Sunday, May 7, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 6, 2023

Boswell Bestsellers, week ending May 6, 2023
Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese
2. Happy Place, by Emily Henry
3. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
4. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Hello Beautiful, by Ann Napolitano
6. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
7. Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
8. In the Lives of Puppets, by TJ Klune
9. Romantic Comedy, by Curtis Sittenfeld
10. Mastering the Art of French Murder, by Colleen Cambridge (Register for May 18 event here)

It's been a long time since Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone! It's hard to say whether The Covenant of Water will hold the lead with the chains and online the way he likely did at independents. Maybe, as the Oprah Book Club factor is powerful in other channels. The new book, a multi-generational story set in Kerala, has 11 raves, two positives, and a mixed on LitHub. From Kirkus: "By God, he's done it again... What a joy to say it is, to experience the exquisite, uniquely literary delight of all the pieces falling into place in a way one really did not see coming." 

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond (May 23 event is almost at capacity - check here)
2. The Wager, by David Grann
3. Bread Head, by Greg Wade (Event rescheduled for June 13, 6:30 pm)
4. You Are a Badass Every Day, by Jen Sincero
5. Knowing What We Know, by Simon Winchester
6. The Devil's Element, by Dan Egan
7. A Fever in the Heartland, by Timothy Egan
8. The Language of Trees, by Katie Holten
9. Sit in the Sun, by Jon M Sweeney
10. Magnolia Table V3: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, by Joanna Gaines

Simon Winchester's latest, Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic, is reviewed in The Washington Post, The Times (UK), and all the trades, but for some reason, it's not being aggregated in LitHub. Booklist's starred review called it "a testament to his abiding interest in history, human innovation, and his distinctive ability to share his insatiable curiosity with enthusiastic readers. He has written engagingly about etymology, engineering, explorers, and inventors, as well as maps, oceans, rivers, land, earthquakes, and volcanoes." The book was also reviewed by Peter Sagal (of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me) in The New York Times.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, by VE Schwab
2. The Candy House, by Jennfer Egan (Check out the Boswell-run book clubs here)
3. The Seven Moons of Maali Almedia, by Shehan Karunatilaka
4. Ithaca, by Penelope North
5. Fifth Avenue Glamor Girl, by Renée Rosen (Register for May 11 event here - daytime!)
6. The Cabinet, by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert
7. 1984, by George Orwell
8. Meet Me at the Lake, by Carley Fortune
9. The Murder of Mr Wickham, by Claudia Gray (Register for June 8 virtual event here)
10. Women Talking, by Miriam Toews

The Cabinet received the Munhakdongne Novel Award, South Korea's most prestigious literary prize. Per the publisher, "Cabinet 13 looks exactly like any normal filing cabinet, except this cabinet is filled with files on the 'symptomers', humans whose strange abilities and bizarre experiences might just mark the emergence of a new species."  From Sam Tyler in SFBook: "Science Fiction can take itself too seriously, so it is great to read an offbeat genre novel and they don't come much more leftfield than The Cabinet. It stands on similar ground as A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, filtered through the macabre gaze of Chuck Palahniuk." The Books and Beer Book Club is reading The Cabinet on May 15 at Café Hollander.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
2. Badass Habits, by Jen Sincero
3. You Are A Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero
4. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur
7. America the Beautiful, by Blythe Roberson
8. How to Tell a Story, from The Moth
9. Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest, by Teresa Marrone
10. A Gardener's Guide to Prairie Plants, by Neil Diboll (Register for June 17 event here)

Three weeks out in paperback and second placement in the top 10 for How to Be Perfect, after a long run in hardcover. Michael Schur's guide to living an ethical life. From Julian Baggini's rave in The Wall Street Journal: "There is no more to quibble over here than there is in any academic text. That makes How to Be Perfect one of the most accessible entry points to philosophical ethics available - in short, a very good place to start." You'll notice, by the way, that we have just expanded our philosophy section in the store.

Books for Kids:
1. When You Can Swim, by Jack Wong
2. The One and Only Ruby, by Katherine Applegate (Register for May 9 virtual school visit event here)
3. Fall of the School for Good and Evil V2, by Soman Chainani (Register for May 10 event here)
4. The Sun and the Star, by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
5. The Eyes and the Impossible, by Dave Eggers
6. Rise of the School for Good and Evil V1, by Soman Chainani
7. Gertie the Darling Duck of WWII, by Shari Swanson, illustrated by Renée Graef (Register for May 20 event here)
8. Weather Together, by Jessie Sima
9. A World Without Princes V2, by Soman Chainani
10. LOL 101: A Kids Guide to Writing Jokes, by David Roth and Rinee Shah (Register for May 8 Shorewood Library event here)

Following Perfectly Pegasus, Jessie Sima's Weather Together is about friendship and mental health. From Kirkus: "Harking back to Not Quite Narwhal in both cast and tone, Sima offers a friendship tale in which Kelp's close and aptly named pal Nimbus acquires a dark little cloud that rains when she feels down... If some young readers subject to or familiar with similar storms (or a bit foggy on what a metaphor is) need explanation or discussion about depression to clear the air, the comforting message nonetheless shines brightly."

I also have to give a shout out to When You Can Swim. We hosted school visits with Jack Wong on Friday. It was a really great day. It's also one of Jenny's favorite picture books of 2023!

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