Sunday, July 12, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 11, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 11, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor V2, by Hank Green
2. The Color of Air, by Gail Tsukiyama (Register for July 14 event here)
3. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
4. The Lives of Edie Pritchard, by Larry Watson (Register for July 21 event here)
5. Bonnie, by Christina Schwarz (Register for July 13 event here)
6. Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno Garcia
7. The Heir Affair V2, by Heather Cocks
8. The Second Home, by Christina Clancy (signed copies again available)
9. Antkind, by Charlie Kaufman
10. Death in Her Hands, by Ottessa Moshfegh

What a great time we had with Hank Green for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. His new tour was virtual and fans responded well to the sequel's release. Here's Delfina V. Barbiero in USA Today: "Green is clearly inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and internet culture – inspirations he uses to build a world so vividly grounded in reality it’s sometimes hard to forget that Green wrote this before the pandemic and not during. While there are many parallels to our current climate, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is a hopeful read that provides a Black Mirror-like warning of new technology without the heavy feeling of dread."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
2. Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath
3. Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad
4. Demagogue, by Larry Tye (Register for the Jewish Federation's August 12 event here - suggested donation $5)
5. The Room Where It Happened, by John Bolton
6. Begin Again, by Eddie S. Glaude
7. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
8. The Rules of Contagion, by Adam Kucharski
9. The Beauty in Breaking, by Michele Harper
10. I'm Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown

Another book that has taken off as the United States explores its racist past and present. Princeton University Professor and Chair of the African American Studies Department Eddie S. Glaube's June release, Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own has close to 10,000 copies on backorder at our wholesaler. Edwidge Danticat writes: "Begin Again is a magnificent book filled with the type of passion, lyricism, and fire that James Baldwin commands and deserves. Eddie Glaude Jr. takes us on a unique and illuminating journey through Baldwin's life and writings by both physically and philosophically following in his footsteps. In this phenomenal work, we are treated to a timeless and spellbinding conversation between two brilliant writers, thinkers, and active witnesses, addressing issues--past, present, and future--that are necessary, urgent, and vital for our survival."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
2. Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim (sign up for the August 3 In-Store Lit Group discussion here)
3. I Was Told It Would Get Easier, by Abbi Waxman (watch the Women's Speaker series event here)
4. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
5. Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
6. All the Right Mistakes, by Laura Jamison (Register for August 13 event here)
7. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman
8. Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
9. The Plague, by Albert Camus
10. Bad Axe Country V1, by John Galligan (we are holding the August 24 event now virtual)

Miracle Creek, the courtroom thriller from Angie Kim, is the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. It is also probably one of the last books to be published by the FSG Sarah Crichton Books imprint, as Crichton has now moved to Editor in Chief at Holt under Amy Einhorn. I love that the book was a pick for both Good Morning America (recommended by Tea Obreht) and The Today Show (from Jennifer Weiner). And Erin Morgenstern wrote "I literally couldn't put it down. It's that wonderful, brilliant story of book that you want to shove at other people as soon as you've finished."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
2. The Color of Love, by Marra B. Gad
3. Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
4. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
5. So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
6. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
7. American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner (Register for this July 16 event here)
8. Grant, by Ron Chernow
9. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
10. Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby

Whereas event sales tended to be much more focused into the week of the event, they are more spread out now. For example, all three event books this coming week hit our bestseller list. The American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds has likely been helped by increased interest in birdwatching. Our friends at Downer Hardware just told us that they had an unprecedented run a bird seed this spring. As mentioned above, we're cosponsoring a Schlitz Audubon conversation with Charles Hagner and Don Quintenz on July 16.

Books for Kids:
1. Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
2. Goodnight Moon Board Book, by Margaret Wise Brown, with illustrations by Clement Hurd
3. The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
4. Look Both Ways, by Jason Reynolds
5. Baby Monkey Private Eye, by Brian Selznick
6. Joey, by Jill Biden
7. Dude, by Aaron Reynolds
8. The Land of Permanent Goodbyes, by Atia Abawi
9. The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
10. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

It's an election year, and that seems to now mean picture books about the candidates. Published on June 30 was Joey: The Story of Joe Biden, by Jill Biden with Kathleen Krull, with illustrations by Amy June Bates. I should note that Amy June Bates wrote and Kathleen Krull illustrated Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins writes about Demagogue, the new biography of Joe McCarthy. He notes: "Biographies of McCarthy have been written before, including Wisconsin historian Thomas Reeves’ The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy (1982). So what new element does Tye, a former Boston Globe reporter, bring to his? Tye had access to three previously unavailable stashes: boxes of personal documents, including diaries, school transcripts and love letters, in McCarthy’s private files in the Marquette University archives; transcripts of the many private hearings McCarthy conducted in the Senate; and his military records, including his military medical records."

From Margot Armbruster at the Journal Sentinel, a story about Milwaukeean Mark D. Bruce's new book, Jackie, a Boy, and a Dog: A Warm Cold War Story. The Jackie is Jackie Kennedy. From the piece: "Bruce is an ER physician, a medical ambassador to Belize and Canada, and a longtime Milwaukee Public Schools volunteer; he has little time for leisure writing. But he chose to share his story, one of many narratives he’s collected throughout an adventurous life, because he feels it offers important lessons about divine beneficence and hope in the hard times."

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