Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category

BURR is a Best Seller

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

9780375708732_c1231This week was the 212th anniversary of the duel in which Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton.

Could that be the reason that Gore Vidal’s novel Burr (PRH/Vingate) hits the new USA Today best seller list 43 years after it was originally published?

Probably not. More likely, the sudden was sparked by a certain play, the same one that brought Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton (PRH/Penguin) back to best seller lists.

Hamilton’s ghost can take comfort in the fact that his bio is currently at #18 at USA Today‘s list, while the novel Burr is much further down, at #124.

Several publications have given attention to Vidal’s book recently, including,

The Smithsonian, “Before There Was Hamilton There Was Burr”, 6/6/16

The Washington Post,Hamilton is a smash. Why so few other stories about the American Revolution?“, 7/6/16

In addition, there’s been stories about Brandon Victor Dixon who recently replaced Leslie Odom Jr. in the role of Burr.

On The Move: THE GIRLS

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

9780812998603_dba8fWhether it’s word of mouth, or the multiple picks from various mid-year best books roundups, The Girls by Emma Cline (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), is moving up best seller lists.

It jumped four spots on the USA Today list (which combines all books in all formats and for all ages), rising to #8, its highest ranking to date and has moved up the NYT Combined Fiction list to #5, also its highest spot on that list. Several libraries have increased their orders to meet holds, which remain well above a 3:1 ratio at many libraries across the country.

The novel is still getting attention, yesterday BuzzFeed selected it as one of “4 Great Books to Read in July,” saying that it “will terrify you, shock you, haunt you — in all the right ways.”

Sherman Alexie on Diversity
in Kids Books

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

PBS Newshour is in the midst of a special summer reading series, featuring interviews with authors from last month’s Book Expo.

Yesterday, Sherman Alexie talked about his first picture book Thunder Boy Jr.,  illus. by Yuyi Morales (Hachette/Little, Brown), which was on the New York Times Children’s Picture Books best seller list for 3 weeks, and on the need for diversity in children’s book.

On Tuesday, Emma Cline was interviewed about her debut novel The Girls  (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample),, which landed on the most recent NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #3.

Bestseller: THE GIRLS

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Driven by heavy media attention, 9780812998603_dba8f The Girls by Emma Cline (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample),

debuts on the new USA Today best seller list, landing at the #9 spot. Since that list ranks all categories and formats of books together, we can expect to see it debut much higher on the upcoming NYT Hardcover Fiction list [UPDATE: Soon after we posted this, the new NYT list was released and The Girls is #3. That list shows sales through June 18, four days after the book was published. We’ll see in coming weeks if word of mouth works in its favor].

In libraries holds continue to be very strong, running at 5:1 ratios and higher. Many libraries have ordered additional copies  to keep up with demand.

ROMEO AND/OR JULIET
As You Like It

Monday, June 20th, 2016

9781101983300_c5d77Add comics to the recent flurry of successful Shakespeare re-vamps. Ryan North’s 1,100 page “chooseable-path” graphic novel  Romeo And/Or Juliet (PRH/Riverhead), is based on the famous romance and debuts on the NYT Best Sellers Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list, landing at #7. He celebrates with a collage image on his homepage, labeled “AWESOME AND/OR WHAAAAAT.”

North’s wildly imaginative adaptation of the bard (in one adventure readers can choose to become the character of a glove) caught the attention of the media. He tells NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday that he thinks this way of encountering Shakespeare makes the play fun again, bringing the old story back to life, and providing a deeper understanding in the process:

“You know what these characters are supposed to be like, and when you kind of push them off the rails a little bit, there’s a sense of breaking the rules that’s a lot of fun.”

He tags his books “Plays weren’t meant to be read. They were meant… to be played.”

New York magazine’s site Vulture offers an illustrated interview that includes North commenting on the 100+ artists contributing to the book (including Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Kate Beaton), how the book relates to video games (he mentions on his website that he has created an unlockable character), and the process of reading a work with so many endings. About the latter he says: “just because you give the reader a choice doesn’t mean it’s an easier book.”

Paste offers a gallery of images, showing the range of styles included.

9780982853740North’s first chooseable-path adventure was the Kickstarter-funded project To Be or Not to Be (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Breadpig, 2013), based on HamletAccording to North, it was the most funded publishing project in the history of Kickstarter.

North also creates Dinosaur Comics and writes for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics.

 

Bestseller: BEFORE THE FALL

Friday, June 10th, 2016

9781455561780_68236Debuting at the #2 spot on this week’s NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list is the very buzzy Before the Fall, Noah Hawley (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample).

As we reported the breakout novel by the creator of the Fargo TV series is racking up impressive hold figures and is getting a great deal of attention as the media predicts a hit.

It’s not the only new entry. Nearly half of the top 10 titles ae new to the list this week.

