Sunday, June 5, 2022

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 4, 2022

Here's what is selling at Boswell.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
2. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt (Register for July 11 virtual event here)
3. Marrying the Ketchups, by Jennifer Close
4. The Hurting Kind, by Ada Limón
5. The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
6. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garbus
7. The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
8. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel
9. The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah
10. The World of Pondside, by Mary Helen Stefaniak

Jean Hanff Korelitz followed her editorial team from Grand Central to Celedon and had one of the bigger hits of her career with The Plot. The follow-up, The Latecomer, is getting all raves and positives on Book Marks. Allegra Goodman (who has a new book coming out this fall) offered her thoughts in The New York Times: "Secular, assimilated and rich, the family inhabits a social world as exclusive in its way as that described by Edith Wharton — but the Jews whom Wharton considered arrivistes have now arrived. The Oppenheimers fully inhabit New York City, and Korelitz proves herself a worthy successor to her sharp-eyed forebear."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Actions Speak Louder, by Deanna Singh (Register for June 7 event at Milwaukee Public Library here)
2. Refugee High, by Elly Fishman (Fishman is the conversation partner for Rajika Bhandari on June 13 - register here)
3. Essential Tennis, by Ian Westerman and Joel Chasnoff
4. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris (Tickets for June 17 Boswell event here)
5. Speak, by Tunde Oyenyin
6. Architects of an America Landscape, by Hugh Howard (Register for June 22 virtual event here)
7. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
8. River of the Gods, by Candice Millard
9. Cuba, by Ada Ferrer
10. The Heroine with 1001 Faces, by Maria Tatar

Events usually lead to hardcover bestseller sales when the paperback is available, and that's the case for Essential Tennis, but Braiding Sweetgrass just sells in both formats. Our buyer Jason said he has to be careful when buying these hardcover editions because some look like traditional hardcover editions while others are ill-shapen packages that are really only meant for libraries.

Paperback Fiction:
1. 1984, by George Orwell
2. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
3. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry
4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5. Circe, by Madeline Miller
6. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
7. The Lost Apothecary, by Sarah Penner
8. While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams
9. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel
10. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie

While it is true that we have some educational sales creeping into our bestseller list - it is the end of the educational fiscal year - it is interesting to note that more than half the titles in our top 10 are older than one year, a national trend in paperback fiction. It's partly BookTok, but another noticeable development is that new releases are driving previous titles onto the bestseller list in greater and greater numbers. Jason noted that three authors held 1/3 of the slots on the paperback fiction New York Times bestseller list - Colleen Hoover, Emily Henry, and Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. A Voyage Long and Strange, by Tony Horwitz
2. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
3. Essential Tennis, by Ian Westermann and Joel Chasnoff
4. The Milwaukeean, by Joey Grihalva
5. Several Short Sentences About Writing, by Verlyn Klinkenborg
6. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
7. Journalism, by Joe Sacco
8. The Arbornaut, by Meg Lowman
9. The Diary of Jesus Christ, by Bill Cain
10. Animal Vegetable Junk, by Mark Bittman

Three weeks released and first week in our top ten for The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us, by Meg Lowman. With blurbs from Jane Goodall, Temple Grandin, and E.O. Wilson, she also has this nice review from Rachel Zarrow in The San Francisco Chronicle (though nothing from the big 3*): "Though the book can be a bit dense at times with scientific facts and figures, as well as study designs and findings, Lowman’s enthusiasm and passion for her work and our planet’s trees is apparent on every page. Lowman’s voice reads like that of a beloved mentor, especially as she describes the challenges she faced as a female scientist in a male-dominated field as well as those she experienced as a single working mother."

Books for Kids:
1. I Must Betray You, by Ruta Septys
2. Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay
3. The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L Holm
4. Refugee, by Alan Gratz
5. Miles Morales, Spider Man, by Jason Runnels
6. Storm Runner, by JC Cervantes
7. Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
8. City of Ember graphic novel, by Jeanne Duprau
9. Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Choskhi
10. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley

More school purchases here including several books from the Rick Riordan presents series - The Storm Runner, by JC Cervantes and Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi. Though this sale was for the traditional edition, a graphic novel format book came out in April.

*New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, though I think WSJ does a better job with nonfiction than fiction, with most general fiction reviewed by Sam Sacks. Yesterday's Journal had two write ups on Barbara Pym, a review of Paula Byrne's The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Katherine A Powers and a recommendation of Excellent Women by Alexander McCall Smith

Powers writes: "Pym’s enthusiasm for adopting alternate identities, though usually spurred on by romantic obsession, was one expression of her penchant for inventing characters—of which writing novels was another. Indeed, the most fascinating aspect and true strength of this very long biography is how completely Ms. Byrne shows that Pym’s life and fiction were part of a piece, and lets us see how she transferred facets of herself to her leading characters. Though different in age and material circumstance, these characters are all recognizably Pym-ish. (Register for our June 8 virtual event with Paula Byrne here)

No comments: