Sunday, January 22, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 21, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 21, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. How to Sell a Haunted House, by Grady Hendrix
2. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
3. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
4. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
5. All This Could be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews
6. Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries, by Heather Fawcett
7. Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan
8. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin Stevenson
9. Vintage Contemporaries, by Dan Kois (watch the video here)
10. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy

This week's top debut is Boswell favorite Grady Hendrix's How to Sell a Haunted House. Or so I thought - we don't have an official rec from a bookseller yet. But at Book Marks, there are five raves and two positive reviews, including this from Danielle Trussoni in The New York Times: "Grady Hendrix’s horror novels are a gateway drug to the genre, bridging the warm and cozy...with the harder stuff."

I should also give a shout out to Emily Wilde's Encyclopaeida of Faeries, the new novel from Heather Fawcett that my colleague Jenny is already proclaiming to be one of her favorite books of 2023. And it's only January!  

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Spare, by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
2. The Creative ACT, by Rick Rubin
3. A Waiter in Paris, by Edward Chisholm (Register for Feb 16 virtual event here)
4. What If 2, by Randall Munroe
5. Dinner in One, by Melissa Clark
6. South to America, by Imani Perry
7. I'm Glad My Mom Died, by Jenette McCurdy
8. Wintering, by Katherine May (Register for Feb 21 virtual event here)
9. The Philosophy of Modern Song, by Bob Dylan
10. Birds and Us, by Tim Birkhead (watch the video here)

I find it odd that I watched a cable feature on Rick Rubin without understanding that it was tied to a new book, The Creative ACT: A Way of Being. From the publisher: "From the legendary music producer, a master at helping people connect with the wellsprings of their creativity, comes a beautifully crafted book many years in the making that offers that same deep wisdom to all of us." Rubin has worked with the Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adele, Lana Del Rey, Johnny Cash, and more. Dave Shiflett in The Wall Street Journal notes that Rubin "offers an interesting alternative to internet bickering and similar modern maladies: creating art. While he isn’t pitching The Creative Act as a guidebook for national rejuvenation, his relentlessly positive message may help readers shed a few blood-pressure points and possibly suspend plans to jump off the nearest cliff."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ms. Demeanor, by Elinor Lipman (watch the video here)
2. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
5. The Maid, by Nita Prose
6. Beautiful World, Where Are You?, by Sally Rooney
7. All's Well, by Mona Awad
8. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
9. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna
10. Death at Greenway, by Lori Rader Day

It's been out since last August in paperback, but I don't think we've highlighted Mona Awad's All's Well, a favorite of our buyer Jason ("I loved every minute of this crazy, amazing novel - Mona Awad is madly creative and inventive.") Only one pan on Book Marks, from Publishers Weekly, the new bad boy of advance reviewing (replacing Kirkus). Booklist offered a rave: "A brilliant noir comedy about art and illness... Awad’s characters are deliciously over the top and impossible to forget, as is the author’s gift for morbid humor. The real magic of this novel lies in Awad’s ability to draw the Shakespearean irony out of contemporary tragedy ... Endlessly thought-provoking and not to be missed."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Brewtown Tales, by John Gurda
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan (register for March 7 in-person event - space limited!)
3. The Bright Ages, by Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry
4. All About Love, by bell hooks
5. Adolescents and Their Social Media Narratives, by Jill Walsh

Off the new paperback table comes The Bright Ages: A New History of the Middle Ages, by Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry. From Slate: "The beauty and levity that Perry and Gabriele have captured in this book are what I think will help it to become a standard text for general audiences for years to come….The Bright Ages is a rare thing - a nuanced historical work that almost anyone can enjoy reading.” Plus The Boston Globe called The Bright Ages "Incandescent and ultimately intoxicating." We have a bookseller who likes medieval history - I'd be surprised we don't have a rec on this, but as I've mentioned before, it's hard for us to get a hold of advance copies of serious nonfiction.

Books for Kids:
1. The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Sean Rubin
2. Every Day's a Holiday, by Stef Wade, illustrations by Husna Aghniya
3. Moving to Mars, by Stef Wade, illustrations by Erin Taylor
4. A Place for Pluto, by Stef Wade, illustrations by Melanie Demmer
5. Bat and the End of Everything V3, by Elana K Arnold (Register for Feb 14 in person event here!)

It's school visit season! That's all I have to say about that.

Bubbling under is yet another book it the Peekaboo series from Camilla Reid and Ingela P. Arrhenius. Peekaboo Apple is focused on nature, and comes complete with the slider mechanism and the last-page mirror.

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