Sunday, May 26, 2019

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2019

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Resistance Women, by Jennifer Chiaverini
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. The Satapur Moonstone V2, by Sujata Massey
4. The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake
5. Courting Mr. Lincoln, by Louis Bayard
6. The Stone Circle V11, by Ruth Galloway
7. Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan
8. Disappearing Earth, by Julia Phillips
9. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
10. Orange World and Other Stories, by Karen Russell

Who remembers Sarah Blake's last-minute visit to Boswell for The Postmistress? Though I don't have every event scenario memorized, this sticks out because we picked up the event when Borders announced the closing. It turns out there were already three other book events going on in town. The good news is that we got some extra press and had a very nice turnout. Her latest, The Guest Book, is a historical saga centered in Maine that was the #1 Indie Next Pick for May. Booklist called it "brilliant and ravishing;" Library Journal compared it to The Winds of War, which I think would have been considered an obscure reference if Wouk had not just passed away. But prior to his passing, did The Winds of War still have significant library circulation that you would comp it?

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Tribe, by Sebastian Junger (paperback moved to 2020)
2. The Hot Young Widows Club, by Nora McInerny
3. The Brisket Chronicles, by Steven Raichlen (see below)
4. Special Brew, by Tom Haudricourt
5. Bad Choices, by Ali Almossawi
6. No Happy Endings, by Nora McInerny
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
9. The Pioneers, by David McCullough
10. Howard Stern Comes Again, by Howard Stern

Talk about a concept! As soon as Knopf introduced Casey Cep at our Winter Institute bookseller conference, to talk about Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, it had to be a hit if it was as well done and promised. And it is - Michael Lewis wrote in The New York Times Book Review: "She’s written the true-crime story that Harper Lee never figured out how to write." I so wanted to read it before publication, but this Boswell stuff keeps getting in the way, and I only say that because a legendary bookseller just stopped by the store this morning, and the only book-related question she and her husband had for me was whether Nick Petrie was as wild as Peter Ash in his novels. Did I mention Petrie is in conversation with Michael Koryta on Tuesday, May 28, 7 pm?

Paperback Fiction:
1. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
2. There There, by Tommy Orange
3. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
4. The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton
5. The Widows of Malabar Hill V1, by Sujata Massey
6. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
7. Milkman, by Anna Burns
8. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
9. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

Sourcebooks is in the news, and not just because they have two books in this week's top five paperback fiction. Penguin Random House bought 45% of the company, keeping control with CEO Dominique Raccah. Stuart Turton's The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has been one of their many successes - our Books and Beer Book Club is discussing it on Monday, June 17, 7 pm, at Downer's Cafe Hollander. Lots of bookseller and fellow author love on this one - A.J. Finn called it "Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day." But it's more than smart escapism - Turton's book won the Cost First Novel Prize. Last year's winner was Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. The Costa is considered the more populist equivalent of the Booker Prize, but unlike that prize, Americans still can't win a Costa, even though their sponsor is now owned by Coca Cola.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Brisket Chronicles, by Steven Raichlen
2. Moving Mountains Every Day, by Dan Steininger
3. Crash, by Rich Redmond
4. The Future Is History, by Masha Gessen
5. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
6. It's Okay to Laugh, by Nora McInerny
7. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
8. Master of the Grill, by America's Test Kitchen
9. The Barbecue Bible, by Steven Raichlen
10. The Mueller Report, by the U.S. Department of Justice and The Washington Post 

Several appearances on the lists for both Steven Raichlen and Nora McInerny this week. McInerny appeared at Boswell for The Hot Young Widows Club, but it was only several months since her last book, No Happy Endings. While I am not one to judge whether someone or not is hot (I think in today's world, you get to decide your own hotness), but their were a lot of widows in the audience, and even a widower. We have signed copies of Raichlen's The Brisket Chronicles.

Books for Kids:
1. Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, by Pamela Cameron, with illustrations by Renée Graef
2. City of Ember V1, by Jeanne Duprau
3. The Land of Permanent Goodbyes, by Atia Abawi
4. The Fourteenth Goldfish V1, by Jennifer L. Holm
5. The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis, by Jim Haskins, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd
6. Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea
7. The Storm Runner V1, by J.C. Cervantes
8. The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase V1, by Rick Riordan
9. Aru Shah and the End of Time V1, by Roshani Chakshi
10. Calling the Water Drum, by Latish Redding, with illustrations by Aaron Boyd

We had some classroom purchases this week. As you can see, the new Rick Riordan Presents imprint has been quite popular, with new series from J.C. Cervantes and Roshani Chakshi. In The Storm Runner, Zane, who lives near a live volcano in New Mexico, accidentally unleashing a Mayan God. And then the new girl at school turns out to be a shape shifter. In Aru Shah and the End of Time, young Shah, whose mom does archeological digs for the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, unwittingly frees a demon from the Lamp of Bharata. As the publisher notes, the only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Barbara VanDenburgh of the Arizona Republic (USA Today network) reviews The Farm, the new novel from Joanne Ramos (signed copies still available) about a resort that hosts women with wombs for hire. VanDenburgh writes: "What’s so striking about The Farm isn’t that it imagines a frightening dystopia. This isn’t a hundred years in the future, it’s next week. This is reality, nudged just a touch to its logical extreme. Its very plausibility is a warning shot." It gets worse - Ramos was at an event when someone came up to her and thought the book's premise was a great idea for a business.

Ragan Clark of the Associated Press reviews Ani Difranco's memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream: "No Walls and the Recurring Dream is unapologetic, steadfast and vulnerable. It’s as if DiFranco has invited you into the living room of her New Orleans home to have a long discussion about how she got to where she is, from creating her first record to meeting Prince and recording in his home. I still think of her as a Buffalonian. She's at the Pabst Theater on June 5.

And here's a lovely profile of Worzalla Publishing, who prints the Wimpy Kid series, and most recently, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal. Caitlin Shuda of The Stevens Point Journal writes: "Worzalla is very familiar with Kinney and his books. The company has published every domestic copy of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book since the first batch of 25,000 copies in 2007. Last year, Kinney made a special stop at the Stevens Point plant to celebrate the 200 millionth copy of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series." Whenever they finish the first printing, the plant has a pizza party.

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