Boswell bestsellers, week ending August 7, 2021 - a new Stephen King, a new book on the Milwaukee River Greenway, a new biography of a Milwaukeean in the German Resistance, a new collection of Black boy joy

This week's top tens - for the period ending August 7, 2021

Hardcover Fiction:
1. We Were Never Here, by Andrea Bartz (Register for August 9 event here)
2. The Women's March, by Jennifer Chiaverini
3. Shoulder Season, by Christina Clancy
4. The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
5. Billy Summers, by Stephen King
6. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishigruo
7. The Comfort of Monsters, by Willa C Richards
8. The Book of Accidents, by Chuck Wendig
9. Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
10. Godspeed, by Nickolas Butler
Neil McRoberts in The Guardian recommends Stephen King: "In his latest novel, Billy Summers, there are no supernatural shades whatsoever (save a late Easter egg reference to a certain haunted hotel). Instead, he is in full noir mode, with a modest tale of an assassin on the requisite one-last-job-before-he’s-out. It meanders, it pays only the scantest regard to the rules of narrative structure, it indulges gladly in both casual stereotyping and naked political point-scoring. And it’s his best book in years."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, by Rebecca Donner (Register for September 23 event here)
2. Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard
3. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
4. How the Word Is Passed, by Clint Smith
5. The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee
6. Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House, by Nicholas D Hayes
7. Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green
8. This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan
9. Refugee High, by Elly Fishman (Register for August 31 event here)
10. Bird Songs, by Les Beletsky

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days is the long-awaited biography of Mildred Fish Harnack, the famed Milwaukeean who is said to be the only American to help lead the German Resistance, and the only American whose execution was personally ordered by Hitler - though to be clear, I'm using secondary sources to make that statement! I was chatting with Jennifer Chiaverini, whose novel Resistance Women featured Harnack as a character, and she had though this book was originally scheduled for 2019. It was worth the wait - Jennifer Szalai called the book "astonishing" in The New York Times. 

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
2. The People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry
3. Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell
4. Circe, by Madeline Miller
5. Mexican Gothic, by Silva Moreno Garcia
6. The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
7. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
8. Anxious People, by Frederick Backman
9. These Women, by Ivy Pochoda
10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by Quentin Tarantino

Ivy Pochoda's These Women has been shortlisted for just about every mystery prize including an Edgar Award. She slips the serial killer narrative by focusing on the victims -a grieving mother, a cop, a dancer, a performance artist and a neighborhood woman who until now had been turning a blind eye to the darkness surrounding them all. From Bethanne Patrick on the NPR website: "No only has Pochoda written an immersive, intriguing murder mystery - she's also crafted a framework with which we can examine how all women are viewed in Western cultures, sometimes as madonnas, more often as whores."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Wisconsin Farms and Farmers Markets, by Kristine Hansen
2. Built for This, by The Athletic
3. Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold
4. Milwaukee River Greenway, by Eddee Daniel
5. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
6. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
7. Wow No Thank You, by Samantha Irby
8. The Vapors, by David Hill (More upcoming Boswell-run book club picks here)
9. Witness for the Revolution, by Clara Bingham
10. Let's Make Dumplings, by Hugh Amano

The first Bucks championship book to make it to market is Built for This: The Milwaukee Bucks' Historic Run to the 2021 NBA Title, written by The Athletic, a subscription-based media publisher of smarter sports coverage for die-hard fans. Just one book so far, plus a Journal Sentinel book that doesn't yet seem to be accessible outside of JS direct marketing, and the Giannis book on Tuesday. Is this because basketball is a second-tier sport to football and basketball or Milwaukee is a second-tier city? Or perhaps books are a second tier commemorative item after tee shirts and other clothing.

Eddee Daniel's Milwaukee River Greenway (call to order - hoping for a link on Monday!) looks at the stretch of riverfront that stretches from Silver Spring Drive to North Avenue. From his Lake Effect interview with Susan Bence: "When I moved here in 1977 and happened to find the greenway, it was not called that then, in fact it was considered dangerous, which is an important part of the story... Riverside Park in particular was considered dangerous. And when the Urban Ecology Center began, their expressed purpose was to take back the park and to make it safe, and to make it popular again, and they succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams."

Books for Kids:
1. The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing
2. Mightier than the Sword, by Rochelle Melander
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book, by Eric Carle
4. Three Little Engines, by By McKinnon
5. Spy Guy, by Jessica Young
6. I'm a Big Brother, by Joanna Cole
7. I'm a Big Sister, by Joanna Cole
8. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Gordon Korman
9. Linked, by Gordon Korman
10. Black Boy Joy, by Kwame Mbalia

Though we've never hosted an event with Kwame Mbalia, I've had email correspondence with his mother, who is Professor Emeritus at UWM. His Tristan Strong series has been very popular (start with Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky), but his lates is a book he edited, Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood. Contributors include Varian Johnson, Jerry Craft, and Reynolds. Kirkus Reviews proclaimed it "a unique, timely, and necessary read" in their starred review.

Copyright Boswell Book Company 2014

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