Sunday, August 25, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 24, 2019 - two classics get updated treatment - here's how The Turn of the Screw and For Whom the Bell Tolls look on Boswell's bestseller list

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 24, 2019

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
2. Inland, by Téa Obreht
3. Chances Are, by Richard Russo
4. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
5. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
6. Death by the Bay V5, by Patricia Skalka
7. Circe, by Madeline Miller
8. A Dangerous Man V18, by Robert Crais
9. The Chain, by Adrian McKinty
10. The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware might have a regular publishing schedule, but her reviews are as strong as those for writers who take two or three times as long. I looked at Book Marks, the review compiler, and her latest, The Turn of the Key, had ten raves and two positives. Here's Maureen Corrigan who tackled this thriller for The Washington Post: "What kind of suspense writer would be so reckless as to invoke Henry James’s masterpiece of terror and ambiguity and expect to see her own work do anything but suffer in the comparison? Happily, the answer is: a superb suspense writer who is dead set on making her own distinctive mark on the governess-alone-with-weird-children-in-an-isolated-house formula. The Turn of the Key pays scrupulous homage to James’s The Turn of the Screw and also slyly updates it."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. On Spice, by Caitlin PenzeyMoog
2. For the Good of the Game, by Bud Selig
3. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi
4. Educated, by Tara Westover
5. Gods of the Upper Air, by Charles King
6. The Second Mountain, by David Brooks
7. Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo
8. The Trick Mirror, by Jia Tolentino
9. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
10. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda

A major nonfiction work that got the jump on the post-Labor-Day release rush is Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century, a biography of David Boas and his circle: Jennifer Szali in The New York Times writes: "Boas is at the center of Charles King’s Gods of the Upper Air, a group portrait of the anthropologist and his circle, who collectively attempted to chip away at entrenched notions of “us” and “them.” “This book is about women and men who found themselves on the front lines of the greatest moral battle of our time,” King writes, “the struggle to prove that — despite differences of skin color, gender, ability or custom — humanity is one undivided thing.”

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
3. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
5. Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
6. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
7. The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict
8. Death Stalks Door County V1, by Patricia Skalka
9. There There, by Tommy Orange
10. Down the River Unto the Sea V1, by Walter Mosley

If I weren't running our book club discussion for Call Me Zebra tomorrow, I'd be attending Anne's Mystery Book Club discussion for Down the River Unto the Sea. Walter Mosley's latest won the Edgar Award. Says Steph Cha at the Los Angeles Review of Books: "Joe King Oliver, the protagonist of his new novel Down the River Unto the Sea, is a black ex-cop who was framed for the rape of a white woman. The premise alone is enough fuel for hours of classroom discussion. Add in a wise teenage daughter, a devilish antihero partner, and a death-row inmate inspired by Mumia Abu-Jamal, and we have a wild ride that delivers hard-boiled satisfaction while toying with our prejudices and preconceptions."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Ground Truth, by Mark L Hineline
2. Calypso, by David Sedaris
3. Brick Through the Window, by Steven Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, and Dave Luhrssen
4. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
5. Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview, with an introduction by Helen Rosner
6. Disordered Mind, by Eric R Kandel
7. Good Time Party Girl, by Helen Cromwell
8. Selma of the North, by Patrick D Jones
9. Wicked Milwaukee, by Yance Marti
10. Sapiens, by Yuval Harari Noah

Just out from Feral House is a new edition (originally from 1966) of Good Time Party Girl, the life of Helen Cromwell, who ran Milwaukee institution The Sunflower Inn. From the notes: "Dirty Helen, with the self-assurance of a defrocked debutante, takes you through her life and adventures. Demure, sweet, and wild teenage Helen flees from small-town Indiana to Cincinnati with her first of six husbands. She soon realizes that the traditional role of wife and mother isn't for her. She meets cunning millionaires, bank robbers, detectives, and gangsters as she hustles her way through life. Her friends were everyone else's enemies - Al Capone, Big Jim Colosimo, and Johnny Torrio all spend time with Helen as she bounces from adventure to adventure. It's the true-life story of a woman who never said No and carved out an independent life that transgressed every societal boundary."

Books for Kids:
1. Dog Man For Whom the Ball Rolls V7, by Dav Pilkey
2. Pigeon Has to Go to School, by Mo Willams
3. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse and Renee Graef
4. Fancy Pants, by Roger Priddy
5. Anthology of Intriguing Animals, by DK
6. Atlas Obscura Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras and Friends (event October 16 at AGSL. Register here)
7. Wilder Girls, by Rory Power
8. Lawrence in the Fall, by Matthew Farina and Doug Salai (event at Boswell Sat Sep 21, 11 am)
9. Extraordinary Birds, by Sandy Stark McGinnis
10. Specials V3: The Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld (event September 16 at UWM - Register here)

It's another big week for the latest Dog Man installment, For Whom the Ball Rolls, in which the Supa Buddies meet a brand new super villain. And on top of that, Pete the Cat has gotten out of jail and is ready to start a new life with Lil Petey. And while I haven't read it (yet), I've heard that the book does take on the Ernest Hemingway classic from which it derived it's name.
Featured on the Journal Sentinel book pages:

--From the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews a familiar subject penned by a popular Wisconsin writer: "Would you have imagined that the late Todd Bol, who started the Little Free Library movement, was once a boy who had trouble reading? In the new book Little Libraries, Big Heroes, for children 4 to 7 years old, author Miranda Paul traces the thousands of Little Free Library bookcases around the globe back to Bol’s childhood.

--From Kendal Weaver at Associated Press: "Zach Powers’ First Cosmic Velocity is a cleverly conceived and beautifully delivered novel that looks at the struggle for space supremacy from the Soviet side of the Cold War... The darkness and gravity of the narrative is mixed with stirring prose and dialogue that make First Cosmic Velocity a novel of ideas from the Cold War era."

--From Bruce DeSilva at Associated Press: "This is the 17th Cole and Pike novel, putting it well past the point that many crime fiction series become repetitive or otherwise lose their steam. But A Dangerous Man — suspenseful, fast-paced, tightly written and peopled with compelling characters — is one of Crais’ best."

--We referred above to Charles King's Gods of the Upper Air. David Holahan in USA Today adds to the praise: "The author, a professor at Georgetown University, succeeds in bringing Mead and her fellow travelers into sharp focus as they pioneered a new field and documented mankind’s many-splendored diversity in a positive, rather than a divisive, light."

--And Matt Damsker, also from USA Today, offers this another pick: "If your summertime activity includes slapping away noisy insects while enjoying a fat beach book, you might relate to Timothy C Winegard’s entertainingly educational new opus, The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator."

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