Sunday, February 14, 2021

What is on the Boswell bestseller list for the week ending February 13, 2021?

Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending February 13, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Rónán Hession
2. The Kindest Lie, by Nancy Johnson (Register for February 18 event here)
3. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox
4. The Paris Library, by Janet Skelsien Charles
5. The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah
6. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
7. Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell
8. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
9. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
10. Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman
11. City of a Thousand Gates, by Rebecca Sacks (register for February 16 event here)

Please note, the original top 10 was in error!  

After an initial publication date of June 2020, The Paris Library was COVID-bumped to February 2021, and it seems to have paid off. The book is the #1 Indie Next Pick for the month and we had a strong first week of sales. On it being sold in the UK and US, Janet Skelsien Charles offered this to The Bookseller (UK): "This novel is a love letter to libraries and librarians, reminding us that in the digital age, our libraries - our third space, our sanctuary, our source of facts in a fake-news world - are more vital than ever. And more than ever, they are under attack. The Paris Library is a reminder that we must protect and appreciate what we have."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Baddest Bitch in the Room, by Sophia Chang
2. What It's Like to Be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley (Register for February 23 event here)
3. A Promised Land, by Barack Obama
4. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
5. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
6. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders
7. Chatter, by Ethan Kross
8. Just As I Am, by Cicely Tyson
9. Between Two Kingdoms, by Suleika Jaouad
10. The Copenhagen Trilogy, by Tove Ditlevsen

Suleika Jaouad's Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted, chronicles the author's diagnosis of leukemia and her road trip (literally and figuratively) of illness and recovery. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote: "This is a deeply moving and passionate work of art, quite unlike anything I’ve ever read. I will remember these stories for years to come, because Suleika Jaouad has imprinted them on my heart." Chanel Miller in The New York Times writes: "Her writing restores the moon, lights the way as we learn to endure the unknown."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Bonnie, by Christina Schwarz
2. Deacon King Kong, by James McBride
3. The Coyotes of Carthage, by Steven Wright
4. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
7. The Obelisk Gates, by NK Jamisin
8. Kink, edited by R.O. KwOn
9. Home Body, by Rupi Kaur
10. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

I recently did a couple of private book talks, and one book that made an impression is Bonnie, the first historical fiction from Christina Schwarz, now in paperback. Lisa Baudoin and I spoke to Schwarz for the hardcover publication about her novel that re-imagines the life of Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde fame. Elizabeth Brundage wrote in The New York Times: "In her absorbing fifth novel, Christina Schwarz trains her lens on Bonnie Parker, investigating how a girl from the humdrum plains of West Texas became one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. This Land of Snow, by Anders Morley
2. The Body Is Not an Apology 2e, by Sonya Renee Taylor
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
5. Inheritance, by Dani Shapiro
6. Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
8. Places in Italy, by Francis Russell
9. Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee, by Jennifer Billock
10. My Grandmother's Hands, by Resmaa Menakem

Six of our top ten titles in this category were previous event books from Boswell, from the recent This Land of Snow to hardcover appearances for Furious Hours and Inheritance. But only one is actually a newly revised second edition. Sonya Renee Taylor's new edition of The Body Is Not an Apology comes with an introduction from Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race and Mediocre) and has a recommendation from Brené Brown who exclaims, “This book took my breath away. It’s an unexpected and urgent embrace of truth.” The other two events were from Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies (now back in stock) and My Grandmother's Hands.

Books for Kids:
1. A Thousand No's, by DJ Corhin with illustrations by Dan Dougherty
2. Escape Goat, by Ann Patchett, with illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser
3. Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall
4. Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats
5. Woke Baby, by Mahogany Browne
6. Bebes Del Mundo, Global Fund for Children
7. Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar, by James Dean
8. Sir Pete the Brave, by James Dean
9. Super Pete, by James Dean and Kimberly Dean
10. Pete the Cat's Family Road Trip, by James Dean

School's dominate this week's top 10. Our focus school visit of the week is for Robin Preiss Glasser, who will be doing multiple virtual visits in conjunction with Escape Goat and her previous collaboration with Ann Patchett, Lambslide. The setup? The Farmer family keeps blaming the family goat for problems. Is there a message? Yes! Kirkus writes: "The lesson here, delivered with the lightest of touches, is serious and unmistakable: justice, and goat justice in particular, will prevail"

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Chris Foran profiles We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy, by Kilph Nestoroff. The comedian turned historian looks at the history of Indigenous comedy, with one of the focuses being Oneida comedian Charlie Hill, who appeared on Richard Pryor's television show in 1977, the first Native American comedian to have a standup set on network TV, per the book. Of Hill, Nesteroff writes: "It became evident as I researched the book what a huge and unsung influence he has been. He is a celebrity in every Native American community in North America." 

 Also in the Journal Sentinel, a profile of Lion's Tooth, a soon-to-be bricks-and-mortar new bookstore opening in Milwaukee in March from Sarah Hauer. From the story: "Books are the attraction, but as the pandemic subsides Lion's Tooth will have a small café with mostly vegan small plates and packaged snacks. It would like to serve beer and wine once its liquor license is approved."

No comments: