Sunday, June 9, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 8, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 8, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
2. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
3. Exhibit, by RO Kwon (signed and stamped copies)
4. Mirrored Heavens V3, by Rebecca Roanhorse
5. James, by Percival Everett
6. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
7. The Comfort of Ghosts, by Jacqueline Winspear
8. Apostles of Mercy V3, by Lindsay Ellis
9. Camino Ghosts V3, by John Grisham
10. Funny Story, by Emily Henry

Mirrored Heavens, by Rebecca Roanhorse has a nice starred Booklist review: "Political intrigue, a war between god-touched avatars, and grand machinations both magical and mundane provide the epic sweep of Roanhorse's finale to her Between Earth and Sky trilogy." Roanhorse has been nominated for the Nebula, Locus, Hugo, and Lambda Awards and received an Alex Award from the American Library Association.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. Dane County Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen
3. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
4. The Power Foods Diet, by Neal D Barnard (Boswell June 13 event)
5. In the Time of My Dying, by Sebastian Junger
6. When the Sea Came Alive, by Garrett M Graff
7. When Women Ran Fifth Avenue, by Julie Satow
8. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
9. Correction, by Ben Austen
10. Star Wars Dad Jokes, by Kelly Knox

I'm not going to ignore a book about department stores (with a caveat that at least two of them were specialty stores) that hits our top ten, so let's give a shout out to When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion. I found the book quite fascinating! The book got seven positives on BookMarks, including Rachel Tashjian in The Washington Post, which I would have categorized as a rave: "Compelling as their stories are, the book is just as appealing for the details of the bygone wonder that was the mid-century department store. Reading about these too-good-to-be-true spaces feels a bit like reading about the Titanic - freighted as it was with thousands of pounds of bread, a lounge modeled on Versailles and a gym with an electric 'camel,' it’s no wonder the thing sank."

Paperback Fiction"
1. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
2. The River We Remember, by William Kent Krueger (Boswell September 7 event)
3. The Searcher, by Tana French
4. A Question of Time, by Kathleen Dale
5. The Assassin's Bride, by Sarah J Maas
6. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
7. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
8. City of Last Chances V1, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
9. Birding with Benefits, by Sarah T Dubb
10. Silver Nitrate, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Take one of the most popular nonfiction subjects, birding, and combine with perhaps the most popular fiction genre, romance, and you've got Birding with Benefits, which hits our top ten this week. From Publishers Weekly: "Dubb pulls off the fake-boyfriend trope with ease and mines her own experiences with birding in Tucson to add authenticity to John's passion. Celeste's bestie, Maria, and John's bestie, Chris, steal every scene they're in, adding humor and a sense of community to the romance. Dubb is a writer to watch."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (signed copies)
2. It Didn't Start Out That Way, by Judy Bridges (Boswell June 14 event)
3. The Hundred Year's War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
4. Master Slave Husband Wife, by Ilyon Woo
5. John Gurda's Milwaukee, by John Gurda
6. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
7. Building, by Mark Ellison
8. Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, by Lisa Keefauver (Boswell July 29 event)
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. What an Owl Knows, by Jennifer Ackerman

It's four weeks out for Building: A Carpenter's Notes on Life and Work, and Mark Ellison's carpenter memoir follows in the footsteps of the hardcover by hitting our top ten. I'm told the book has a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance vibe. From Kirkus: "While Ellison is clearly attentive to technical prowess and skillful craft, his real subjects are philosophy and the existential aspects of living in the modern world. In a prologue, the author calls it a 'book for people who are interested in doing anything well.'"

Books for Kids:
1. Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids, by Megan Olivia Hall
2. The End is Just the Beginning, by Mike Bender
3. Oh the Places You'll Go, by Dr Seuss
4. Magic Tree House V1: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne
5. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, by Richard Scarry
6. Powerless, by Lauren Roberts
7. Sector Seven, by David Wiesner
8. The Last Rhee Witch, Jenna Lee-Yun
9. Shock the Monkey, by Neal Shusterman
10. Orris and Timble V1: The Beginning, by Kate DiCamillo illustrated by Carmen Mok

The Last Rhee Witch came out May 14 and I wish I had given this book a shout out for our event with RO Kwon, as Exhibit also draws on Korean folktales. It's a bout a girl, the daughter of single dad who himself was adopted by White parents, who doesn't really know much about her Korean heritage, but things change at summer camp when she learns that the grounds ar haunted by a vengeful gweshin. From School Library Journal: " Drawing on Korean folklore, the ghost story is suspenseful enough to keep readers engaged, but it's the exploration of family, friendships, and community that give this debut novel extra weight."

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 1, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending June 1, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza (signed copies)
2. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
3. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
4. Real Americans, by Rachel Khong
5. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
6. All Fours, by Miranda July
7. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
8. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
9. Blackouts, by Justin Torres 
10. Fourth Wing V1, by Rebecca Yarros
 
In addition to a nice event with Jo Piazza in the bookstore, we sold copies of The Sicilian Inheritance at Festa Italiana. The talk was followed by a book signing and cannoli eating contest. Jill Biden was there on Friday evening. I didn't know she was Sicilian. Jordi Lippe-McGraw notes in Forbes that a trip to Sicily is likely in your future after reading this book.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. The Power Foods Diet, by Neal D Barnard (Boswell June 13 event)
4. The Situation Room, by George Stephanopoulos
5. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner
6. In the Time of Dying, by Sebastian Junger
7. My Life in Seventeen Books, by Jon M Sweeney
8. The Wide Wide Sea, by Hampton Sides
9. Charlie Hustle, by Keith O'Brien
01. Dane County Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen (Boswell June 6 event)

I am not a sports person, but I like reading books about sports when they are looking at its impact on society, and I think Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball fits the bill. Just as long as they don't describe too many games in detail. Five raves and a positive, but the raves include the big three - The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. That's a rare hat trick nowadays.

Paperback Fiction
1. Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black (July 9 Boswell event)
2. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
3. The Silent Patient, by lex Michaelides
4. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan
5. Empire of Storms V5, by Sarah J Maas
6. Dune, by Frank Herbert
7. The Postcard, by Anne Berest
8. A Deadly Education, by Naomi Novik
9. Flags on the Bayou, by James Lee Burke
10. Bunny, by Mona Awad

Jason and I have been discussing that several major awards have seemed like they are body-of-work honors, even if, unlike the Nobel Prize, they aren't supposed to be. Wasn't that the old adage about the Oscars? You don't win for the role you deserved it for, but for a movie three to four roles later.I didn't read Flags on the Bayou, so I can't say if that's the case here, but it did win Best Novel at the Edgars. At least it's a pivot from the last few years, when I wondered if the winner was even a mystery. Booklist's starred review called it "a remarkable, beautiful, edgy, and haunting novel."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (Boswell June 5 event)
2. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
3. Paved Paradise, by Henry Grabar
4. The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus
5. American Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
6. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
7. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers
8. Endurance, by Alfred Lansing
9. The History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage
10. Invisible Women, by Caraoline Criado-Perez

I don't know why we sell so many copies of The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus - 14 last year, which to me, is a lot. Is it a course book that we don't know about? I wound up reading The Stranger as an adult, as I just thought I should. So maybe this is next. The publisher calls it "one of the most influential works of the twentieth century, showing a way out of despair and reaffirming the value of existence."

Books for Kids:
1. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Peekaboo Lion, by Camillo Reed, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
4. Color Monster, by Anna Llenas
5. Bluey: The Creek, by Who Knows?
6. Twelfth Knight, by Alexene Farol Follmuth
7. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
8. The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst, illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
9. Mama in the Moon, by Doreen Cronin, illustrations by Brian Cronin
10. Perla the Mighty Dog, by Isabel Allende, illustrations by Sandy Rodríguez

Reese is jump-starting her YA book club and the new selection Twelfth Knight appears to have gotten a bump from that. From Kirkus: "This engaging modern retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has a genderbending plot that's a perfect fit for contemporary readers. While some of the allusions will be a bit too on the nose for anyone familiar with the source material (and may make suspending disbelief difficult for some), the slow-burn enemies-to-lovers storyline (and the absence of Twelfth Night's sinister subplot) more than carry this successful adaptation."

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 25, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Paradise Problem, by Christina Lauren
2. One Perfect Couple, by Ruth Ware
3. Kittentits, by Holly Wilson
4. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza (Boswell May 30 event)
5. James, by Percival Everettt
6. You Like It Darker, by Stephen King
7. The Guncle Abroad, by Stephen Rowley
8. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
9. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
10. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride

Stephen King's new collection of stories, You Like It Darker, includes five stories never before published. Unlike many authors, it is not unusual for King's stories to be adapted for film and streaming, which makes readers wonder, which story will be the next to hit the screen? Booklist says King is "at the height of his powers," while Publishers Weekly writes: "Themes of fate, morality, and heartache crop up again and again in these tightly coiled tales, and King expertly utilizes them to make every twist of the knife all the more terrifying. This remarkably assured collection will thrill the author's fans."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan (MPL June 13 event)
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, by Bill Maher
4. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
5. Earth, by DK
6. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
7. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner
8. Rebel Girl, by Kathleen Hanna
9. Get Honest or Die Trying, by Charlamagne the God
10. In My Time of Dying, by Sebastian Junger

Get Honest or Die Trying: Why Small Talk Sucks is the latest from Charlamagne the God, the cohost of The Breakfast Club, a popular national radio show. His writing offers, per Kirkus, "a compellingly honest manifesto about authenticity." From Publishers Weekly: "The most successful selections showcase Charlamagne's comic chops and idiosyncratic thinking, as when he argues that delivering big ideas in a humorous way can encourage people to engage in difficult debates."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Long After We Are Gone, by Terah Shelton Harris
2. The Air He Breathes, by Brittainy Cherry
3. Love and Other Words, by Christina Lauren
4. The True Love Experiment, by Christina Lauren
5. Something Wilder, by Christina Lauren
6. Rouge, by Mona Awad
7. Zero Days, by Ruth Ware
8. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
9. Days at the Morisaki Bookshop, by Satoshi Yagisawa
10. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer

While local romance writer Brittainy Cherry, author of The Air He Breathes, had not previously appeared at Boswell, she is well known not just here, but in France, where she has the same publisher as Christina Lauren, making her a natural conversation partner for their event. Known for her "emotionally charged, devastating but ultimately cathartic modern romances that are very loosely tied together but easily able to stand alone," the the crowd went crazy. Once we sold out, she signed bookplates. Cherry is often at the top of TikTok "books that make you cry" lists.

If anyone is wondering, I am following British pop music guidelines for compiling this chart, not American.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (Boswell June 5 event)
2. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
3. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
4. Master, Slave, Husband, Wife, by Ilyon Woo
5. Sweet Wild and Vicious, by Jim Higgins
6. The Hundred Years War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
7. A Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
8. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
9. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
10. Over My Dead Body, by Greg Melville

Selling off Madi's rec shelf is Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America's Cemeteries, which released in paperback last fall. Per the publisher, "Melville centers cemeteries within a larger cultural history and notes how cemeteries acted as our first city parks and art galleries, some of our earliest conservation projects, symbols for expressions of religious freedom, and the creation of suburban subdivisions, among other topics."

Books for Kids:
1. Finding Things, by Kevin Henkes, illustrations by Laura Dronzek
2. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
3. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate
4. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes
5. Peekaboo Sun, by Camilla Reid, illustrations by Ingela P Arrhenius
6. The World and Everything in It, by Kevin Henkes
7. The Wheel of the Year, by Fiona Cook, illustrations by Jessica Roux
8. Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
9. Ursula Upside Down, by Corey R Tabor
10. May You Love and Be Loved, by Cleo Wade

It may be past Earth Day (where this book was displayed), but Fiona Cook's The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms continues to sell steadily. From Kirkus: "Cook's obvious wealth of knowledge and care in explaining both the light and dark of the world around us is complemented perfectly by Roux's charming, delicate illustrations of natural objects, critters both cute and crawly, and racially diverse young people. This book is, in a word, immaculate."

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 18, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 18, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Real Americans, by Rachel Khong (signed copies)
2. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
3. All Fours, by Miranda July
4. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
5. Kittentits by Holly Wilson (Boswell May 23 event)
6. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
7. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
8. Long Island, by Colm Toibin
9. James, by Percival Everett
10. Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt

It's seven raves on BookMarks for All Fours, the second novel from Miranda July. I read something, but apparently that was a short story collection. From Shelf Awareness: "Whether it's directing films or performing in them, fashioning visual art, or writing, Miranda July (The First Bad Man) has demonstrated she's a multitalented creative. That talent manifests itself again in her second novel, All Fours, an unconventional but engaging story about one woman's attempt to navigate the sometimes perilous passage through the middle years"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. Burn Book, by Kara Swisher
4. A Short Guide to a Happy Life, by Anna Quindlen
5. The Situation Room, by George Stephanopoulos
6. Rebel Girl, by Kathleen Hanna
7. Six Pack, by Brad Balukjian
8. My Life in Seventeen Books, by Jon M Sweeney
9. The Age of Magical Overthinking, by Amanda Montell
10. This Is Water, by David Foster Wallace

Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk chronicles Kathleen Hanna's life in the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Library Journal called it "a raucous, rousing tale about the power of music and activism." And from Michael Calderone in Vanity Fair: "Rebel Girl is Hanna in full: politically radical, funny, and fearless. Just as Hanna has never held back as a performer, she writes unflinchingly." Three raves and three positives in BookMarks, but the publisher has several annotations on their website that haven't been captured, including a positive one from Town and Country, which is a bit ironic, isn't it?

Paperback Fiction:
1. Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong
2. Can't Spell Treason Without Tea V1, by Rebecca Thorne
3. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
4. This Summer Will Be Different, by Carley Fortune
5. Venomous Lumpsucker, by Ned Beauman
6. When the Moon Hatched, by Sarah A Parker
7. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Boswell July 11 event)
8. A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas
9. Honey Witch, by Sydney J Shields
10. Rouge, by Mona Awad

Rebecca Thorne's bestseller features a queen and her private guard who open a book and tea shop. From Booklist: "Can't Spell Treason without Tea might best be described by quoting the grandfather from cult classic The Princess Bride, since the book does contain 'fighting, torture, revenge . . .monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.' This book was a self-publishing hit that has now gotten the full Bramble treatment, including turquoise edges. For fans of the Travis Baldree cozy fantasies.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Master Slave Husband Wife, by Ilyon Woo
2. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
3. The Philosophy of Walking, by Frédéric Gros
4. Dear Readers and Riders, by Lettie Teague (Boswell June 5 event)
5. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers
6. Sweet, Wild and Vicious, by Jim Higgins
7. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
8. Beyond Ethnic Loneliness, by Prasanta Verma
9. Pathogenesis, by Jonathan Kennedy
10. The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama

After 18 months in hardcover, Michelle Obama's second book, The Light We Carry, edges into our top ten. To me, paperback publishing is a conundrum nowadays - the longer you wait, the less of a splash you will have, but if it means a longer run for the hardcover, that probably more than makes up for it. Long gone are the days of paperback contracts, where publication a year after hardcover pub date was a common clause. I am also intrigued that her photo was on the hardcover, but the paperback jacket is a type design. From Douglas Brinkley in The Boston Globe: "A complex, accomplished life recounted with confidence and candor . . . Every page sparkles with directness and grace."

Books for Kids:
1. The One and Only Family V4, by Katherine Applegate (signed copies)
2. The One and Only Bob V2, by Katherine Applegate
3. The One and Only Ivan V1, by Katherine Applegate
4. Everything Sad Is Untrue, by Daniel Nayeri
5. Finding Things, by Kevin Henkes, illustrations by Laura Dronzek (Boswell event today at 4 pm)
6. Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay
7. Dear You, Dream Big, by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Toni D Chambers
8. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
10. Dog Man V1: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey

In addition to her public event at Brookfield East Elementary, Katherine Applegate also visited two area schools to talk about her beloved series of novels based on a real gorilla. The One and Only Family is the final entry in the One and Only series and one should caveat that in real life, Ivan wasn't able to have kids. From the starred Booklist: " This is a satisfying send off, and readers will want to reread the whole series to share the laughs and the tears surrounding this memorable band of buddies one more time.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 11, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 11, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
2. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
3. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
4. James, by Percival Everett
5. Real Americans, by Rachel Khong (Boswell event May 15)
6. Long Island, by Colm Tóibín
7. The Ministry of Time, by Kaliane Bradley
8. The Paris Novel, by Ruth Reichl
9. The Hunter, by Tana French
10. The Women, by Kristin Hannah

The May selections for the big national book clubs are well-represented on this week's top 10. Real Americans is the Read with Jenna/Today Show pick, Long Island is Oprah's Book Club pick, and Good Morning America selected The Ministry of Time. Kaliane Bradley's debut was also the #1 Indie Next Pick for May and it's got five raves on BookMarks. Ron Charles in The Washington Post writes: "In fact, if I could travel back in time, one of the things I’d do, after strangling baby Hitler and buying Apple stock, would be to tell younger me not to waste time reading so many novels about time travel. But Bradley has got me rethinking that prejudice. Her utterly winning book is a result of violating not so much the laws of physics as the boundaries of genre."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Look Away, by Jacob Kushner (Boswell event May 16)
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. My Life in Seventeen Books, by Jon M Sweeney (signed copies)
4. Puerto Rico, by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo (signed copies)
5. The Serial Killer's Apprentice, by Katherine Ramsland and Tracy Ullman
6. There Are Dad's Way Worse Than You, by Glenn Boozan
7. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
8. Dan County Farmers Market Cookbook, by Terese Allen (Boswell event June 6)
9. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
10. The Light Eaters, by Zoë Schlanger

First week pop for The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth. It's got three raves (from the trades - Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist) plus a positive from Laura Miller in Slate: "Schlanger, who spends much of the book seeking confirmation from her scientist subjects that plants could be 'intelligent' and perhaps even possess 'consciousness.' The fact that there isn’t a scientific consensus on how to define either of those terms makes it especially difficult to pin them to an edge case like plants, which don’t have brains or nervous systems." The author is a staff writer at The Atlantic.


Paperback Fiction:
1. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton (Lit Group June pick)
2. Trust, by Hernan Diaz
3. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
4. Just for the Summer, by Abby Jimenez
5. I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai
6. This Summer Will Be Different, by Carley Fortune
7. The Bodyguard, by Katherine Center
8. When in Rome, by Liam Callanan
9. Abyss, by Pilar Quintana
10. Penance, by Eliza Clark

Despite reviews being all over the place (3 raves, 5 positives, 2 mixed, 2 pans), Eliza Clark's Penance has a first-week paperback sale edges into the top ten. Clark broke out with her indie debut Boy Parts and has been named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists 2023. One of the raves is from Matt Rowland Hill in The Guardian: "Any lingering suspicions that Clark is a mere provocateur will be banished by Penance, which – though it won’t appeal to all tastes – is a work of show-stopping formal mastery and penetrating intelligence."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Sweet, Wild and Vicious: Listening to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, by Jim Higgins
2. Highly Irregular, by Arika Okrent
3. Puerto Rico (Spanish language edition), by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo
4. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. Fieldwork, by Iliana Regan
7. The Hundred Years War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
8. Master Slave Husband Wife, by Ilyon Woo
9. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
10. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

Arika Okrent appeared UWM for a talk on Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don't Rhyme - And Other Oddities of the English Language, the reprint of an Oxford book from 2021. From Choice: "In more than 40 brief, readable chapters, Okrent brings both erudition and wit to the history of English and the mechanisms of language change and all the quirky consequences. With illustrations by talented cartoonist Sean O'Neill (of Rocket Robinson fame) on almost every page, Highly Irregular is the sort of book that can be read either at a slow pace (a chapter a day) or straight through. Okrent organized the material into thematic sections around the quirks, such as the spelling of colonel and the illogic of parkway versus driveway; the influences of Scandinavian, French, and the printing press; and the roles of both snobbery and human creativity. Every language should have a book like this one."

Books for Kids
1. The One and Only Family, by Katherine Applegate (Alas, this event is at capacity)
2. Things That Shimmer, by Deborah Lakritz
3. Summer Is Here, by Renée Watson, illustrations by Bea Jackson
4. Look How Much I've Grown in Kindergarten, by Vera Ahiyya, illustrations by Joey Chou
5. Tryouts, by Sara Sax
6. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
7. The Outdoor Scientist, by Temple Grandin
8. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
9. May You Love and Be Loved, by Cleo Wade
10. Orris and Timble V1: The Beginning, by Kate DiCamillo, illustrations by Carmen Mok

Kate DiCamillo's new chapter book series features a friendship by a rat and an owl. From Kirkus on The Beginning: Orris and Timble V1: "Orris the rat seems quite comfortable nested amid his gathered treasures, which include a special marble, a cozy red velvet slipper, and a sardine can with the phrase 'Make the good and noble choice!!' That pesky moral imperative proves its worth when, after crawling out to investigate a cry for help, Orris finds himself, against his better judgment, negotiating with a trapped young owl named Timble by telling him part of the story of the Lion and the Mouse and then actually helping to free the owl's trapped claw."

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 4, 2024

Boswell bestsellers, week ending May 4, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Miss Morgan's Book Brigade, by Janet Skelsien Charles (signed copies)
2. The Museum of Lost Quilts, by Jennifer Chiaverini (signed copies)
3. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
4. Real Americans, by Rachel Khong (Boswell May 15 event)
5. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
6. James, by Percival Everett
7. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
8. The Sicilian Inheritance, by Jo Piazza (Boswell May 30 event)
9. The Familiar, by Leigh Bardugo
10. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride

April 30 releases were just a palate cleanser before the May 7 deluge of new releases. Is it the official start date of summer reading? Real Americans has 12 reviews on BookMarks including four raves. From Hannah Bae in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Riveting in its unexpected turns, Real Americans is a novel about past mistakes and their echoes — and a reminder that those histories need not be binding."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. While You Were Out, by Meg Kissinger
2. The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson
3. An Unfinished Love Story, by Doris Karns Goodwin
4. The Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
5. Puerto Rico, by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo (Boswell May 8 event)
6. The Garretts of Columbia, by David Nicholson
7. The Algebra of Wealth, by Scott Galloway
8. There's Always Next Year, by Hanif Abudrraqib
9. Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent, by Judi Dench
10. The Comfort of Crows, by Margaret Renkl

An update on The Backyard Bird Chronicles from Amy Tan. Last week a paperback (verified on several websites including Edelweiss, the NYT bestsellers), but this week a hardcover (Ingram, the PRH website), these flexibind titles are tricky. Will it change lists on the NYT this week? Whatever the binding, Amy Tan's book has been met with a lot of enthusiasm, including Kirkus: "A charming bird journey with the bestselling author...An ebullient nature lover's paean to birds."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer (May 19 Weyenberg Library event)
2. Dune, by Frank Herbert
3. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
4. Weyward, by Emilia Hart
5. Twilight Falls, by Juneau Black (July 9 Boswell event)
6. These Burning Stars, by Bethany Jacobs
7. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks
8. I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai
9. Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries, by Heather Fawcett
10. In Ascension, by Martin MacInnes

These Burning Stars came out last October and recently received the Philip K Dick Award.  From Booklist: " The first in the Kindom trilogy is a space opera set a thousand years after the last humans on Earth boarded generational ships to find habitable planets...For fans of Everina Maxwell, Arkady Martine, and Becky Chambers."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Committed, by Suzanne Scanlon
2. The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk
3. Fentanyl Inc, by Ben Westhoff
4. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers (Virtual May 10 event)
5. The Hundred Years War on Palestine, by Rashid Khalidi
6. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
7. Pathogenesis, by Jonathan Kennedy
8. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
9. Sweet Wild and Vicious, by Jim Higgins (Boswell May 9 event)
10. The Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership, by Chaya M Milchtein

We had a very nice program with Suzanne Scanlon in conversation with Meg Kissinger for Committed: On Meaning and Madwoman, and it was only at the event that I learned that the author introduced two of our now-coupled customers to each other. Scanlon has a rave from Gianni Washington in The Chicago Review of Books: "This review can only ever be a vain attempt to enumerate all that is relatable and insightful within the covers of Scanlon’s Committed. Though it appears to follow the author’s winding stream of consciousness, the catalog of her thoughts is not disorganized. Every return to a particular subject is purposeful and revelatory."

Books for Kids:
1. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
2. Death's Door, by by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
4. What the River Knows, by Isabel Ibanez
5. Bubbly Beautiful Kitty Corn, by Shannon Hale, illustrations by Leuyen Pham
6. Gertie the Darling Duck of World War II, by Shari Swanson, illustrations by Renée Graef
7. The Complete Chi's Sweet Home, by Konami Kanata
8. Big, by Vashti Harrison
9. The Truth About the Couch, by Adam Rubin, illustrations by Liniers
10. What Feelings Do When No One's Looking, by Tina Oziewicz, illustrations by Aleksandra Zajac

Another Independent Bookstore Day special hits the list. Bubbly Beautiful Kitty Corn (the link is to the regular edition) is part of a series by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Pham that I think started with Itty Bitty Kitty Corn. I love that the author page links to book purchases at The King's English. From the Booklist review of the new book: "Hale crafts an appealing new challenge for the duo to tackle, and Pham uses her trademark humor, memorable character expressions, and accomplished graphic-novel-style digital artwork (including terrific endpapers) to support and elevate the text. Fans of the series will be excited for an addition, but it also stands alone as a sweet friendship tail."

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 27, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 27, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Funny Story, by Emily Henry
2. The Familiar, by Leigh Bardugo
3. Pay Dirt, by Sara Paretsky (signed copies)
4. James, by Percival Everett
5. The Girl from the Red Rose Motel, by Susan Beckham Zurenda
6. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
7. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
8. The Paris Novel, by Ruth Reichl
9. I Cheerfully Refuse, by Leif Enger
10. Wandering Stars, by Tommy Orange

It's not much of a contest this week - Emily Harry blows out the competition with Funny Story, her latest novel. From Booklist: "With her latest impeccably written rom-com, literary supernova Henry continues to gracefully dispense wit, whimsy, and wisdom in equal amounts. Fans of opposites-attract love stories will revel in the buoyant banter and swoonworthy romantic moments, not to mention Henry's delightful pairing of a precision-driven children's librarian and a jack-of-all-trades winery employee who could give Matthew McConaughey lessons in chill."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel, by Douglas Brunt
2. Somehow, by Anne Lamott
3. There's Always This Year, by Hanif Abdurrqib
4. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
5. Plantyou Scrappy Cooking, by Carleigh Bodrug
6. The Comfort of Crows, by Margaret Renkl
7. Puerto Rico, by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo (Boswell May 8 event)
8. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
9. Supercommunicators, by Charles Duhigg
10. False White Gospel, by Jim Wallis

Second week on for Anne Lamott's Somehow: Thoughts on Love - last week she was #11. Reviews on BookMarks are all over the place - but there are three raves and two positives. One rave is from Meredith Maran in The Washington Post: "No matter a Lamott book’s title, no matter the theme of the yarns that burst from its pages like clowns from a circus car, its message is the same irresistible combo of love, hope, faith and laughter."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Relative Strangers, by AH Kim
2. Just for the Summer, by Abby Jimenez
3. A Death in Door County, by Annelise Ryan
4. This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub
5. A Stroke of the Pen, by Terry Pratchett (IBD exclusive)
6. The Trackers, by Charles Frazier
7. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
8. Weyward, by Emilia Hart
9. The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County, by Claire Swinarski
10. The Postcard, by Anne Berest

I think this is the first placement for Charles Frazier's The Trackers since its March 26 paperback release. Let me check. Yes, that's the case and I don't know why this week's sales were substantially higher than the first four weeks. There are fans like Rob Merrill of Associated Press, who wrote: "The narrator, Val, has journeyed from Virginia to Wyoming in 1937 to paint a mural in a post office as part of the Works Progress Administration, one of FDR’s projects to employ artists in the wake of the Great Depression. His local hosts are a wealthy rancher, John Long, and his wife, Eve. Long aspires to the U.S. Senate and Eve, before she met him, rode the rails as a transient and sang in a swing band. The book’s plot accelerates when Eve disappears and Long enlists Val to find out where she went and why...Frazier deftly blends an historical perspective throughout his fictional tale."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Beyond Ethnic Loneliness, by Prasanta Verma (signed copies)
2. Murdle V1, by GT Karber
3. A Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America, by Matt Kracht (IBD exclusive)
4. Backyard Bird Chronicles, by Amy Tan
5. Poverty, by America, by Matthew Desmond
6. Master Slave Husband Wife, by Ilyon Woo
7. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars
8. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers (Virtual May 10 event)
9. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, by Bettany Hughes
10. Sweet Wild and Vicious, by Jim Higgins (Boswell May 9 event)

We had a nice first week pop on The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: An Extraordinary New Journey Through History's Greatest Treasures, by Bettany Hughes. It seems like a paperback reprint, but no, it's an original! Kirkus called it "a captivating journey with an erudite guide." And here's a nice blurb from Simon Sebag Montefiore: "A lively exploration of the ancient world, this fascinating book is brimming with stories of people and places, all told with Bettany's natural sense of wonder and adventure."