9780399175961_6228b9780062390752_f0c2b9780812996494_fc7da

 

 

 

 

 

As might have been expected The Emperor’s Revenge, Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Smaple) takes the #1 spot. All Summer Long, Dorothea Benton Frank (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #3, while, as we predicted, Alan Furst’s A Hero of France (PRH/Random House; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) hits the list at #7.

modern-loversJust outside the top 10, debuting at #14 (tied with #13) is Modern Lovers, Emma Straub (PRH/Riverhead Books; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample), another very buzzy title which is high on the summer reading lists.

Falling out of the top ten to make room for the new arrivals are The City of Mirrors, which slipped from #1 last week to #11, The Fireman, All the Light We Cannot See, and Everybody’s Fool.

TED, New NYT Best Seller

Monday, May 16th, 2016

9780544634497_4fc66Books on public speaking rarely hit best seller lists, but TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson (HMH; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) is not your usual how-to, drawing on lessons from the popular series of dynamic speeches. It debuts on the NYT‘s Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous, landing at #3.

Written by the organization’s president, the book details how to give a talk worth listening to. It got a push from Forbes which called it “extraordinary reading.”

Anderson, who knows how to promote his work, features the title on the TED site and has published a summary piece in The Wall Street Journal [subscription might be required]. He recently appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and has a new post up on YouTube:

Holds are strong but not yet topping a 3:1 ratio. The title, however, is bound to become a go-to choice for anyone who has to give a speech, an activity that remains our #1 fear.

9781501129087_cc48c9781401947538_90f2cTwo other titles hit the list for the first time this week, Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice, Baron Baptiste (Hay House; OverDrive Sample) at #9 and Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing, Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp (North Star Way; OverDrive Sample) at #10.

The three titles that got knocked off the the main list were Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, which fell to #11 on the extended list after 17 weeks in the top 10; Fascinate: Revised and Updated by Sally Hogshead; and The Startup Checklist, David S. Rose,  both of which fell out of the top 15 completely.

The Nonfiction Best Seller Shuffle

Monday, May 9th, 2016

As typically happens when the seasons change, and May marked the start of a new one in publishing, the NYT Nonfiction Bestseller list has undergone a notable shuffle with three new titles debuting this week.

9781501135910_71e38At #3 is Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). The account of Nike’s early days and continuing dominance knocked When Breath Becomes Air (PRH/Random House) down a space.

Shoe Dog has received a lot of press, as we pointed out in an earlier Titles to Know column. Knight appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Charlie Rose show on PBS, and NPR’s Marketplace. USA Today and The Wall Street Journal [subscription may be required] also posted stories. It is a NYT‘s “Inside the List” feature too.

9781101903766_c3181Taking the #10 spot is Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide, Michael Kinsley (PRH/Tim Duggan; Random House Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Kinsley, a journalist and contributor to Vanity Fair, who learned at age 43 that he had Parkinson’s disease, explores how the Baby Boomer generation might approach aging.

It got triple treatment in the NYT‘s. Dwight Garner reviewed it for the Books of the Times section in which he writes: “Mr. Kinsley possesses what is probably the most envied journalistic voice of his generation: skeptical, friendly, possessed of an almost Martian intelligence. If we ever do meet Martians, or any alien civilization, he has my vote as the human who should handle Earth’s side of the initial negotiations.”

Author Phillip Lopate reviewed it for The New York Times Book Review, writing: “If it’s possible for a book about illness and death to be delightful, this one fills the bill.” It is also featured in an Inside The New York Times Book Review Podcast.

The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal [subscription may be required], Vanity Fair, and NPR’s All Things Considered, This American Life, and The Diane Rehm Show provided coverage as well.

9780393246186_e9740Breaking onto the list at #15 is Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?Frans de Waal (Norton; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), a book on animal intelligence that argues that the human view of animal intelligence is limited by our own narrow thinking and lack of empathy.

It too is getting wide attention. As we pointed out in the same Titles To Know that featured Shoe Dog, it has been a People pick, which called it “an astonishing study of animal intelligence [that] has the makings of a classic — and is one fascinating read.” The New York Times Book Review and NYT’s “Inside the List” feature it as well.

Additional coverage is in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, Wired, New York Post, and NPR’s Science Friday and The Diane Rehm Show.

Checking holds Old Age is doing best in libraries, with holds soaring past a 3:1 ratio. Both Shoe Dog and Are We Smart Enough are under that ratio in most locations.

Which titles changed fates with these newcomers? Slipping out of the top 15 rankings is Girls and Sex (Harper) which fell to #16 and Dark Money (PRH/Doubleday) which is at #19. Love That Boy (PRH/Harmony) fell off the list completely.

Batman: The Killing Joke

Friday, May 6th, 2016

KillingjokeAt #1 on the NYT Hardcover Graphic Books Best Seller list after 201 weeks is Batman: The Killing Joke, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. (DC Comics, 2008; originally published in 1988; a B&W version, Batman Noir: The Killing Joke will be published in August), which tells the story of the origins of Batman’s archenemy The Joker, portrayed as an unsuccessful comedian who turns to crime to support himself and his pregnant wife.

