes We (Still) Can, by Dan Pfeiffer
5. You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth, by Mary Zaia
6. The Reporter, by Seymour M. Hersh
7. The Perfectionists, by Simon Winchester
8. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (alas, 6/25 event is sold out)
9. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
10. Prairie Fires, by Caroline Fraser

Our buyer Jason noted how well we are selling Seymour M. Hersh's Reporter: A Memoir, which could have had the alternate title of I, Sy. The aptly named profile in The New York Times noted that Hersh didn't feel like he was ready to tell his story. Michael M. Grynbaum notes: "Not for the first time in his career, the editors prevailed. Reporter, a 355-page memoir, will be released on Tuesday. The book is by turns rollicking and reflective, sober and score-settling. It reconstructs his reporting on Vietnam, his feuds with Henry Kissinger, the foibles of former bosses like A.M. Rosenthal at The New York Times and William Shawn at The New Yorker. It also exhumes journalism’s flush, predigital heyday - when newspapers felled presidents and Mr. Hersh, as a newbie at The Times, was put up at the Hôtel de Crillon while on assignment in Paris."

Paperback Fiction
1. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
3. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (two events on 6/26, see event page)
4. The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
5. The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende
6. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
7. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
8. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
9. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
10. Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult (tickets for 10/21 event here)

Less, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine to me have similar cover treatments, with the titled character on a field of aqua. Both Less and Eleanor also share huge breakout success in paperback, though don't count out Lillian as a sleeper. All the books are also very place-y, with Greer taking a round-the-world approach, with Rooney and Honeyman focusing on New York and Glasgow, respectively. As Denise Davidson wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune, on Honeyman's setting: "I’ve always found Glasgow to be a wonderful city - warm and funny and full of kindness. There’s a scene at the start of the book where an old man collapses in the street, and I’m sure that if this were to happen in Glasgow in real life, he’d immediately be surrounded by dozens of people trying to help him. It seemed like an appropriate setting for a story about kindness and friendship."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out, by Josh B. Noel (signed copies available)
2. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. White Folks, by Tim Lensmire
6. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
7. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
8. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain
9. Vacationland, by John Hodgman
10. Tell Me How It Ends, by Valeria Luiselli

We're told by Josh B. Noel that Boswell is one of the few places where you can get Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out, having sold out nation-wide, with hundreds of copies on backorder at our two distributors. Needless to say, a lot of the enthusiasm for the book is in Chicago (here's a Chicago Reader teaser: "One of his greatest feats is organizing the book in such a way that it delivers a ton of information (including one of the best explanations I've read of the three-tier system of beverage distribution) without being dense or dry.") but I can see from the different warehouse orders that the demand is transcending the Midwest.

Books for Kids:
1. A Reaper at the Gates V3, by Sabaa Tahir
2. An Ember in the Ashes V1, by Sabaa Tahir (paperback)
3. An Ember in the Ashes V1, by Sabaa Tahir (hardcover)
4. A Torch Against the Night V2, by Sabaa Tahir (paperback)
5. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss
6. Legendary V2, by Stephanie Garber
7. Kids Cooking, by Klutz Publishing
8. A Torch Against the Night V2, by Sabaa Tahir (hardcover)
9. Ocean Meets the Sky, by Terry Fan
10. Save the Date, by Morgan Matson (a Sabaa Tahir pick!)

Bustle writes up Legendary, the follow-up to a YA breakout bestseller: "Caraval follows Scarlett Dragna, who has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. But when Scarlett receives an invitation to Caraval - the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show - everything changes. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Now Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever."

It's the Summerfest issue, which means no book page in the Journal Sentinel, but there's still the USA Today-reprinted piece on Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons, written by longtime writer Mike Reiss. Here's a teaser: "Besides contributing a zillion jokes, Reiss has been immortalized on The Simpsons, not always voluntarily. In 1992’s 'Lisa’s First Word,' Homer builds young son Bart a bed with a nightmare-inducing clown face on the headboard; Reiss’ father once built his brother a scary clown bed. Mr. Bergstrom (voiced by Dustin Hoffman), the ideal teacher in 1990’s 'Lisa’s Substitute,' is named for one of Reiss’ instructors. Simon based Bergstrom's appearance on Reiss."

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