2014 was a very good year for Square Books, with many strong new books and writers from near and far bringing you to us. Tasmanian Richard Flanagan and his Booker Prize-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North made # 13 on our list, just behind Let Me Be Frank with You (12) by Richard Ford, who was here December 11. Michael Pollan’s memorable appearance served up Cooked (37), as did Megan Abbott (The Fever, 93) and Mary Miller (The Last Days of California, 16), both Grisham writers-in-residence; and John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van, 20); Paul Finebaum (My Conference Can Beat Your Conference, 17); Elizabeth Spencer (Starting Over, 35); Greg Iles (Natchez Burning, 3); Susan Minot (Thirty Girls, 21); and Josh Weil (The Great Glass Sea, 99).
Writers right here in Oxford contributed significantly: Ben McClelland (Lifesaving Labradors, 93); Curtis Wilkie (Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians and Other Persons of Interest, 10), and The Fall of the House of Zeus, 33); Ace Atkins (The Forsaken, 15); the King Twins (Our Josephine (61); Inside My Italian Kitchen by Luisa Arico (63); Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (51) and, with Beth Ann Fennelly, Tilted World (39), Michael Henry, Finding Ishmael (78); Larry Brown’s timeless first book, Facing the Music (91), Neil White’s In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (41), Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth (2), and The Search for Good Wine by John Hailman (46). Dean Faulkner Wells’ great Oxford memoir, Every Day by the Sun (64), shines alongside her famouser uncle – As I Lay Dying (44) and Selected Short Stories (43) by William Faulkner.
Not that the author has to be from or come here in order for a book to do well – witness The Boys in the Boat (90), How Not to be a Dick (38), Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (50), Gone Girl (34), Killing Patton (55), and Rebecca Solnit’s book on New Orleans, The Unfathomable City (42), Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Golden Book (60), Wild (59) and Unbroken (56). And there were signed books we got from publishers whose authors did not come here – those by Jan Karon, George Will, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Donna Tartt, Haruki Murakami, Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler all found a place among our top sellers, as did Carsick by John Waters, who did not come here this year but plans to this March immediately following the Oxford Conference for the Book.
Watch video of Chris Van Allsburg discussing his newest work, THE MISADVENTURES OF SWEETIE PIE. Don't forget to catch Van Allsburg at Square Books JR on Thursday, November 13th at 4p.m where he'll be signing his new book. After the signing, Van Allsburg will be making an appearance on Thacker Mountain Radio.
John Grisham's new novel, Gray Mountain, is now on our shelves as a signed first edition. Gray Mountain is set in the shadow of the recent financial crisis with a corporate lawyer, Samantha Kofer, at its center - Grisham's first female protagonist since The Pelican Brief. After losing her big-wig job in New York City, Samantha is cast off to small-town Appalachia and finds herself wrapped up in Big Coal. Grisham's new legal thriller, deemed "angry and important," dives deep into Big Coal and promises to enlighten the reader while delivering an imaginative and enthralling story. The Washington Post summarized, "This novel... shows Grisham's work - always superior entertainment - evolving into something more serious, more powerful, more worthy of his exceptional talent."