Sunday, January 20, 2019

You bought 'em, we write about 'em - Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 19, 2019

You bought 'em, we write about 'em.

Hardcover Fiction
1. Tear It Down V4, by Nick Petrie
2. The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay
3. Kingdom of the Blind V14, by Louise Penny
4. There There, by Tommy Orange
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Fire and Blood, by George R.R. Martin
8. Devotions, by Mary Oliver
9. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
10. New Iberia Blues V22, by James Lee Burke

Of James Lee Burke's New Iberia Blues, Booklist wrote: "At 82, Burke just keeps getting better, his familiar theme of an idyllic past at war with a demon-drenched present taking on more subtle levels of meaning; his storied lyricism drawing on a new range of powerfully resonant minor chords." His latest has Dave Robicheaux investigating the death of a young actress that took place near the home of a famous director, who also happens to be an old friend.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Well That Escalated Quickly, by Franchesca Ramsey
2. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. The Making of Milwaukee 4e, by John Gurda
5. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
6. The First Conspiracy, Brad Meltzer and
7. Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook, by NMAAHC
8. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
9. Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher
10. Gift of Our Wounds, by Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka

Clinical psychologist Piper looks at women in the transition between "late middle and old age" in Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age. Kirkus Reviews wrote: "Eloquently compassionate and sure to appeal to late-life women, Pipher’s book draws from a deep well of insight that is both refreshing and spiritually aware."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday
3. The Drifter V1, by Nick Petrie
4. Burning Bright V2, by Nick Petrie
5. The Milkman, by Anna Burns
6. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
7. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
8. Girl of the Limberlost, a play by Marie Kohler
9. The Power, by Naomi Alderman
10. Space Opera, by Catherynne Valente

The Boswell-run book clubs own three slots in this week's top ten. The In-Store Lit Group is reading Asymmetry on March 4, but we've also seemed to have landed on one of the break-out books of the holiday season. The Sci Fi Book Club is reading Catherynne Valente's Space Opera on February 11 and the Books and Beer Book Club is reading The Power on March 18 (all the selections here with links to purchase or get more info). The Power was a hardcover hit for us, with Boswell selling just under 100 copies (that's good, especially with no event).

Note the divergent paperback publishing strategies, which used to be solidly one year until paperback. Asymmetry only took 8 months to paperback publication while The Power extended its hardcover run to 15 months.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Cali'flour Kitchen, by Amy Lacey
2. The Diane Chronicles, by Diane S. Forman
3. Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff
4. The Complete Book of Chakra Healing, by Cyndi Dale
5. Cold War Wisconsin, by Christopher Sturdevant (event 1/29 at MPL's Rare Book Room)
6. American Advertising Cookbooks, by Christina Ward (event 2/1, 7 pm, at Boswell)
7. Anxiety Journal, by Corinne Sweet
8. The Recovering, by Leslie Jamison
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Kimmerer
10. Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker

Leslie Jamison's The Recovering only went nine months to paperback, but because of its pub date, it still got a hardcover Christmas, unlike the Nick Petrie series (see above, all four titles) which is always out in trade and mass market before the holiday season. Jamison's latest looks at artists whose lives were shaped by substance addiction and subsequent recovery. Sophie Gilbert has a nuanced review in The Atlantic: "There’s so much to consider here that you almost wish Jamison - who notes that 'the Old Drunk Legends were all men' — had sidelined their too-familiar stories to make more space for Rhys, and Marguerite Duras, and Billie Holiday. But it’s her book, and she follows the paths that intrigue her."

Books for Kids:
1. A Dreadful Fairy Book, by John Etter
2. Wundersmith V2: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend
3. Nevermoor V1 (paperback), by Jessica Townsend
4. Nevermoor V1 (hardcover), by Jessica Townsend
5. Dog Man V6 Brawl of the Wild, by Dav Pilkey
6. Cinderella, a pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart
7. The Jungle Book, a pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart
8. Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen M. McManus
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef
10. Max and the Midknights, by Lincoln Peirce

After the holidays, it's back to school visits making a mark on our top ten. This week sees the appearance of area educator Jon Etter's A Dreadful Fairy Book. The book got a strong review in Kirkus: "With an exasperated narrator who would much prefer a story whose fairies and plots behave the way they ought and with characters that not only question, but outright shatter the status quo to embrace difference, Etter offers readers a rich world of complexity and moral ambiguity as Shade navigates loss, betrayal, magic, and friendship in pursuit of the wonders of books and self-love. It’s difficult to give Etter credit for diverse racial representation in a world of multihued nonhuman creatures; nevertheless, this chubby brown protagonist full of flaws and wit and heart is quite welcome."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Tear It Down, the latest thriller from Nick Petrie: "Ash, a Marine veteran of Fallujah, is a lethal warrior with significant PTSD, which he dubs 'the white static.' It makes him so restless he can barely sleep indoors. So Petrie has kindly turned him into a roving knight errant, with butt-kicking adventures to date in Ash’s hometown of Milwaukee (The Drifter), the Pacific northwest (Burning Bright) and cannabis-laced Colorado (Light It Up). For Tear It Down, Ash lands in Memphis, dispatched by his sweetheart June Cassidy to aid her friend, combat photographer Wanda Wyatt. He arrives right after someone has driven a truck into the dilapidated old house she bought in an auction. More here.

From USA Today comes a review of The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, written by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, "a breezily entertaining account of a treasonous plot among various pro-crown figures, including some of Washington’s bodyguards, to assassinate the general and turn the tide of the Revolutionary War."

And finally, here are five books to read after Bird Box from Mary Cadden, also at USA Today.
1. The Silence, by Tim Lebbon
2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
3. The Fireman, by Joe Hill
4. The Passage, by Justin Cronin
5. Blindness, by Jose Saramago

Our buyer Jason is a fan of Josh Malerman's work and has read several of his novels, including Bird Box.

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