Obert Skye's first in a series of chapter books of wacky book mash-ups, Wonkenstein, was the top middle grade seller at Square Books Jr. for
2014 followed by Jeff Kinney's 9th Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Long Haul,
John Grisham's 4th Theodore Boone, The Activist, was number 3. Tim
Green held number 4 with New Kid and Sheila Turnage, who will be
back in March, followed with Three Times Lucky. Jon Scieszka's visit
put his Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor at number 6. A regular
on the list, Kate DiCamillo had Flora & Ulysses at number 7 followed
by Rick Riordan, The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch, and Andy Griffiths, who traveled here all
the way from Australia for the 13 Story Treehouse.
Our number one 2014 book in the picture category at Square Books Jr, was a 2013 favorite as well, Where Do They Go On Gameday?, Laurie Fisher's delightful story of the squirrels in the Grove, and number 2 Goodnight Ole Miss by Courtney Solon Brown, Andrea Lee and Matt Gardner made for a nice pairing. Chris Van Allsburg's visit moved his latest, Misadventures of Sweetie Pie, to number 3, and his classic, Jumanji, made a return to the top 20 as well. Aided by Drew Daywalt's visit during the Oxford Conference for the Book, The Day the Crayons Quit finished at number 4. Sarah Frances Hardy's second book, Paint Me!, made number 5. Judy Schachner's visit for Skippyjon Jones Snow What spurred sales and excitement about Adam Rubin's forthcoming visit in March put Dragons Love Tacos put them on the list. "Frozen" books of all sorts were popular, and store favorites, The Pout-Pout Fish, Pete the Cat, and How Rocket Learned to Read, appeared on the list, and perennial classics like Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go, Green Eggs & Ham, The Giving Tree, The Real Mother Goose and Pat the Bunny were at the top of the list reminding us that good books never expire.
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.