Books for Kids:
1. Big, by Vashti Harrison
2. The Bard and the Book, by Ann Bausum
3. Little Dreamers, by Vashti Harrison 
4. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
5. Lights Out, by Jessica Stremer
6. Little Leaders, by Vashti Harrison
7. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
8. Very Good Hats, by Emma Straub, illustrations by Blanca Gomez
9. Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers
10. Great Carrier Reef, by Jessica Stremer, illustrations by Gordy Wright

Jenny brought Ann Bausum to several schools for The Bard and the Book: How the First Folio Saved the Plays of William Shakespeare from Oblivion. It was a hit! Kirkus writes: "An introduction to the most important book in the history of theater. Bausum focuses on the miracle that so many of Shakespeare's brilliant plays were preserved and explores how that came to happen." The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books praised it as "lively," while the starred Booklist praised it as "a beautiful, well-researched book exploring an intriguing subject."

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 20, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending April 20, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Unsettled, by Ayana Mathis (a few real signed copies, not tip-ins)
2. I Cheerfully Refuse, by Leif Enger (signed copies)
3. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
4. Pay Dirt V22, by Sara Paretsky (Event today! Register here)
5. The Familiar, by Leigh Bardugo
6. James, by Percival Everett
7. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
8. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
9. The Hunter, by Tana French
10. Close to Death V5, by Anthony Horowitz

The Delta Memorial Endowment Fund has another successful fundraiser luncheon for college scholarships. This year's speaker, Ayana Mathis, had critical acclaim with her novel The Unsettled, with six raves and a positive on BookMarks, not including Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal (don't worry - I wrote to them to ask them to add the link), who wrote "The Unsettled follows Ms. Mathis’s debut, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, whose loosely assembled family vignettes also explored the ambivalent aftermath of the Great Migration north. But this is a far better book, more focused and cohesive, and also more alive. This may be because here the South is not merely a ghostly memory but, in the form of Dutchess’s riotous monologues, an expressive voice, cajoling and imploring its exiles and calling them back home."

The Unsettled arrives in paperback in June. You can preorder here.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Knife, by Salman Rushdie
2. Financial Literacy for All, by John Hope Bryant
3. An Unfinished Love Story, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
4. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
5. Puerto Rico, by Jorell Meléndez-Badillo (May 8 Boswell event)
6. The Age of Magical Overthinking, by Amanda Montell
7. Charlie Hustle, by Keith O'Brien
8. The Creative Act, by Rick Rubin
9. There's Always Next Year, by Hanif Abdurraqib
10. Come Together, by Emily Nagoski

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s, by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a memoir/history about her life with her husband Dick Goodwin, notably his years in government with John F Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. BookMarks notches two raves, four positives and a mixed - including Chris Vognar in The San Francisco Chronicle, who writes: " This is not a news-breaking book, and it’s not about dish; that’s not really the Kearns Goodwin brand. But it is eminently readable, appealing especially to anyone fascinated by the period covered, and a touching invitation to eavesdrop on a long marriage between two people who had an unusual level of access to presidential policy and personality."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Monsters We Have Made, by Lindsay Starck (signed copies)
2. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis
3. Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J Ryan Stradal
4. What the Chickadee Knows, by Margaret Noodin
5. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
6. Weweni, by Margaret Noodin
7. Weyward, by Emilia Hart
8. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
9. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger
10. Horse, by Geraldine Brooks

It's the release week for the paperback of J Ryan Stradal's Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club. And what do you know? It was also Supper Club Week on Top Chef Wisconsin. If you are wanting a truly wonderful supper club novel, check on J Ryan's latest. Wisconsinites can tell you that the Harvey House is a more urbane version of the Supper Club experience, but that doesn't mean I don't want to eat there. I do! Here's the recap from Milwaukee Record.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Strangers No Longer, by Sergio M González (signed copies)
2. River Profiles, by Pete Hill
3. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, by Le Ly Hayslip
4. They Called Me a Lioness, by Ahed Tamimi
5. Child of War, Woman of Peace, by Le Ly Hayslip
6. Between Two Worlds, by Suleika Jaouad
7. Reading the Room, by Paul Yamazaki
8. Mexicans in Wisconsin, by Sergio M González
9. Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, by Raymond Wiggers (May 10 virtual event)
10. Wisconsin for Kennedy, by BJ Hollars

Alas, our event with Paul Yamazaki for Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale next Friday was cancelled, but Yamazaki's book recommendations continue. We've put together a display of some of the books that have particular meaning for him. From the starred Booklist review: " Yamazaki has exquisite taste and a hunger for representative viewpoints. He wears his erudition casually as part of his drive to be the Coltrane of booksellers, to curate 'twelve well-selected, serendipitous linear inches and find a universe.'"

Books for Kids:
1. The Secret Code Inside You, by Rajani Larocca, illustrations by Steven Salerno
2. Endlessly Ever After, by Laurel Snyder, illustrations by Dan Santat
3. Charlie and Mouse V1, by Laurel Synder
4. Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder
5. This Again, by Adam Borba
6. The Reappearance of Rachel Price, by Holly Jackson
7. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
8. Buffalo Fluffalo, by Bess Kalb, illustrations by Erin Kraan
9. The Great Lakes, by Barb Rosenstock, illustrations by Jamey Christoph
10. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey

Jenny Chou's enthusiasm for a great time travel novel is contagious. She notes that "This Again is LOL funny but also a great reflection on being a good friend and doing what makes you happy rather than trying to meet what you think are other people’s expectations. "Plus Booklist wrote: "Despite being a bit zany, this novel strikes a tone that is both nostalgic and fresh." Zany as a negative - I never heard of such a thing!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Boswell bestseller blog - week ending April 13, 2024

