Sunday, June 19, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 18, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending June 18, 2022

Hardcover Fiction:
1. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
2. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks (Register for June 30 virtual event here)
3. Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand
4. Jackie and Me, by Louis Bayard (Register for June 27 in-person and virtual event here)
5. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
6. The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
7. Meant to Be, by Emily Giffin
8. Two Nights in Lisbon, by Chris Pavone
9. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt (Reigster for July 11 virtual event here)
10. Search, by Michelle Huneven

It's hard to imagine that Elin Hildebrand can hit a home run every time at bat, but if you ignore The New York Times Book Review write-up from Michelle Ruiz (and there is certainly no reason to expect they would give a good review to such a novel, especially with the retirement of commercial-oriented Janet Maslin), the reviews for Hotel Nantucket are terrific - Booklist, Library Journal, and Kirkus, which I quote: "Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting - the grand hotel - gets the Hilderbrand treatment. The beloved beach novelist's 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective 'we' of gossipy island residents."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Happy-Go Lucky, by David Sedaris (signed copies available)
2. Mother Noise, by Cindy House (same)
3. My Life in the Sunshine, by Nabil Ayers (same)
4. The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym, by Paula Byrne
5. I'd Like to Play Alone, Please, by Tom Segura
6. River of the Gods, by Candice Millard
7. Architects of an American Landscape, by Hugh Howard
8. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
9. The End of the World Is Just the Beginning, by Peter Zeihan
10. The Bald Eagle, by Jack E Davis (Register for June 22 virtual event here)

Another week, another comedian who is "massively successful" but is heretofore off my radar because I don't watch the Netflix specials and I am not the target market. Tom Segura's debut collection, I'd Like to Play Alone, Please, didn't get a Book Marks page, even though it has advance reviews from the Los Angeles Times, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly; I'm not sure how they make these decisions. Kirkus writes: "While Segura's off-color humor is not for everyone, his fans will doubtlessly enjoy both his essays and the included black-and-white photos. Often crude but undeniably funny."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
2. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black
4. Beautiful World, Where Are You, by Sally Rooney
5. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
6. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
7. Afterparties, by Anthony Veasna So
8. Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
9. A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagirhara
10. Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

According to Book Marks, the best reviewed short story collection was Anthony Veasna So's Afterparties, which also had Boswell love from several booksellers here, notably Chris, who got me to read it too. I just learned that So's second collection is coming out in 2023. From Jonathan Dee, whose new book I'm supposed to start reading any second: "Karen Russell, Carmen Maria Machado, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah - you can count on one hand the authors of this century whose debut short-story collections are as prodigious and career-making as Afterparties. This lovingly specific, history-haunted comedy of Cambodian-American manners should put Anthony Veasna So on smart readers' radar to stay."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. America Calling, by Rajika Bhanadari
2. Teaching Community by bell hooks
3. I Was Wrong, but We Can Make It Right, by John B Haydon
4. Wildflowers of Wisconsin Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela
5. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley Du Fresne McArthur
6. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
7. A Voyage Long and Strange, by Tony Horwitz
8. A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks, by Danielle St Louis
9. The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf
10. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

I don't normally highlight what we call bulk sales, but I wanted to make mention of bell hooks's Teaching Community, as Jason and I were just discussing how, of all the folks who've passed away in the last year, the big breakout book seemed to be hooks's All About Love. And then Jason noted that even the Routledge (an imprint of Taylor and Frances, an informa company*) titles were selling well.

Books for Kids:
1. Realm of the Blue Mist, by Amy Kim Kibuishi
2. The Assignment, by Liza Wiemer
3. Mightier than the Sword, by Rochelle Melander
4. I Must Betray You, by Ruta Sepetys
5. First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris
6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz
7. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L Sánchez (Register for September 16 event here)
8. The Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay
9. The Secret Sky, by Atia Abawi
10. I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston

Realm of the Blue Mist is a new graphic novel series that has gotten nice write-ups from Kirkus and Booklist. Kirkus lays it out: "A girl seeking answers is drawn onto another world entirely. Fifteen-year-old Tabetha 'Tabby' Simon is drawn to Yggdrasil, the anomalous tree with bizarre, immortality-granting properties that her scientist father was researching before his mysterious death years ago." Booklist brings it home: "Solid, well-thought-out world building keeps this fast-paced, layered story from becoming too complicated. Thrilling action sequences, compelling characters, and gorgeous art and colors all ensure readers will wait impatiently for the next volume in the series."

We've been publishing our Boswell bestseller lists since we opened in 2009, and the truth is, I've been collating lists like this since I first started at Harry W Schwartz Bookshops in 1986. Back at Warner Books (now Grand Central), I did work making sure that our new releases were on the radar of the folks who made up these lists nationally - it wasn't as easy as it was now, and regularly, someone would call me and ask about a book they were getting sales reports on, and I would play detective if I didn't know what it was off the back.

My interest in charts goes back to 1974 when I started listening to American Top 40 and soon became obsessed with the Billboard charts. By 1975, I was tabulating my favorite songs weekly, first as a top 20, then a top 40, then all the way to 100. I continued to do this until 2001, and much of my social network revolved around other people who did the same thing. I will probably be talking about this a bit more this fall, as I anxiously await the release of Tom Breihan's The Number Ones, out November 15. I should also note the passing of Joel Whitburn, the chartmaker's chartmaker. Here's the Jim Higgins-written obituary.

Being that there have been a number of stories about a certain song becoming a huge hit 37 years after its initial release, I thought I would include an excerpt from one of my old charts. 

Daniel's personal top 10 of October 13, 1985:
1. Running Up that Hill, by Kate Bush
2. Marlene on the Wall, by Suzanne Vega
3. Excitable, by Amazulu
4. Love Take Over, by Five Star
5. Round and Around, by Jaki Graham
6. When Love Breaks Down, by Prefab Sprout
7. The Perfect Way, by Scritti Politti
8. Body and Soul, by Mai Tai
9. The Love Parade, by Dream Academy
10. Appetite by Prefab Sprout

*Which is a division of the Sheinhardt Wig Company

No comments: