Sunday, December 31, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending December 30, 2023

Boswell bestsellers, week ending December 30, 2023

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
2. Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett
3. Iron Flame V2, by Rebecca Yarros
4. Starter Villain, by John Scalzi (Books and Beer Book Club selection Jan 15 - more info here)
5. Prophet Song, by Paul Lynch
6. The Frozen River, by Ariel Lawhon
7. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
8. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
9. Roman Stories, by Jhumpa Lahiri
10. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

Ariel Lawhon's fifth solo novel, The Frozen River, has now sold the most copies of her five releases at Boswell in hardcover, though we did beat that number with the paperback of I Was Anastasia, as she appeared at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in 2019. Her latest is a historical mystery based on the real-life case of Martha Ballard, which our rep Jason told us was also the inspiration for the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book, The Midwife's Tale. The starred Booklist noted that "Lawhon's first-rate tale should entrance readers passionate about early America and women's history."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. How to Know a Person, by David Brooks
2. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
3. Oath and Honor, by Liz Cheney
4. Democracy Awakening, by Heather Cox Richardson
5. The Art Thief, by Michael Finkel
6. World Within a Song, by Jeff Tweedy
7. Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2E, by Ron Faiola
8. Best Minds, by Jonathan Rosen
9. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
10. Correction, by Ben Austen (Register for Boswell January 23 event)

How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen, which has been a steady presence on our bestseller list since its October 24 release, finally takes the lead in the week after Christmas. From the publisher: "Brooks draws from the fields of psychology and neuroscience, and from the worlds of theatre, history, and education, to present a hopeful approach to human connection. Along the way he offers a possible remedy for a society that is riven by fragmentation, hostility, and misperception." It's not listed on BookMarks - a quick search explains why. That said, Kirkus called it "a hands-on guide to making meaningful human connections."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
2. Ex-Wife, by Ursula Parrott
3. All This Could Be Different, by Sarah Thankam Mathews
4. A Court of Silver Flames V5, by Sarah J Maas
5. The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler
6. The Last to Vanish, by Megan Miranda
7. Big Swiss, by Jen Beagin
8. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St John Mandel
9. A Court of Thorns and Roses V1, by Sarah J Maas
10. Circe, by Madeline Miller

A sales record broken in the psychological suspense field. This week Megan Miranda scores her biggest paperback to date at Boswell with The Last to Vanish, besting 2016's All the Missing Girls, which went into paperback in 2017. The latest had raves from Booklist, Bookpage and Publishers Weekly. From Booklist: "This eerie thriller, in which the setting itself may be actively malevolent, can stand next to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Stephen King's The Shining."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Secret Milwaukee, by Jim Nelsen
2. John Gurda's Milwaukee, by John Gurda
3. All About Love, by bell hooks
4. The Hundred Years' War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
5. Think Again, by Adam Grant
6. Dopamine Nation, by Anna Lembke
7. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
8. Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman
9. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
10. Stay True, by Hua Hsu

Another book that has been floating around since this summer is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman, which got a rave and three positives from BookMarks. From Barbara Spindel in The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Burkeman’s overarching goal is to convince readers to confront their finitude. Unlike traditional time-management techniques—which turn on an unrealistic promise of doing it all - Mr. Burkeman, citing the work of Buddhist scholars, meditation teachers, philosopher Martin Heidegger and others, argues instead that 'the only route to psychological freedom is to let go of the limit-denying fantasy of getting it all done and instead to focus on doing a few things that count.'”

Books for Kids:
1. Chalice of the Gods V6, by Rick Riordan
2. Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
3. Murtagh V5, by Christopher Paolini
4. Something Someday, by Amanda Gorman, illustrations by Christian Robinson
5. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
6. Cat Kid Comic Club V5: Influencers, by Dav Pilkey
7. The Eyes and the Impossible McSweeneys edition, by Dave Eggers
8. Peekaboo Love, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
9. Bluey: Christmas Swim, edited by Gabriela Taboas Zayas
10. Ruthless Vows V2, by Rebecca Ross

This is a great interview with Amanda Gorman and Christian Robinson for Something Someday on the Today Show, back when the book was published in September. I was looking at the visual and thought, that book is bulked up like middle grade fiction, not a 40-page picture book. Check the 20 second mark

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