Sunday, May 24, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 23, 2020 - Rodham, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and more

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 23, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Rodham, by Curtis Sittenfeld
2. The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd
3. Big Summer, by Jennifer Weiner
4. On Ocean Boulevard, by Mary Alice Monroe
5. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
6. The End of October, by Lawrence Wright
7. All Adults Here, by Emma Straub
8. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
9. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St John Mandel

This week's clear winner in hardcover fiction (but not overall!) was Curtis Sittenfeld's Rodham, an alternative history novel that imagines a life sans marriage to Bill. Sittenfeld talked to Clemence Michallon in The Independent: "Reading the book, it’s clear that it’s the work of an author who felt compelled to make sense of an alternate narrative and to relish in the power of 'What if?' – which ends up informing our view of what actually transpired. 'I think in some ways that’s one of the special and wonderful and mysterious things about fiction, that it can be intimate in ways that an interview can’t be, or a work of nonfiction usually can’t be,' she says. 'But to be clear, this is a book of imagination and creativity, and it’s not Hillary’s memoir. It’s not a biography. I’ve never met her. I see this as an artistic experiment.'"

Hillel Italie's Associated Press review appeared today in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It's reprinted her in the US News and World Report. 

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. My Vanishing Country, by Bakari Sellers
2. Creative Care, Anne Basting
3. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
4. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
5. Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker
6. Dirt, by Bill Buford
7. Milwaukee Brewers at 50, by Adam McCalvy
8. Hell and Other Destinations, by Madeleine Albright
9. The Price of Peace, by Zachary D Carter
10. Pelosi, by Molly Ball

My Vanishing Country is a memoir by a CNN analyst and former South Carolina state legislator. Kirkus calls the book "candid and affecting." Here's his C-Span interview.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
2. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
3. Tradition, by Jericho Brown
4. Circe, by Madeline Miller
5. Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
6. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson
7. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky
8. Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane
9. Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

The Tradition, by Jericho Brown, is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. From the Pulitzer committee: "Beauty abounds in Jericho Brown’s daring new poetry collection, despite and inside of the evil that pollutes the everyday. A National Book Award finalist, The Tradition questions why and how we’ve become accustomed to terror: in the bedroom, the classroom, the workplace, and the movie theater. From mass shootings to rape to the murder of unarmed people by police, Brown interrupts complacency by locating each emergency in the garden of the body, where living things grow and wither - or survive."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer
2. American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner
3. 10 Percent Happier, by Dan Harris
4. When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron
5. The Great Influenza, by John M Barry

Books for Kids:
1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
2. The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter, by Aaron Reynolds
3. Sarah Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
4. Through My Eyes, by Tammy Wilson
5. The Outsiders, by SE Hinton
6. Welcome to Jazz, by Carolyn Sloan
7. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
8. Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo
9. Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson
10. Welcome to the Symphony, by Carolyn Sloan

Now here's the true gold medalist for this week's sales - Suzanne Collins's The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the Hunger Games series.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, it's Jim Higgins's 71 books for summer reading feature. Here are the editor's picks, which of course is the most highly coveted category:

The Angel of the Crows, by Katherine Addison
Copper Iron and Clay, by Sara Dahmen
Creative Care, by Anne Basting
Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer
Network Effect: A Murderbot novel by Martha Wells
The Night Watchman, by Lousie Erdrich
Warhol, by Blake Gopnik

Look for a virtual Boswell June 30 event for The Angel of the Crows to be announced this week, with Katherine Addison in conversation with Jim Higgins.

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