Sunday, November 15, 2020

The bestsellers are heating up, sort of - week ending November 14, 2020 (it's just two weeks to Thanksgiving)

The bestsellers are heating up, sort of - week ending November 14, 2020

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Moonflower Murders, by Anthony Horowitz
2. Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam
3. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
4. The Knockout Queen, by Rufi Thorpe (Register for December 2 event here)
5. The Cold Millions, by Jess Walter (signed tip-in copies available)
6. A Time for Mercy, by John Grisham
7. All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny
8. The Searcher, by Tana French
9. Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman
10. The Office of Historical Corrections, by Danielle Evans
11. Memorial, by Bryan Washington
12. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab
13. We Ride Upon Sticks, by Quan Barry
14. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
15. The Law of Innocence, by Michael Connelly

My first thought is that there are more mystery/thrillers than we've seen on our list late, with five out of 15. Top imprint is Riverhead, with three titles, two of which (Bennett, Washington) I have read - enjoyed this interview with Danielle Evans for The Office of Historical Corrections by Noelle King on NPR, who used to be at UW-Madison but is now at Johns Hopkins. Had she still been at Madison, I might have gotten signed books (outside), like we did for We Ride Upon Sticks and The Coyotes of Carthage (#20).

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Setsuko's Secret, by Shirley Ann Higuschi
2. The Best of Me, by David Sedaris
3. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
4. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, by Jason Brian Rosenthal (Tickets for JCC event here)
5. I'll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth Berg
6. Thinking Inside the Box, by Adrienne Raphel
7. Modern Comfort Food, by Ina Garten
8. 99 Percent Invisible City, by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt
9. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
10. Dolly Parton Songteller, by Dolly Parton with Robert Oermann
11. Accidentally Wes Anderson, by Wally Koval
12. His Truth is Marching On, by Jon Meacham
13. The First Principles, by Thomas E. Ricks
14. Pappyland, by Wright Thompson
15. One Life, by Megan Rapinoe

Another gift book pops this week, and it's not based on a podcast (99 Percent Invisible City) or Instagram Story (Accidentally Wes Anderson). It's Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, which I want to call either Songwriter or Storyteller. Can I just remind you not to wait until the last minute? If you were in bookselling, you know that you should always worry about reprints from Chronicle, though I should note that our (everyone's) wholesaler Ingram took a big stand on it. The two imprints with three books on the list are both PRH - Random House and Penguin Press.

Paperback Fiction:
1. What Kind of a Woman, by Kate Baer
2. By a Lake Near a Moon, by DeWitt Clinton
3. Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart (this is our January In-Store (not really in store) Lit Group seletcion - more here)
4. Where We Come From, by Oscar Cásares (Register for December 8 event here)
5. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
6. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
7. Miss Benson's Beetle, by Rachel Joyce
8. This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
9. The World That We Knew, by Alice Hoffman
10. Circe, by Madeline Miller 

Wow, Ingram is sold out (as are we) of Kate Baer's What Kind of a Woman after its first week on sale. Publishers Weekly wrote that "In these confident and fearless poems, Baer suggests that the deepest and most vulnerable love is found in life's imperfections." Chloe Schama in Vogue calls her "the Instagram poet for people who don't like Instagram poets."

Jason informed me that Alice Hoffman has just won what is least her second award for The World That We Knew - and as you know, she, like William Kent Krueger listed above her, did events with Boswell in hardcover. In addition to the Dayton Peace Prize (did you know that Peace, by Richard Bausch, is the film Recon? I didn't), she won the Book Club Prize at the National Jewish Book Award. I learned that we tend to do better with the Book Club Prize than we do with the Fiction award, which this year was for Fly Already, by Etgar Keret.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Storied and Scandalous Wisconsin, by Anna Lardinois (we hope to get more copies signed - request when ordering)
2. How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, by Kiese Laymon (Register for November 16 event here)
3. Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Chuck Hagner
4. Memorable Milwaukee, by Darlene Wesenberg Rzezotarski (signed copies available)
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
7. When Milwaukee Went to War, by Thomas Fehring
8. Wise Aging, by Rachel Cowan
9. The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom
10. Come Home, Indio, by Jim Terry (Register for November 30 event here)

Thomas Fehring's follow-up to The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee is When Milwaukee Went to War: On the Homefront During WWII. Fehring did a virtual event with Milwaukee County Historical Society and the War Memorial. Watch it here.

Books for Kids:
1. The Very Last Leaf, by Stef Wade/Jennifer Davidson
2. A Place for Pluto, by Stef Wade/Melanie Demmer
3. The True Definition of Neva Beane, by Christine Kendall (Register for November 19 event here)
4. The List of Things That Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead
5. The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names, by Matthew and Steve Murrie
6. Skunk and Badger, by Amy Timberlake/Jon Klassen
7. This Is Your Time,. by Ruby Bridges
8. The Deep End, by Jeff Kinney
9. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
10. Pete the Cat, Scuba Cat, by James Dean
11. Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, by Meena Harris/Ana Rami Gonzalez
12. Bunheads, by Misty Copeland/Setor Fladzigbey
13. A Time of Green Magic, by Hilary McKay
14. Scritch Scratch, by Lindsay Currey
15. 50 Adventures in 50 States, by Kate Siber 

I don't count reading picture books because, well, it's just too easy to inflate numbers, but I'm excited to say I read almost all the middle grade fiction titles in our top 15 - The True Definition of Neva Beane, The List of Things that Will Not Change, Skunk and Badger, and A Time of Green Magic. Alison McKay's novel, which Amie is a big fan of, is great for readers of Katherine Rundell. Sarah Harrison Smith in The New York Times Book Review called the book "utterly enchanting." We're #1 in the country on Edelweiss for Skunk and Badger and I'm hoping we hit that spot for A Time of Green Magic too. Late breaking news - we're also #1 for True Definition of Neva Beane - looking forward to Thursday's event.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins runs down some new books, including Lincoln Among the Badgers.

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