Sunday, April 10, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending April 9, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 9, 2022!

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel (virtual tickets still available)
2. Time Is a Mother, by Ocean Vuong 
3. Murder at the Porte De Versailles, by Cara Black 
4. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan
5. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Register for in-person or virtual broadcast April 18 event here)
6. French Braid, by Anne Tyler
7. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles (Pabst Event tickets here)
8. True Biz, by Sara Novic
9. Give Unto Others, by Donna Leon
10. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr

Ocean Vuong comes off his mega-bestseller On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous with a new collection of poetry, Time Is a Mother. The thing that's interesting to me is that in the first week, we sold 10% of our total sale for the hardcover and paperback of his novel. That seems very strong to me. From Thúy Đinh's review on NPR: "Time, mother, language are all connected - and, at times, paradoxical concepts. Vuong defines language as cultural memory embedded in his mother's body, a foundational capsule - like Noah's Ark - that steers him toward the future. The art of distilling fish sauce from rotten anchovies that he learns from Hồng is analogous to crafting poetry from traumatic, visceral experience."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Bittersweet, by Susan Cain (Register for April 20 morning event here)
2. Atlas of the Heart, by Brené Brown
3. Books of Joy, by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
4. Bodies on the Line: At the Front Lines of the Fight to Protect Abortion in America, by Lauren Rankin
5. Architects of an American Landscape, by Hugh Howard (Register for June 15 virtual event here)
6. The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times
7. Unfamiliar Familiars, by Megan Lynn Kott
8. In Love, by Amy Bloom
9. Riverman, Ben McGrath
10. Half-Baked Harvest Every Day, by Tieghan Gerard

Our top seller for this week is Susan Cain's Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, her follow-up to her mega-bestseller Quiet. From Publishers Weekly: "Though Cain's panoramic scope covers some familiar ground (U.S. culture's "tyranny of positivity" has been critiqued before), this ambitious work impresses in its dexterous integration of disparate thought traditions into a cohesive, moving, and insightful whole. Like a more intuitive Malcolm Gladwell, Cain delivers a deeply felt study of the profound uses of sorrow and melancholy, a perfect manual for coping with tough times." I'm curious about the BookMarks inclusion of The Harvard Crimson as a valid review organ - are they looking at every college newspaper?

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
2. The Lost Apothecary, by Sarah Penner
3. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
4. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (Register for May 6 in-person event here )
5. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
6. The Glass Hotel, by Emily St John Mandel
7. The Promise, by Damon Galgut
8. Luster, by Raven Leilani
9. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel
10. The House in the Cerulaean Sea, by TJ Klune

Our In-store Lit Group's next two picks are featured. Both are prizewinners! Luster (the May selection) received the NBCC John Leonard Prize, the Kirkus Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. The Promise (July) won the Booker Prize. We're still generally meeting the first Monday of the month, still virtual, but the July program will be on July 5. The June selection, Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit, was shortlisted for a few prizes too, but didn't make this week's top 10.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Under Pressure, by Lisa Damour
2. The Five Invitations, by Frank Otsateki
3. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei
4. Untangled, by Lisa Damour
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. The Sweetness of a Simple Life, by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
7. The Movie Book, from DK
8. A World on a Wing, by Scott Wediensaul
9. Under a White Sky, by Elizabeth Kolbert
10. The Barbizon, by Paulina Bren

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, by Scott Weidensaul, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It's BookMarks that really lays home how few book reviews there are in newspapers outside of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, all of which reviewed this book - Julie Zicklefoose writes in The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Weidensaul takes us to places we’ll likely never go, then deftly steps back to let us experience the scene. In an era when travel, for most, has sputtered to a stop, A World on the Wing is a bracing tonic. The author slips in facts and figures so painlessly, so richly embedded in emotional context, that you can absorb and truly appreciate their import."

Books for Kids:
1. Twelve Days in May, by Larry Dane Brimner
2. Six Days in October, by Karen Blumenthal
3. Mama Bunny's Good Pie, by Lisa Moser, illustrations by Sally Garland
4. The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
5. I Am a Taxi, by Deborah Lynn Ellis
6. Boy21, by Matthew Quick
7. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
8. Finding Audrey, by Sophie Kinsella
9. Operation Do Over, by Gordon Korman
10. The List of Things That Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead

Lisa Moser's Mama Bunny's Good Pie is not Easter specific, but it was published in spring and features rabbits, so you do the math: From the publisher: "A jolly spring wind has all Mama's little bunnies feeling mischievous. But before Maple can pick Mama's prized flowers or Cabbage and Radish can pull up all the stakes in the garden, a wind blows by and with it comes Mama Bunny's good pie. As the bunnies eat up their slices, they think about Mama and her pie - and her kindness."

Here's a profile of La Revo Books in the Journal Sentinel as part of an article on how children of color need diverse books, including ones that are banned.

And here's a profile of the Delta Memorial Endowment Fund Literary Luncheon, highlighting all the wonderful authors they've brought to Milwaukee over the years, also from the Journal Sentinel.

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