Sunday, August 30, 2020

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending August 29, 2020

Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending August 29, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Lakewood, by Megan Giddings
2. Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen
3. Summer, by Ali Smith
4. Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell
5. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
6. The Last Great Road Bum, by Héctor Tobar
7. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
8. You Have Arrived at Your Destination, by Amor Towles (Independent Bookstore Day exclusive - still a few left)
9. Grown Ups, by Emma Jane Unsworth
10. The Boy in the Field, by Margot Livesey (register for September 1 event here with Liam Callanan)

Wow, look at the new titles on this week's list - fall is here! Héctor Tobar's The Last Great Road Bum  is the fictionalized story of Joe Sanderson, a young Illinois man who traveling the world looking for inspiration, wound up fighting with the guerrillas in El Salvador. From the Booklist starred review: "His life itself has inspired what is inarguably a great novel, a tribute to him that is beautifully written and spectacularly imagined."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Well Plated Cookbook, by Erin Clarke (register for August 31 event here)
2. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald (tickets for September 17 event here)
3. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
4. Our History Is the Future, by Nick Estes
5. How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
6. His Truth Is Marching On, by Jon Meacham
7. Five Minute Selling, by Alex Goldfayn
8. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
9. Evil Geniuses, by Kurt Anderson
10. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson

This week's sales for Vesper Flights were about 2/3 ticket-with-book and 1/3 book only. Just under half the ticket goes the raptor program at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. The New York Times Sunday Book Review is the outlier on reviews for this book of essays, as it's mixed. All the others are raves, but sadly, I have noticed that NYTBR can sometimes carry more weight than two-to-three others put together. The daily New York Times review from Parul Sehgal is far more enthusiastic: "[Macdonald's] work is an antidote to so much romantic, reductive writing about the natural world as pristine, secret, uninhabited—as a convenient blank canvas for the hero’s journey of self-discovery."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Parable of the Sower V1, by Octavia Butler
2. The Parable of the Talents V2, by Octavia Butler
3. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
4. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
5. Poems of Resistance, Poems of Hope, by Joy Harjo and others (another IBD exclusive - we're not sold out yet)
6. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
9. Normal People, by Sally Rooney
10. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry.

The Jaws theme follows the Scribner edition of The Great Gatsby as the book moves into public domain in the United States in January 2021. It's been many years since we saw rights lapse on a book that still sold in these numbers. I remember Knopf positioning The Prophet for competition, but the Disney reprieve had them cancel the paperback. 25 years later, a lot fewer people were reading Kahil Gibran. Coming soon are multiple graphic novels, a Norton critical edition, classics versions with new intros from Vintage and HarperCollins, a mass market from Scribner, and a Dover thrift edition priced at $8. Dover has also got a Great Gatsby paper doll book. I won't be satisfied until we've got Gatsby Mad Libs.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, by Matthew McKay (not selling off our impulse table)
2. Born Survivors, by Wendy Holden (info about the HERC event on September 10 here)
3. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
4. Cultivating Genius, by Gholdy Muhammad
5. Policing the Planet, Jordan Camp and Christina Heatherington
6. My Journey from Boxing Ring to the Boardroom, by Héctor Colón
7. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
8. Unselfie, by Michele Borba
9. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
10. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo

Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns continues to sell in conjunction with her new book Caste. A Netflix series based on the book is still in development by Shonda Rimes. It is being adapted by Anna Deveare Smith.

Books for Kids:
1. The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer
2. Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
3. Dragonwings, by Laurence Yep
4. Darius the Great Deserves Better, by Adib Khorram
5. Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, by Meena Harris
6. Our Bodies Stay Home, Our Imaginations Run Free, by Lora Hyler (register for September 5 event here)
7. Rite of Passage, by Richard Wright
8. Rescuing Mrs. Birdley, by Aaron Reynolds, with illustrations by Emma Reynolds (no relation)
9. Midnight Sun, by Stephenie Meyer
10. Everywhere Babies, by Susan Meyers

We've started doing virtual story times, but we're not sure Saturday morning is the right slot if it's not in the store. Aaron Reynolds guested on Saturday for Resucing Mrs. Birdley (bookplates to come - ask for one) and also talked about his forthcoming chapter book, Fart Quest. All the advance reviews were good, and I like the book because it reminds me of when I was in fourth grade and our teacher had to ask us not to follow her home. We really liked her!

The Journal Sentinel
has a review of Tea Krulos's American Madness, which it calls "both a biography of (Richard) McCaslin and a disturbing tour of the power of conspiracy-mongering, from the JFK assassination to QAnon and the prevalence of crisis actor theories." He notes that there's a through line from McCaslin's thinking to the QAnon movement.

The Morning Blend hosted Héctor Colón, who talked about My Journey from Boxing Ring to Boardroom.

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