Sunday, November 4, 2018

Whoboughtit? And other secrets of the Boswell bestseller list for the week ending November 3, 2018

Whoboughtit? And other secrets of the Boswell bestseller list for the week ending November 3, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. November Road, by Lou Berney
2. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
3. Jar of Hearts, by Robert Hillier
4. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Button Man, by Andrew Gross
6. Mercy's Chase V2, by Jess Lourey
7. Dark Sacred Night, by Michael Connelly
8. Leave No Trace, by Mindy Mejia (signed copies available)
9. There There, by Tommy Orange
10. Elevation, by Stephen King

All was Murder and Mayhem this week as we sold books at the annual conference at the Irish Cultural Center on Saturday.I'm always curious to see who will sell the most books, and this year was Lou Berney with November Road (signed copies available). Richard Turner in The Wall Street Journal noted: "His latest follows two strangers whose paths cross - a street-smart operator who works for a New Orleans mob boss, and an Oklahoma City mother fleeing her husband. The premise came from a small prairie town he’d heard about, a'“cool-off' spot where soldiers for crime organizations went to lay low. Mr. Berney originally set his story in 1968...Something wasn’t firing early on, though. His new agent, Shane Salerno, suggested relocating to the days following Nov. 22, 1963. The presidential assassination itself wouldn’t be the focus, but it would ignite the story and its aftermath would provide a backdrop: 'a seismic change in our country that can be reflected in the characters who are forced into motion by this event.'"

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Radio Flyer, by Robert Pasin
2. Leaders, by Stanley McChrystal
3. Everyday Dorie, by Dorie Greenspan
4. Funding Feminism, by Joan Marie Johnson 5. Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking
6. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
7. UWM: The First Sixty Years, 1956-2016, by John Schroeder
8. Beastie Boys Book, by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
9. Educated, by Tara Westover
10. Dorie's Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan

Take our advice and don't wait till the last minute for your holiday gifts, especially when you have your eye on The Beastie Boys Book, from Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond. We're going to have trouble keeping this one in stock. From A.O. Scott in The New York Times: "The third Beastie, Adam Yauch - MCA, the conscience, shaman and intellectual backbone of the group — died in 2012 after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer. His absence, six years later, is a palpable fact in the room. His name comes up a lot in the conversation, as it does in the new book Horovitz and Diamond have written. Called Beastie Boys Book (though the front cover might lead you to believe that the actual title is PIZZA), it’s a 571-page doorstop and a tombstone, a compendium of anecdotes, recipes, impish riffs and shaggy-dog stories and a heartfelt elegy to a much-missed friend."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little
2. Under a Dark Sky, by Lori Rader-Day
3. Beyond the Pale, by Clare O'Donohue
4. The Long and Faraway Gone, by Lou Berney
5. Flyover Country, by Austin Smith
6. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
8. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
9. Bluebird Bluebird, by Attica Locke
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

I read the back end of the top 10, but I've got a ways to go on the top five, having only read Under a Dark Sky. One of the other hits of Murder and Mayhem was Elizabeth Little's Dear Daughter, which was particularly surprising as the book is from 2014 (the paperback's from 2015) and we usually don't do that well with older titles. Library Journal couldn't say it better: "Jane Jenkins is a snarky celebutante, famous for being famous, until she is convicted of the murder of her wealthy socialite mother. After being released from prison on a technicality, Janie tracks down the one lead she has on the real killer and is startled by what she uncovers about her mother's past in small-town South Dakota."

More recently released is Clare O'Donohue's Beyond the Pale, a new series from the recently-announced-its-being-shuttered Midnight Ink. It's about a married couple who are convinced to become spies as they are chased across Ireland. Bring her back for Irish Fest!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Great Derangement, by Amitav Ghosh
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Practice of Adaptive Leadership, by Ronald Heifetz
4. Cold War Wisconsin, by Christopher Sturdevant
5. The Color of War, by Richard Rothstein
6. Butter, by Dorie Greenspan
7. I Swear I Saw This, by Michael Taussig
8. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
9. Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee, By Thomas Fehring
10. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

It's an environmental top two as Amitav Ghosh's The Great Derangement beats out the non-even-but-always-popular The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. I've read Ghosh, but only his novel Sea of Poppies, the first of a trilogy that I didn't know was a trilogy when I picked it up. It's been many years but I just wish the first volume was worked as a stand-alone instead of leaving me on the edge of my seat. Despite Ghosh's nonfiction book being a year old in paperback and a 2016 in hardcover, the book continues to be timely. As Mark Bachanan writes in Bloomberg News: "Scientists haven’t had much luck convincing us of the impending disaster. Maybe it’s time the artists and philosophers gave it a shot."

Books for Kids:
1. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, by Robert Barry
2. The Snowy Nap, by Jan Brett
3. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef (event Wed Nov 7, 6:30 at Boswell!)
4. Bridge of Clay, by Markus Zusak
5. Map of Days V4, by Ransom Riggs
6. The Wall in the Middle of the Book, by Jon Agee
7. Potato Pans!, by Laurie Keller (event at Boswell Mon Nov 5, 4 pm)
8. Meltdown, by Jeff Kinney
9. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, By Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
10. Very Large Expanse of Sea, by Tahereh Mafi

Jan Brett's The Snowy Nap is her latest picture book for kids. From Publishers Weekly: "In this fetching companion to The Hat, autumn gives way to winter on young Lisa's Danish island farm, where her woodland friend Hedgie decides he'll 'just take a last ramble' before hibernating." The other animals talk up winter so much that Hedgie doesn't want to go to sleep! Buy the book from us and get a special tote bag, while supplies last.

Over at the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page, some suggestions.

In the spirit of Murder and Mayhem weekend, Charles Finch recommends some mysteries (from USA Today):
--Transcription, by Kate Atkinson (still out of stock! If you want this, please give us your contact info)
--The Wildlands, by Abby Geni
--Button Man, by Andrew Gross (you just missed him! He was in town yesterday)
--The Man Who Came Uptown, by George Pelecanos

Brian Truitt reviews Elevation, the new Stephen King (from USA Today).

Zlati Meyer looks at Rebecca Traister's Good and Mad (from US Today network)

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