Sunday, July 10, 2022

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 9, 2022

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

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh
2. Horse, by Geralding Brooks
3. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt (Register for July 11 virtual event here)
4. Look Closer, by David Ellis (Register for July 12 in person event here)
5. Jackie and Me, by Louis Bayard
6. Death Casts a Shadow, by Patricia Skalka (Register for July 26 event here)
7. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan
8. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
9. The House Across the Lake, by Riley Sager
10. The Poet's House, by Jean Thompson (Register for July 20 in person event here)

One of ABA website fixes that had an unforeseen downside is an option to not show books available for purchase until pub date. What this is great for is when we get books on sale early for offsites, or say, receive books on Friday that are coming out the following Tuesday because, for example, it's July 4 weekend and nobody is here to receive on Tuesday. But for traditional distributors who follow the pub date rule instead of the hard on-sale rule, it causes some confusion when, for example, we have Death Casts a Shadow and The Poet's House on our bestseller list, but if you check our website, we don't have stock. When Algonquin moves to Hachette distribution next year, they will move to an on-sale model and that will not be an issue.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Happy-Go-Lucky, by David Sedaris
2. France, by Graham Robb
3. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
4. All That Moves Us, by Jay Wellons
5. The Geography of Wisconsin, by John A Cross and Kazimier Zaniewski
6. Bad Mexicans, by Kelly Lytle Hernandez
7. An Immense World, by Ed Yong
8. I Dream of Dinner So You Don't Have To, by Ali Slagle
9. Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World, by Barry Lopez
10. The Pope at War, by David I Kertzer

It's five raves and a positive for Kelly Lytle Hernández's Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands, which came out in May, but had it's best week to date and no, this wasn't one person buying multiple copies - I checked. And the reason? The author was featured on NPR's Fresh Air, in conversation with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley. More info here. Note on the Book Marks - this book hasn't been fully reviewed in the big three - The New York Times (it got a capsule after The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza), The Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal. And why isn't the Los Angeles Times review counted in Book Marks?

Paperback Fiction:
1. Human Collateral, by Harry Pinkus
2. The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
3. Admiring Silence, by Abdulrazak Gurnah
4. Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston
5. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. Lore Olympus V2, by Rachel Smythe
7. Kingmaker's Redemption, by Harry Pinkus
8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
9. The People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry
10. The Paper Palace, by Miranda Cowley Heller

We had the first in-person Boswell-run book club on Tuesday with a hybrid discussion of Damon Galgut's The Promise. Some folks loved it - others not so much. It was a good discussion. Do you have to love a book to have a good discussion? No. Does it help if some of the attendees love a book? Yes. We did this one hybrid, but I'm contemplating two sessions, one in person and the other hybrid. I'll keep you posted. Our next discussion is Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah's Admiring Silence on August 1. He has written a good number of novels, and this did not get the big award shortlists, but I read that it was funny, and that's enough of a sales pitch for me. Laura Winters wrote in her 1996 New York Times review: "Mr. Gurnah skillfully depicts the agony of a man caught between two cultures, each of which would disown him for his links to the other. The portrait that emerges is corrosively funny and relentless: we may not like the narrator, but his torment is all too real."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dream Play Build, by James Rojas
2. The Deep Limitless Air, by Mary Allen
3. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
4. The History of Milwaukee Drag, by BJ Daniels and Mikhail Takach
5. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
6. Giannis, by Mirin Fader
7. The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf
8. The Bomber Mafia, by Malcolm Gladwell
9. All That She Carried, by Tia Miles
10. Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake

It's the second week in the top ten for the paperback of Malcolm Gladwell's The Bomber Mafia after a successful run in hardcover. Gladwell's Puskin Industries just signed a first-look deal with A24. Per Todd Spangler in a June piece in Variety, "A24 has the right of first refusal to develop film and TV projects based on Pushkin’s intellectual property. The companies are already in development on a few projects including a documentary series based on Gladwell’s The Bomber Mafia, to be produced by filmmaker Morgan Neville (who won an Oscar for 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom). Our buyer said there's another book on the subject coming out this fall, but I don't know what it is.

Books for Kids:
1. Heartstopper V1, by Alice Oseman
2. Peekaboo Sun, by Cmailla Reed and Angela Arrhenius
3. Heartstopper V3, by Alice Oseman (I think there was a backlog on reprints for this series)
4. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
5. Big Guy Took My Ball V19, by Mo Willems
6. Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning graphic novel, by Mary Pope Osborne/Jeny Laird/Kelly and Nichole Matthews
7. American Royals III: Rivals, by Katharine McGee
8. Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin and Danile Salmieri
9. Little Houses, by Kevin Henkes
10. Lizzy and the Cloud, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan (The Fan Brothers)

An MBA from Stanford can prepare you for some exciting careers, but bestselling YA writer is probably not the first one you expect. I was going to mention that Katherine McGee, author of American Royals III: Rivals, also had an undergrad degree from Princeton that might not have had training for this career, but I just read that Erika L Sánchez actually taught YA fiction at Princeton (in her new memoir in essays, Crying in the Bathroom, on sale Tuesday, so they did offer this kind of preparation. The book is set in an alternate universe where the United States also has a royal family. In the latest volume, Queen Beatrice hosts a royal convention.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins profiled Ben Riggs, the author of Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons and Dragons, which comes out on July 19 with a celebratory launch at Boswell. I don't think it's going to make it into the print edition until July 17, but it's better for us to get the word out nine days ahead of time, instead of two. Register here for this in-person event.

Our event round-up posts tomorrow.

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