Sunday, March 10, 2019

Boswell bestsellers - when it comes to publishing, it's the first week of spring - week ending March 9, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 9, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Little Faith, by Nickolas Butler
2. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James
3. The River, by Peter Heller
4. Devotions, by Mary Oliver
5. Noir, by Christopher Moore
6. Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
7. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
8. Gingerbread, by Helen Oyeyemi
9. Lives Laid Away V2, by Stephen Mack Jones
10. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

Our buyer Jason has said that March 5's release schedule was the official first day of spring. Among the new arrivals that made the top ten are Daisy Jones and the Six (#1 Indie Next pick for March), Gingerbread (with a rec from Jen) and The River, the newest novel from Peter Heller (who visited Boswell for The Dog Star). Tod Goldberg in USA Today writes: "Few people have the luck to die 'in the prime of life,' Peter Heller writes early on in his poetic and unnerving wilderness thriller The River, out today. It’s an unusual observation in a book filled with them, but it could also be a thesis statement for a novel ultimately about surviving the worst the world of man and nature has to offer. If you’re coming face to face with the dead end of things, it’s likely better to be young and filled with optimism instead of old and sick; at least then it’s a fair fight. But who wants to die young if you lose?"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Crash Test Girl, by Kari Byron
2. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher
5. Spearhead, by Adam Makos
6. An American Summer, by Alex Kotlowitz (register for March 13 event here)
7. The Uninhabitable Earth, by David Wallace-Wells
8. The Threat, by Andrew McCabe
9. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean

One new book making the rounds of Boswell booksellers (well, two so far) is The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming from New York Magazine Deputy Managing Editor David Wallace-Wells. From Jennifer Szalai in The New York Times: "More than halfway through The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells addresses the reader directly, commending anyone who has 'made it this far' for being 'brave.' After all, the previous pages of his book have depicted in meticulous and terrifying detail the possible future that awaits the planet should we continue to add carbon to the atmosphere and fail to arrest global warming. Floods, pestilence, famines, wildfires: What he calls the 'elements of climate chaos' are veritably biblical in scope."

Paperback Fiction:
1. August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones
2. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
3. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
4. The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez
5. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
6. We're All in This Together, by Amy Jones
7. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
8. The Only Story, by Julian Barnes
9. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
10. Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

It was In-Store Lit Group week (we read Asymmetry, hope to do a blog post about this soon) and the next three selections all hit the top ten. The Friend, the National Book Award winner from Sigrid Nunez, is our April 1 selection, we're discussing Luis Alberto Urrea's The House of Broken Angels on May 6 at a special time of 6 pm, and the June selection (formerly May, it was bumped) is Amy Jones's We're All in This Together. The book originally came out in 2016. Liz Harmer in The Globe and Mail wrote: "The novel recalls Jonathan Franzen in The Corrections, or an ensemble TV dramedy you can't stop watching: both serious about family and lighthearted, both packed with details but not choking on them."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook, by Kristine Hansen
2. Networked News, Racial Divides, by Sue Robinson
3. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
4. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
5. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
6. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
7. Fly Girls, by Keith O'Brien
8. People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
9. Triumph of Christianity, by Bart D. Ehrman
10. Who We Are and How We Got Here, by David Reich

What a week! Among the programs we hosted this week are two on this week's top ten for paperback nonfiction - Keith O'Brien's Fly Girls (signed copies available) and Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook on Friday. Hansen will continue to do more programs for this book in April if you missed her. For folks who missed the terrific program with Bonnie North and Keith O'Brien on Wednesday (we know some of you had a conflict with Ash Wednesday), we're hoping that Lake Effect will have a program on Fly Girls soon. Maureen McCarthy notes in the Star Tribune: "Female pilots may have gotten their first chances because of their gender, but they wanted to show what they could do in spite of it. They were greeted with smirks and shrugs."

Books for Kids:
1. Unstinky, by Andy Rash
2. The Happy Book, by Andy Rash
3. Archie the Daredevil Penguin, by Andy Rash
4. Klawde V1, by Johnny Marciano
5. Klawde V2 Enemies, by Johnny Marciano
6. A Girl in Pieces, by Kathleen Glasgow
7. School for Good and Evil: Crystal of Time V5, by Soman Chainani (event Tue 3/12, 4 pm)
8. On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
9. Celebrate You, by Sherri Dusky Rinker
10. Frog and Toad Storybook Favorites, by Arnold Lobel

At this point, it seems like Sophie and Agatha might have graduated from School for Good and Evil, but there's simply too much 'independent study' to graduate. Per the publisher, in The Crystal of Time, "A false king has claimed the throne of Camelot, sentenced Tedros to death, and forced Sophie to be his queen. Only Agatha manages to escape. Now Agatha and the students at the School for Good and Evil must find a way to restore Tedros to his throne and save Camelot . . . before all of their fairy tales come to a lethal end."

At the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins talks about Alex Kotlowitz's An American Summer. He sets the stage: "During the summer of 2013, 172 people were killed in Chicago, with another 793 wounded by gunfire, according to Kotlowitz. The author of 'There Are No Children Here' spent that summer reporting the stories and backstories of victims and shooters and their mothers and girlfriends, social workers and retired gang leaders. Nearly everyone profiled in this book could be said to be suffering from PTSD, including a Chicago Tribune overnight police reporter who tweets from crime scenes." Register for our event on March 13 here.

Eliot Schrefer reviews The Last Romantics, the new novel from Tara Conklin, originally from USA Today: "The year is 2079, and elderly poet Fiona Skinner is giving a reading. A young woman in the audience asks a provocative question about one of Skinner’s most important works: 'I want to know, for my mother. Who was your inspiration?' The poet has avoided that question for years, because the truth is too difficult. Now she’s finally ready to answer, to face the painful memories of her family life"

Following up on Meg Jones's earlier story, the Journal Sentinel reprints George Petras's review of Spearhead:An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II : "If 60 years of B-grade war movies have taught us anything, it’s that tanks are unstoppable lumbering behemoths with frightening firepower that terrorize a battlefield. But what’s it really like to climb into a tank and take it into war?" Also from USA Today.

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