Sunday, March 20, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 19, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending March 19, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Register for April 18 in-person/virtual event here)
2. The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley
3. Murder at the Porte de Versailles, by Cara Black (Register for April 7 in-person event here)
4. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
5. Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
6. One Italian Summer, by Rebecca Serle
7. Give Unto Others, by Donna Leon
8. The Paris Bookseller, by Kerri Maher
9. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
10. Violeta, by Isabel Allende

In the years since I've been paying attention to these things, two things that have been consistent is Cara Black's Aimée Leduc series (20 titles in the series) and Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti (31 titles in the series). Paris and Venice, two places I wouldn't mind visiting for the second (Black) or first (Leon) time. We'll be talking about Murder at the Porte of Versailles for Black's visit on April 7, but I should say a few words about Give Unto Others. In one way, the series are very different - Leduc's titles use the Sue Grafton formula, with each episode set after the last, but by not too much, meaning the new book is set in 2001. The Brunetti series keeps a contemporary timeline - so Give Unto Others is set in a Venice that is recovering from the worst of COVID. Coincidentally Donna Leon's visit was our last big event in 2020 before we shut down for COVID.

I should also probably mention that three of the top ten books this week are set in Paris.  

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Last Call at the Hotel Imperial, by Deborah Coeh (Register for March 27 in-peson/Virtual event here)
2. The Insect Crisis, by Oliver Milman (watch the recording here)
3. We Don't Know Ourselves, by Fintan O'Toole
4. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
5. Origin, by Jennifer Raff
6. Lessons from the Edge, by Marie Yovanovitch
7. In Love, by Amy Bloom
8. In Praise of Good Bookstores, by Jeff Deutsch (Register for April 25 in person/virtual event here)
9. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
10. Off the Edge, by Kelly Weill (watch the recording here)

Some people celebrate St Patrick's Day by staying home and reading. We had a nice pop in sales for Finan O'Toole's We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland. From the Library Journal review: "Irish Times columnist O'Toole (The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism) has written a forceful account of how Ireland entered the modern age, beginning with his own personal history, which he effectively ties in with an almost year-by-year recounting of what happened in his country during the late 20th century." Lots more raves on Bookmarks.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Standing Up, by Ellen Bravo and Larry Miller
2. Verity, by Colleen Hoover
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
4. It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover
5. Copper Yearning, by Kimberly Blaeser
6. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
7. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (register for May 6 in-person event here)
8. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
9. Murder on Monte Vista, by David Pederson
10. The White Tiger, by Aravinda Adiga

With David Pederson moving on to Arizona, so go his characters. Murder on Monte Vista is the first of the Mason Adler mysteries, set in 1946 Phoenix. It's a locked-room mystery set at a dinner party, with a Pederson twist.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Union, by Colin Woodard
2. American Nations, by Colin Woodard
3. Midwest Gardeners Handbook, by Melinda Myers
4. The Numbers, by Oliver Linton
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson
7. If Nuns Ruled the World, by Jo Piazza
8. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake
9. Madhouse at the End of the Earth, by Julian Sancton
10. The Hidden World of the Fox, by Adele Brand

It's been nine years (or so my inventory system says) since the first edition of Melinda Myers's The Midwest Gardeners Handbook: All You Need to Know, Plant, and Maintain a Midwest Garden, and in the first week, we've already sold close to half the copies we did of the previous version over the life of the book. The difference? Last time The Garden Book for Wisconsin (also from Myers) was still available, but now it's no longer available.

Books for Kids:
1. Max and the Midknights: Tower of Time V3 by Lincoln Peirce
2. Max and the Midknights V1, by Lincoln Peirce
3. Believe in Yourself, by Marc Brown
4. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
5. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
6. The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer
7. We Are Power, by Todd Hasak-Lowy
8. The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill
9. She Persisted in Science, by Chelsea Clinton
10. Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever given a shout out for Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao, a teen series opener set in Huaxia, a futuristic world with Chinese characteristics. This #1 NYT bestseller also hit several best-of lists since its September 2021 release. From Shelf Awareness: "Iron Widow is an exciting, action-packed sci-fi story and a scathing indictment of patriarchal culture. Zetian is a ruthless yet sympathetic antiheroine whose determination to overturn the status quo, where women are 'born to be used and discarded,' will earn readers' compassion."

From the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews The Cartographers, the new novel from Peng Shepherd. He writes: "The power of maps to fascinate and to lead somewhere unexpected infuses Peng Shepherd's novel The Cartographers, which straddles the loosely defined territories of fantasy and thriller... Even though most characters in this novel who aren't police officers are brilliant minds with advanced degrees, Shepherd writes graceful, fluid prose that's easy to follow; this is a novel for adults, but it also could appeal to teenagers who like smart fantasy, especially given Nell, who comes across as emotionally younger than her age." Shepherd will be talking to Jim Higgins at Boswell on April 18. Here's that registration link once again. You'll have plenty of time to read the book before the event. 

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