Sunday, October 24, 2021

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending October 23, 2021

Here's what's selling at Boswell this week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
2. State of Terror, by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny
3. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
4. Shoulder Season, by Elizabeth Strout
5. Truth of the Divine V2, by Lindsay Ellis
6. Oh William, by Elizabeth Strout
7. Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
8. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue (regular and deluxe), by VE Schwab
9. The Judge's List, by John Grisham
10. Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead

Beating Oh William! out by price point (that's how I break ties), Truth of the Divine comes in as our top debut. SF and fantasy titles tend to front load sales, so I expect to sell more of Elizabeth Strout next week than of Lindsay Ellis, but we'll see. Ellis's is the sequel to Axiom's End in the Noumenta series. Winning raves from John Scalzi, Hank Green, and just-returned-to-Boswell Ogi Ubiparipovic. Her newest has a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Ellis draws skillful parallels between her science-fictional politics and real world issues, gracefully navigating the difficult topics of discrimination, violent extremism, mental health, and addiction. This thought-provoking novel will linger long in readers’ minds."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Play Nice but Win, by Michael Dell
2. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
3. The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
4. Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
5. The Storyteller, by Dave Grohl (last week's NYT #1)
6. Baking with Dorie, by Dorie Greenspan
7. Taste, by Stanley Tucci
8. Where the Deer and the Antelope Play, by Nick Offerman
9. Midnight in Washington, by Adam Schiff
10. This is Ear Hustle, by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods

We've already got our best books of 2021 in order and one of Tim's top five makes our top 10 for the week. The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, from Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams. From the starred Booklist review: "Goodall, world-renowned naturalist, humanist, and environmental advocate, is hope incarnate. Her podcast is even titled Hopecast. Goodall elucidates her commitment to hope in conversation with Douglas Abrams in this companion volume to The Book of Joy (2016) in which Abrams spoke with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Dune (two editions), by Frank Herbert
2. The Second Home, by Christina Clancy
3. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
4. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
5. Payback's a Witch, by Lana Harper
6. The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
7. How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig
8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
9. The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman
10. Send for Me, by Lauren Fox

Recently Laurie Colwin's backlist was rejacketed, a coordinated effort between Vintage and Perennial. But someone needs to figure out how to coordinate rejacketing and updating Matt Haig's backlist. I'm loving that How to Stop Time is back in our top ten with a new matching-The-Midnight-Library cover. Next up, I'm hoping that the rejacketed and re-priced edition of The Humans, of which Jason is a fan, can do the same. It's another variation on Haig's philosophy of living in the present by writing a story about beings (alien or otherwise) who have particularly long lives.

Paperback Nonfiction
1. The Milwaukee River Greenway, by Eddee Daniel
2. So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. The Settlement Cookbook, by Milwaukee Settlement House
5. Care Work, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
6. Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby
7. Regeneration, by Paul Hawken
8. 111 Places in Milwaukee that You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
9. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
10. On Tyranny graphic edition, by Timothy Snyder

It's actually hard to find a relatively new book in this top 10 which we haven't featured previously, but Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation was released on September 21, 2021 so close enough. Environmentalist entrepreneur Hawken (of Smith and Hawken - you can still find it as a private label line at Target) has an endorsement from Jane Goodall (see above), who writes: "Regeneration is honest and informative, a rebuttal to doomsayers who believe it is too late." From Allison Arieff in The San Francisco Chronicle: "Regeneration covers an impressively broad range of topics from food safety to the war industry, electric vehicles to mangroves, which serves to demonstrate how all-encompassing the challenge is. But it’s prescriptive, too, featuring reasoned calls to action from writers, activists, scientists and numerous other experts"

Books for Kids:
1. Chez Bob, by Bob Shea
2. Animal Architects, by Amy Cherrix
3. How to Find What You're Not Looking For, by Vera Hiranandani
4. Playing with Fire, by April Henry
5. The Fisherman, the Horse, and the Sea, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef
6. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World V2, by Benjamine Alire Saenz
7. Egg Marks the Spot V2, by Amy Timberlake, with illustrations by Jon Klassen
8. Spy School at Sea, by Stuart Gibbs
9. Eyes of the Forest, by April Holt
10. Ghostly Tales of Milwaukee, by Anna Lardinois

Port Washington's Barbara Joosse's latest collaboration with Renée Graef is The Fishermen, The Horse, and the Sea, a retelling of how fishermen used a horse to save the shipwrecked crew of the Mary Ludwig in 1895. Per the marketing notes: "This beautifully illustrated children’s book based on a true story recounts a dramatic rescue on Lake Michigan and introduces young readers to Lester Smith and his family, who founded Port Washington’s long-running and beloved Smith Bros Fish Shanty." I still fondly recall the planked whitefish and take-home jars of caviar.

It's the second week in the top 10 for Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World, and it should have a few more appearances with it being in Oli's top 5 for 2021. Booklist recs with a star: "The result is a brilliant, character-driven novel that challenges its readers themselves to think about life while falling in love with those two unforgettable characters, Aristotle and Dante."

And from Alex Chunn in School Library Journal: " Nearly double in length to its predecessor, this book packs a lot into its five parts as the gay teens contend with the realities - and work - of relationships. Ari's sensitive first-person narration, which includes beautifully reflective journal entries, encapsulates struggles with internalized homophobia and its intersections with masculinity and Mexican American identity. Slow-paced and poetic, this emotional rollercoaster is buoyed by hope, swoonworthy kisses, and exquisite characterization. Verdict: This literary romance will woo hearts and minds alike. A must-purchase for all libraries."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins profiles Dean Robbins, who will have four books out from major publishers this year:
--The Fastest Girl on Earth!: Meet Kitty O'Neil, Daredevil Driver!, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
--Thank You, Dr. Salk!: The Scientist Who Beat Polio and Healed the World, illustrated by Mike Dutton
--¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (in stores November 23)
--You Are a Star, Ruth Bader Ginsburg!, illustrated by Sarah Green (in stores December 28)

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