Boswell bestsellers for the week of April 13, 2024

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Familiar, by Leigh Bardugo (signed copies)
2. James, by Percival Everett
3. Whalefall, by Daniel Kraus (signed copies)
4. Table for Two, by Amor Towles
5. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride
6. I Cheerfully Refuse, by Leif Enger (Boswell April 15 event)
7. The Women, by Kristin Hannah
8. The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
9. Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
10. The Divorcées, by Rowan Beaird (signed copies)

Between the endpapers and black edging, I am gaga for The Familiar's packaging. Leigh Bardugo hadn't remembered being in Milwaukee before until she checked into her hotel. Sure enough, she was part of a group Fierce Reads tour some years ago. It reminds us that these tours can be pretty tough on authors. What city am I in again? And that makes it even more special that authors such as Bardugo continue to tour. Did I mention that The Familiar was the best reviewed fiction book on LitHub's BookMarks this week? Eight raves!

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Disillusioned, by Benjamin Herold (signed copies)
2. The Wide, Wide Sea, by Hampton Sides
3. The Age of Revolutions, by Fareed Zakaria
4. Somehow, by Anne Lamott
5. In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It, by Lauren Graham
6. The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians, by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann
7. There's Always This Year, by Hanif Abdurraqib
8. The Wager, by David Grann
9. The Anxious Generation, by Jonathan Haidt
10. The False White Gospel, by Jim Wallis

Looking for something to read after The Wager? Why not try The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook with three raves and two positives on BookMarks. From Doug Bock Clark in The New York Times: "...Sides isn’t just interested in retelling an adventure tale. He also wants to present it from a 21st-century point of view. The Wide Wide Sea fits neatly into a growing genre that includes David Grann’s The Wager and Candice Millard’s River of the Gods, in which famous expeditions, once told as swashbuckling stories of adventure, are recast within the tragic history of colonialism."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Hang the Moon, by Jeannette Walls (signed copies)
2. Someday, Someday, Maybe, by Lauren Graham
3. The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
4. Just for the Summer, by Abby Jimenez
5. Dune V1, by Frank Herbert
6. Dunne Messiah V2, by Frank Herbert
7. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
8. The Three Body Problem V1, by Cixin Liu
9. The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, by Shannon Chakraborty
10. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

Second week out for Just for the Summer and Abby Jimenez sees a fourfold increase in sales over week one. Perhaps that's the impact from the GMA Book Club. From BookPage: "Everyone wants a shortcut to love, especially if a happily ever after is guaranteed. So it's not surprising that Justin Dahl gets a big response when he explains his gift (or curse) on Reddit: Whoever he dates goes on to meet her perfect match right after things end with him. To his shock, Justin soon hears from Emma, a woman with the same problem. What starts as a half-joking suggestion soon starts to form into a real plan - what if they date each other? Wouldn't that mean instead of being merely the gateway to love, they could finally have it for themselves... right after they break up?"

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Have I Told You This Already?, by Lauren Graham
2. Talking As Fast As I Can, by Lauren Graham
3. Purified, by Peter Annin
4. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
5. Congrats, You're Having a Teen, by Kenneth Ginsburg
6. Raising Kids to Thrive, by Kenneth Ginsburg
7. The Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership, by Chaya M Milchtein
8. The Body Keeps the Store, by Bessel van der Kolk
9. Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton
10. Beyond Ethnic Loneliness, by Prasanta Verma (Boswell April 26 event)

Peter Annin appeared at Marquette Law School to talk about his book Purified: How Recycled Sewage Is Transforming Our Water, whose publisher copy notes that "sensationalist media coverage has repeatedly crippled water recycling efforts." From a review by Sasha Harris-Lovett in Science magazine: "Vivid and engaging.... As fresh water supplies become increasingly scarce and technologies for water treatment improve, potable water reuse will likely become widespread. Annin's timely and important reporting empowers readers to understand the critical issues at hand and offers an engaging introduction to potable water reuse."

Books for Kids:
1. Gaga Mistake Day, by Emma Straub and Susan Straub, illustrations by Susan Love (signed copies)
2. Very Good Hats, by Emma Straub, illustrations by Blanca Gomez
3. Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
4. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
5. Demon in the Wood, by Leigh Bardugo
6. Oh, Are You Awake?, by Bob Shea, illustrations by Jarvis
7. Dog Man V12: The Scarlet Shredder, by Dav Pilkey
8. Louder Than Hunger, by John Schu
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, illustrations by Renée Graef
10. Big, by Vashti Harrison

Bob Shea collaborates with Jarvis for Oh, Are You Awake?. From Julie Roach in Horn Book: "This contentious going-to-sleep sequence between two appealing characters has all the right ingredients for sharing aloud, whether it is time for bed or simply time for a story." And Publishers Weekly: "It's a funny, visually playful bedtime battle of wills in which both beings get the resolution of their dreams."