Sunday, June 17, 2018

Summer is to paperbacks as is fall to hardcovers, or so it seems - Boswell bestsellers for week ending June 16, 2018

Summer is to paperbacks as is fall to hardcovers, or so it seems on the Boswell bestseller list for the week ending June 16, 2018.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (signed copies available)
2. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (also signed copies available)
3. The Life Lucy Knew, by Karma Brown
4. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
5. The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go, by Amy E. Reichert
6. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (two events on 6/26, details on upcoming event page)
7. Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero
8. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
9. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
10. Saints for All Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan
11. History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund
12. In This Moment, by Karma Brown
13. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
14. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
15. Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer (SF Book Club, 7/9 at Boswell, 7 pm)

Yes, 6 of these top 15 titles are on the list because of events this week, but book clubs are also an important component of this list. We had one of our clubs who buys their books for the season together start to come in and make their purchases, and I'm excited to say they took some of our suggestions, including Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (they meet near the Frank L. Weyenberg Library, where Rooney will be on Tuesday, June 26, 2 pm), Sing, Unburied, Sing, and History of Wolves (and of course Fridlund visited Boswell for her hardcover tour.

Jeff VanderMeer's Borne is the next pick of the in-store SF book club. And I should note that Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (signed copies available*), who visited on Thursday, is the July selection for the Books and Beer Book Club. For me, I am currently reading Underground Airlines, which is being discussed tomorrow, July 18, at Cafe Hollander. I can't wait to hear what Jen has dug up about the book.

Speaking of events, congrats to recent guest Gail Honeyman, for debuting at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list in paperback for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (a few signed copies available). I noticed that the publishers seemed to try something different with this release, keeping the paperback info off public websites as long as possible to keep sales going on the hardcover.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Semiosis, by Sue Burke
2. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
3. What Should Be Wild, by Julia Fine
4. The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
5. Florida, by Lauren Groff
6. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
7. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (register for this event on July 20 here)
8. The Outsider, by Stephen King
9. There, There, by Tommy Orange
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

Short story collections don't always create a flurry of activity, especially for authors better known for their novels, but I spoke to several customers, and at least one author, who were anxiously awaiting the release of Lauren Groff's Florida. Of the new book, Jackie Thomas-Kennedy wrote in the Star-Tribune wrote that Florida "is filled with the mesmerizing, decadent language one finds in all of her work. Although a few of the stories follow Floridians abroad (in Brazil and in France), the titular state looms as a setting of lush beauty and swift menace: snakes and hurricanes, ghosts and sinkholes, panthers and St. Augustine grass."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (registration almost closed for this event)
2. Calpyso, by David Sedaris
3. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
4. Pops, by Michael Chabon
5. You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth, by Mary Zaia
6. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
7. Young Washington, by Peter Stark
8. The Reporter, by Seymour Hersh
9. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
10. When Einstein Walked with Godel, by Jim Holt

Look at that! A sales pop for a book (Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces) specifically published for Father's Day. Though this salute to dad does lead to book sales, the sales seem to be a bit more diffuse, though it seems clear that books that might be for a Father's Day gift do usually get published 4-6 weeks before the holiday. So it takes guts to publish an essay collection that might die on June 17, but if you're lucky, will perennially sell in future Junes.

Fiona Sturges wrote about Michael Chabon's latest in The Guardian: "Pops, then, is for him another in a long line of books that, once published, will refuse to reciprocate the time and nurturing poured into them. It is not, it should be noted, a misty-eyed treatise on the miracle of life, or a parenting manual dispensing solemn advice about how best to steer one’s offspring towards a rich, rewarding adulthood. Yet it stands as a heartfelt and thoughtful meditation on what parenthood asks of a man. "

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
5. The Long Haul, by Finn Murphy
6. Paris in Stride, by Jessie Kanelos Weiner
7. Theft by Finding, by David Sedaris
8. Priestdaddy, by Patricia Lockwood
9. Project Fire, by Steven Raichlen
10. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein

Yes, Father's Day was once about grilling and golfing, but nowadays we've got Priestdaddy. Patricia Lockwood's father was a married (with child) Lutheran minister who got dispensation from the church to convert and become a priest. This book, a bestseller in hardcover, was reviewed by Liam Carson in The Irish Times: "Like Flannery O’Connor, Lockwood looks beyond surface grotesquery to find 'mercy.' In an era of black-and-white ideological battle lines, Priestdaddy’s wonderful wit, candour**, compassion – and often lyrically gorgeous prose – is a much-needed antidote to simplistic caricatures.

Books for Kids:
1. The Burning Maze V3, by Rick Riordan
2. Children of Blood and Bone V1, by Tomi Adeyemi
3. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens V1 by Paul Noth
4. Invisible Emmie, by Terri Libenson
5. A Reaper at the Gates V3, by Sabaa Tahir (Register for 6/22 event here)
6. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
7. An Ember in the Ashes V1, by Sabaa Tahir (see above)
8. The Lifters, by Dave Eggers
9. Writing Radar, by Jack Gantos
10. Julian Is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love

In Dave Eggers's latest novel for middle-grade readers, The Lifters, Granite (Gran) Flowerpetal and his family move to the family home in a town that once made carousels. Publishers Weekly writes that Eggers "successfully blends the real and the fantastic in unexpected ways as Gran and Catalina face a mysterious, hurricane-like force that thrives from their fellow townspeople's sadness and fear. Black-and-white drawings by Renier lend a retro storybook feel to this cozy contemporary novel about lifting spirits and rebuilding community through teamwork and imagination."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Kathy Flanigan profiles Josh B. Noel's Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business. She writes: "For anyone who frequents Milwaukee’s 30 craft breweries, or anyone who has quaffed a beer in the Goose Island Bourbon County bar at the Wisconsin State Fair, Noel’s story sets up the brew battle with insider knowledge that only a beer reporter could have. For those whose love of beer is related to knowing who made what’s in the glass, Barrel-aged Stout and Selling Out is important information. Read the book. Rethink the pour." Noel will be at Good City Brewing on 2108 N Farwell on Thursday, June 21, 7 pm.

From Jocelyn McClurg at USA Today comes a review of Todd Fisher's My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and Debbie. Son of Debbie and sister of Carrie (as opposed to Sister Carrie) notes that he was not a fan of Papa Eddie and that Robert Wagner might have been the love of Debbie's life. Another takeaway: "Unlike his sister, Todd Fisher always got along famously with his mother 'My mom was fun and funny and playful and smart and beautiful,' he writes. 'It was one of the core facts of my life that she and I adored each other, that we’d had a rare connection from the moment I started growing in her belly.'"

*Should I just abbreviate that as SCA?


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