Sunday, June 28, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending June 27, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending June 27, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars., by Joyce Carol Oates
2. Death in Her Hands, by Ottessa Moshfegh
3. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
4. Deacon King Kong, by James McBride
5. The Second Home, by Christi Clancy
6. Valentine, by Elizabeth Wetmore
7. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
8. A Burning, by Megha Majumdar
9. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
10. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It was coming out in late April, then it was August, and then it was moved back to June - that's Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands. Boswellian Chris Lee had his first #1 Indie Next pick for this book, where he wrote "Ponderous, violent, forgetful, and deft, Death in Her Hands is a genre-bender that teases you into asking - is this noir? Horror? A whacked out farce? Or a sly literary trick? I’ll tell you what it is - absolutely brilliant." And Kevin Power in The New Yorker called Death in Her Hands a "haunting meditation on the nature and meaning of art."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Room Where It Happened, by John Bolton
2. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi
3. Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F Saad
4. Turning 50, by Tom Haudricourt
5. Five Days, by Wes Moore
6. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. The Power of Ritual, by Casper Ter Kuile
8. I'm Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown
9. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
10. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson

Recently Penguin Random House held a editor reception for booksellers and One World's Chris Jackson talked about his excitement for Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City. Wes Moore, who wrote this book with Erica L Green, came to prominence with his memoir The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. In his latest, Moore looks at the events of 2015 in Baltimore and the protests following the death of Freddie Gray through the eyes of seven different people - the format compares to Sheri Fink's acclaimed Five Days at Memorial. Shelf Awareness called it "essential reading for anyone looking to understand the systemic racism being exposed in America's cities, and the change the country desperately needs."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, by Hendrik Groen
2. Sounds Like Crazy, by Shana Mahaffey
3. I Was Told It Would Get Easier, by Abbi Waxman
4. Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi (In-Store Lit Group meeting July 6, 7 pm - register here)
5. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
6. Circe, by Madeline Miller
7. Americanah, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
8. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
9. Citizen, by Claudia Rankine
10. American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson

The Women's Speaker series continues online virtually with Abby Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and the just-released I Was Told It Would Get Easier. Waxman's latest is the story of a mother and daughter who sign up for a college tour. Yes, it seems like fantasy now, but the genre is contemporary romantic comedy. It also might be uplit, but I'm not really sure of that genre's qualifiers. What I know is that we had three great reads for this book, including one from me. I've now read all four of Waxman's novels. Register for the July 7 event here.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X Kendi
2. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
3. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
4. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
5. So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
6. American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner
7. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
8. The Fire Next Time, by James A Baldwin
9. The End of Policing, by Alex Vitale
10. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law was the focus of two metro-wide book clubs several years ago and it's been one of the books whose sales have increased dramatically as people understand the country's history of racist policy. The book got as high as #3 on the June 21 New York Times bestseller list. Here's a link to the video Segregated by Design, which looks at the issues raised in the book, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history.

Books for Kids:
1. Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi
2. Antiracist Baby board book, by Ibram X Kendi, with illustrations by Ashley Lukashevsky
3. You Matter, by Christian Robinson
4. Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, by Meena Harris, with illustration by Ana Rami Gonzalez
5. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
6. Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson
7. Saturday, by Oge Mora
8. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
9. The Kinder Poison, by Natalie Mae
10. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L Sanchez

The publisher notes that Saturday is "warm and tender story by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Thank You, Omu! and features "a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what's best about Saturdays: precious time together." The book came out last October, but sales have picked up in the past two weeks. It was featured in the NYT Anti-Racist books for children with Matt de la Peña (also on this week's list) calling it "pure joy" and "a quiet and profound picture book."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins looks at what books Wisconsin communities have picked for Big Reads.

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