Sunday, August 4, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 3, 2019

What's selling at Boswell?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
2. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
3. The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo (event at Boswell Tue Aug 6, 7 pm)
4. The Lager Queen of Minnesota, by J Ryan Stradal (this event at Cafe Hollander on Aug 14 is fully registered)
5. Big Sky (V5), by Kate Atkinson
6. The Chain, by Adrian McKinty
7. Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman
8. Chances Are, by Richard Russo
9. New Girl (V19), by Daniel Silva
10. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I think the new release pops are now going to come with more regularity as we move into fall. It took two weeks of on-sale and lots of media coverage including a great Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross for Lady in the Lake to pop onto our top 10. It was fortuitously good time for a novel about Baltimore. Booklist wrote: "This is a superb character study, a terrific newspaper novel, and a fascinating look at urban life and racial discrimination in the '60s."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Normal Sucks, by Jonathan Mooney
2. Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
3. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
4. Educated, by Tara Westover
5. Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo
6. The Bastard Bridge, by Sam Kean
7. Last Witnesses, by Svetlana Alexievich
8. American Carnage, by Tim Alberta
9. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
10. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda

Our afternoon events continue to go pretty well, with us slipping a 2 pm event with Casey Cep in between events in Madison and North Shore Chicago. Boswellian Tim McCarthy has this to say about Furious Hours: "In showing the humanity of everyone involved, she uses exhaustive research to arrive at smart, sweeping conclusions. She gives us remarkable depth in biographical pictures of Maxwell, Lee, Capote, and others, and along the way she captures the mood of both the landscape and the politics of civil rights era Alabama and New York, where Lee split her time. Cep has done marvelous work, expertly bringing a degree of closure to a monumental literary loss." It will definitely be in his top 5 for 2019.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Death Takes a Bow (V4), by David S Pederson
2. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
3. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
4. Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited, by Clint McElroy
5. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
6. Death Comes Darkly (V1), by David S Pederson
7. Good Omens (three paperback editions), by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
8. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
9. Vintage 1954, by Antoine Laurain
10. Death Checks In (V3), by David S Pederson

I did see some great new paperback fiction releases this week that I hoped might have a pop, but in general, things will get a little quiet in this category come fall. Let's see if we can get one of our favorites from 2018, Virgil Wander, onto the list next week. Meanwhile, another great event with David Pederson, author of the Alan Keyes and Heath Barrington mysteries. Death Takes a Bow is set at (wait for it) a theater. It's his first that we tried on a weeknight - it had a talk, signing, singing, refreshments, and photo opps with a mannequin.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Inside Game, by Wayne Embry
2. Milwaukee Jazz, by Joey Grihalva
3. Oranumics, by Ben Callif
4. 111 Places in Milwaukee that You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
5. How to See, by Thich Nhat Hanh
6. Calypso, by David Sedaris
7. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley Du Fresne McArthur
8. When Women Were Birds, by Terry Tempest Williams
9. 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die (2E), by Jenna Kashou
10. Bob Ross by the Numbers, by Bob Ross and Robb Pearlman

I can pretty much assure you that Bob Ross by the Numbers is not counting towards bestseller reporting. It's part of a long line of confusing categorization - is a book with stuff a book (qualifies) or stuff (not qualifies). It's sort of like that weird dividing line between nonfiction and miscellaneous. The Ross package (and calling it a package might be a hint as to whether it qualifies as a book) is part of Running Press Minis, a series that's been around for a long time. At one time at Schwartz, all our stores had Running Press Mini spinners. I still have a Moosewood mini; I think it's 16 pages or recipes. I don't know why I wanted it, and that is the driving force of these packages. You wonder, and then you buy them, also for someone else. And of course it's part of the Bob Ross revival.

Books for Kids:
1. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renee Graef
2. The Day the Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
3. Poison Jungle (V13), by Tui T Sutherland
4. The Wild Robot Escapes (V2), by Peter Brown
5. Fancy Pants, by Roger Priddy
6. Crayon's Book of Colors, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
7. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (V1), by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
8. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers 9. How to Read a Book, by Kwame Alexander
10. Potato Pants!, by Laurie Keller

What a Crayon extravaganza! Three books in The Day the Crayons Quit series hit our top ten and that's because Amie bought a display of these titles that included plush crayons, two each of blue, green, red, and orange, which of course don't count towards the bestseller list. We're out of several colors, but don't worry, Jen is restocking from Merry Makers and this time, we'll be able to buy the colors according to demand, which we think is not just based on color but facial expression. We're pretty sure that blue will be the bestselling color. And yes, we're taking preorders for The Crayons' Christmas, which comes out October 15.

At the Journal Sentinel, some book reviews. Lincee Ray from the Associated Press: "In Reasons to Be Cheerful, author Nina Stibbe offers an intimate look at this uncertain time as the protagonist becomes a young adult. In this story, Lizzie Vo- gel ignores the part of an advertisement that asks for a 'mature lady' and applies for a job working in a local dentist’s office. She doesn’t feel the need to mention that she doesn’t have any knowledge of dentistry. (Lizzie is a quick learner.) Plus, the position includes an apartment above the practice."

Matt McCarthy from USA Today: "Every few years, Ebola would appear at random, killing nearly everyone in its path, and then it would vanish. Where did it go? And why did some people survive? My team never solved the mystery, and those questions have gnawed at researchers for years. In Richard Preston’s extraordinary new book, Crisis in the Red Zone, we finally get answers.

Also from Associated Press, Samantha Critchell reviews Chelsea Girls, the latest from Fiona Davis, her latest historical novel. This time struggling artists Hazel and Maxine join forces at the Chelsea Hotel for a life in theater. Critchell notes: "Davis, who has given juicy supporting roles to New York landmarks in The Masterpiece and The Address, uses Chelsea as a metaphor for the grandeur that was within reach but spirals into a much darker place."

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