Sunday, April 23, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 22, 2023

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 22, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal (Register for 4/26, 6:30 pm Boswell event here)
2. Earth's the Right Place for Love, by Elizabeth Berg (a few signed copies left)
3. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
4. Hello Beautiful, by Ann Napolitano
5. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
6. When in Rome, by Liam Callanan
7. Goldenrod, by Maggie Smith
8. A Day of Fallen Night, by Samantha Shannon
9. Homecoming, by Kate Morton
10. Pineapple Street, by Jenny Jackson

So glad to see a nice preorder and first-week sale for J Ryan Stradal's Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club! For this book, we have put together the most complicated Readings from Oconomowaukee yet. Like we did for Search last year, Stradal will do a 2 pm at Books & Co (Register here) and 6:30 pm event at Boswell. In addition to Lisa and myself, Stradal will be joined by Amy E Reichert at the daytime event and Christi Clancy in the evening. No Book Marks on this one - hard to figure this out. But Kirkus notes: "The Midwest setting is written with love and respect, and while the story is often heartbreakingly sad, there’s also real warmth and comfort in Stradal’s writing." 

My very favorite write up is a profile in The Hastings Star Gazette, the Minnesota newspaper for the town where Stradal grew up. From the article: “'I still wake up every day pinching myself,' he said. 'I've been doing this for almost 10 years and I still think someone's going to come along and say it was all a dream. What keeps me going is that it's not only my dream, it was my mom's dream, one she never had the chance to attempt, and no matter how hard the work can be, or how dry the dry years get, I keep going for her.'"
Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. You Could Make This Place Beautiful, by Maggie Smith (signed copies available)
2. Sit in the Sun, by Jon M Sweeney 
3. Poverty by America, by Matthew Desmond (Register for May 23 MPL event here)
4. They Called Us Enemy, expanded edition, by George Takei, with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker
5. Wager, by David Grann
6. A Fever in the Heartland, by Timothy Egan 
7. Keep Moving, by Maggie Smith
8. The Creative Act, by Rik Rubin
9. The New Art of Coffee, by Ryan Castelaz
10. Bread Head, by Greg Wade (Register for May 2 Boswell event here)

Top debut honors go to David Grann, whose Wager: A Tale of a Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder is the follow up to his bestselling Killers of the Flower Moon, soon to be a major motion picture. Nine raves and two positives on Book Marks, including Julia Flynn Siler in The Wall Street Journal, who wrote: "The Wager, David Grann’s account of the punishing travails of the 250 men aboard an 18th-century British man-of-war, shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Patagonia, is the most gripping true-life sea yarn I’ve read in years." I'm reminded of the success of Endurance many years ago. 

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave
2. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
3. The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan (info on upcoming book club discussions here)
4. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, by VE Schwab
5. City of Brass, by SA Chakraborty
6. The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley
7. Legends and Lattes, by Ray Bradbury
8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
9. Groundskeeping, by Lee Cole
10. A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting, by Sophie Irwin

Lots of selections from the national book clubs pop, but it's a rare title that sells well enough for prized two-years-in-hardcover status. Often it's a film or streaming release that finally demands paperback, and that's the case with The Last Thing He Told Me, which debuted on Apple TV+ on April 14. Reviews of the series will likely please the book's fans, as it seems like one of the complaints that's come up is that it's too faithful. The Book Marks status on the original book was three raves, four positives.

I am fascinated that both The Last Thing He Told Me and The Wager went with such a similar color palate for very different books. What does it mean when water is green instead of blue? A sign of treacherous waters?

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Miseducated, by Brandon Fleming
2. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker
3. Fighting Times, by Jon Melrod
4. America the Beautiful, by Blythe Roberson (Register for April 25 event here)
5. Make Someone Happy, by Elizabeth Berg
6. The Gardener's Guide to Prairie Plants, by Neil Diboll (Register for June 17 event here)
7. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
8. All About Love, by bell hooks
9. The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow
10. How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur

Brandon Fleming's Miseducated was the featured title of the annual DMEF luncheon, and what an inspiring speaker he was - among our best day-of event sales for this program. The publisher positions the story as "an inspiring memoir of one man's transformation through literature and debate from a delinquent, drug-dealing dropout to an award-winning Harvard educator by age 27." Fleming has been championed by fellow Atlantans Nic Stone and Kiese Laymon. And yes, he's working on another book.

Books for Kids:
1. Thirst, by Varsha Bajaj
2. Global (both editions, by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrations by Giovanni Rigano
3. Tiny T Rex and the Grand Ta Da, by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrations by Jay Fleck
4. Tiny T Rex and the Impossible Hug, by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrations by Jay Fleck
5. Best Wishes V2: Sister Switch, by Sarah Mlynowski and Debbie Rigaud
6. The Eyes and the Impossible, by Dave Eggers (McSweeneys edition)
7. Every Day's a Holiday, by Stef Wade, illustrations by Husna Aghniya
8. Dog Man V11: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, by Dav Pilkey
9. Best Wishes V1, by Sarah Mylnowski
10 What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, by Tina Oziewicz, illustrations by Aleksandra Zajac

School events and one private signing dominate the list this week, accounting for eight of the top 10 selections. Last time out, Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano capped their day of schools with a public evet for Illegal, but this time, time would not allow for such a program, and instead we had three wonderful school visits. That said, we have signed copies of Global - with signatures from both authors and the illustrator.

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