Sunday, April 25, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 24, 2021

Boswell bestsellers - week ending April 24, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Raft of Stars, by Andrew J Graff
2. Early Morning Riser, by Katherine Heiny (register for May 6 event here)
3. The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles (register for May 5 event here)
4. The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman
5. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
6. Death Washes Ashore, by Patricia Skalka
7. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
9. The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade (register for May 13 event here)
10. Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell

No new titles on this list, but it's nice to see The Five Wounds make our top ten, with four of the copies we sold this week selling on Saturday, when I was outside for Independent Bookstore Day with our prize wheel, talking up the book. Honestly I can't figure out how you wouldn't be drawn to buy this book after Scott Simon's interview with Kirstin Valdez Quade on Morning Edition: "There is so much in here that speaks of your knowledge of religion, your knowledge of faith, your knowledge of humanity in that area of the country. Did you also have to learn a lot about windshield repair?" More here.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. World Travel, Anthony Bourdain with Laurie Woolever
2. Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
3. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner (register for May 4 event here)
4. Goodbye Again, by Jonny Sun
5. Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
6. Cook This Book, by Molly Baz
7. Broken in the Best Possible Way, by Jenny Lawson
8. Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House, by Nicholas Hayes (register for May 17 event here)
9. Madam Speaker, by Susan Page
10. Most Remarkable Creature, by Jonathan Meiberg

I was so ready to talk about Michelle Zauner's Crying in H Mart when Anthony Bourdain's World Travel (with Laurie Woolever) swept in for the win. This posthumous travel guide, based on his writings in various sources, has won raves including this from Publishers Weekly: "The book's power comes from Bourdain's joyfully combative stances ('Once you've been to Cambodia, you'll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands'), unabashed enthusiasm, dense overlay of cinematic references, and world-weary advice ('Sardinia's the kind of place you better know somebody'). This gloriously messy miscellany of off-kilter observations and lightning-in-a-bottle insights will make one want to read, eat, and experience the world the way Bourdain did. Bourdain's fans will devour this."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
2. The Kindred Spirits Supper Club, by Amy E Reichert
3. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
4. Circe, by Madeline Miller
5. In the Tall Grass, by Stephen King (we're sold out)
6. The Fortress of Magi V3, by Mirah Bolender
7. Deacon King Kong, by James McBride
8. The Last Bookshop in London, by Madeline Martin
9. Afterlife, by Julia Alvarez
10. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich

What with the popularity of bookstore novels and World War II historical fiction, it was only a question of time before we'd see The Last Bookshop in London, Madeline Martin's tale of a young woman who starts work at dusty old Primrose Hill in the heart of London. Plus it's on the what to read after The Paris Library list. From Booklist: "Martin capably portrays the horror of nightly bombings, but where she really shines is in depicting Grace's rebirth as a reader, which parallels her growth as a readers' advisor and book-club leader, her nightly readings providing welcome respite to the shell-shocked locals. This engaging mix of books, romance, and war is not without tragedy, but the unapologetically uplifting ending will find booklovers wiping away a tear or two."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Growing Up Below Sea Level, by Rachel Biale
2. Driven by Data 2.0, by Paul Bambrick Santoyo
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee, by Jennifer Billock
5. The Birdman of Koshkonong, by Martha Bergland
6. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. Hood Feminism, by Mikki Kendall
9 New York Times Cooking No Recipe Recipes, by Sam Sifton
10. American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, by Charles Hagner

The Wisconsin State Historical Society (or The Society, to friends) has a new bestseller in The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien, written by Martha Bergland, the co-author of Studying Wisconsin, the story of another Wisconsin naturalist, Increase Lapham. The Society notes: "His detailed observations of Wisconsin’s natural world - including the impact of early agriculture on the environment - were hugely important to the fields of ornithology and botany. As this carefully researched and lovingly rendered biography proves, Thure Kumlien deserves to be remembered as one of Wisconsin’s most influential naturalists."

Books for Kids:
1. What Stars Are Made of, by Sarah Allen
2. Peace, by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul (register for April 27 event here)
3. Breathing Underwater, by Sarah Allen
4. How to Go Anywhere and Not Get Lost, by Hans Aschim
5. Jungle Night Soundtrack with Yo Yo Ma, by Sandra Boynton
6. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne
7. Unicorn Day, by Diana Murray/Luke Flowers
8. Apple, by Eric Gansworth
9. The List of Things That Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead
10. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley (register for June 29 event here)

This time of year we still have lots of school visits curriculum orders in the top ten. I'm always interested when a fairly recent book gets picked up for the latter purpose. Eric Gansworth's Apple: Skin to the Core, a novel in verse of growing up an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, but living on the Tuscarora reservation, is must reading in at least one school and made the National Book Awards longlist. From Booklist: "Gansworth's art, a mix of gouache paintings, photographs, and collages (reproduced in black and white), is interspersed throughout, adding interest and detail. With language rich in metaphor, this is a timely and important work that begs for multiple readings."

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