An animated movie based on the iconic title, created in direct response to a petition from fans, is set to premiere at San Diego Comic-Con in July with a planned release on digital HD on July 23 and Blu-ray and DVD on August 2.

Releasing titles on digital HD ahead of the other versions is a new approach recently used for Deadpool to such strong sales that it is likely to become the norm.

Below is the recently released trailer:

Several of Moore’s earlier works, including Watchmen, have been adapted in to movies, but he asked to have his name removed from all of them.

Oprah to Star In THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

9781400052172_1e7daHBO’s adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks just gained some serious star power. It was just announced that Oprah Winfrey, who first signed the book in 2010, will also star in the film.

The book tells the sad but fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks,  a poor black woman from Baltimore who died in 1951. However, cancer cells removed from her body without her knowledge continue to be used in medical research. The book has been a fixture on best seller lists, spending a year on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list and another 2 years on the Paperback Nonfiction list, where it reappears regularly (most recently at #15 on the May 1, 2016 extended list).

People reports that Oprah will play Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter and the character through whom the story is told in the book. According to Variety, “with Winfrey attached to star [the project] has been put on the fast-track with filming beginning this summer.”

Skloot will serve as a co-executive producer and Henrietta Lacks’ sons, Zakariyya Rahman and David Lacks, Jr. and granddaughter Jeri Lacksare, will serve as consultants.

No news yet on when the film is likely to debut.

ELIGIBLE A Bestseller

Friday, April 29th, 2016

9781400068326_8f573As we predicted on Wednesday, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample) is a bestseller, taking the #8 spot on the USA Today list.

In a spotlight story, the paper charts the novel’s rise, pointing out this is the highest ranking Sittenfeld has reached on the list, her debut Prep peaked at #34 and American Wife topped off at #35.

The novel makes the list in the face of very mixed reviews. While it is a LibraryReads selection, an Indie Next pick, and a People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” it was excoriated by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT. Even USA Today ‘s book editor Jocelyn Mcclure, who gave it 3 out of 4-star, gives it a backhanded compliment that it’s “amusing if crass.”

Then came the early posting of the NYT Book Review‘s rave review declaring, “not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted.”

That is clearly a sentiment that readers have endorsed. Holds are skyrocketing, reaching double-digit ratios at some libraries and amassing long queues at others.

We’ll learn later today where it lands on the NYT list. We expect to see it in the top five. [UPDATE: It debuted #5 on the NYT 5/8 Hardcover Fiction list]

Best Sellers: Hitting New Highs

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Two repeat authors hit new highs on the week’s best seller lists.

9780062388148_26b12Julia Quinn’s Because of Miss Bridgerton (Harper/Avon; HarperAudio) hits #2 on the NYT‘s Paperback Mass-Market list, as many of her previous titles have, but that masks its true success.

The USA TODAY list reveals it is #2 in sales regardless of format or genres, a large jump from the author’s previous title, which debuted #48 and dropped off from there.

Because of Miss Bridgerton, a March LibraryReads pick, is the 10th in the series but a prequel to those already published. It tells the story of an aunt (on their father’s side) to all those Bridgerton siblings readers have followed for years.

9780062220608_f90b8Jacqueline Winspear can celebrate as well. Her newest, Journey to Munich (Harper/ HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), hits its highest spot on the USA TODAY list, landing at #6, which reflects library holds, as we noted in an earlier Titles to Know.

This is the 12th book in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series and USA TODAY has tracked its rise, reporting the “series has steadily been building a fan base. An Incomplete Revenge, the first to make USA TODAY’s list, peaked at No. 134 in 2008; last year’s A Dangerous Place landed at No. 13.”

 

THE NEST Hits Best Seller List,
Gets Film Deal

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

The NestThe heavily-anticipated debut novel The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (HarperCollins/Ecco; HarperAudio) fulfills expectations by hitting the number 2 spot on USA Today ‘s best seller list.

It has also landed a movie deal with Amazon Films. Deadline‘s story notes that it will hit the NYT Best Seller list, to be released tomorrow, at #3.

The movie will be produced by Jill Soloway who also produced Amazn’s hit series, Transparent. The author will write the script.

LADY MIDNIGHT, The Week’s Top Best Seller

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

9781442468351_3cdd7  The Widow  Robert-Bryndza-The-Girl-in-the-Ice-570px

The first in a new YA series by Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight, (S&S McElderry; S&S Audio) arrives at #1 on the USA Today list, the author’s first time in that position with a new book. It is also at #1 on the NYT Young Adult Hardcover list.

It arrives just as the TV series Shadowhunters, based on Clare’s earlier series Mortal Instruments, nears its April 5 finale on the basic cable channel Freeform. Clearly considered a success by the network as it has been renewed for a second season. Lady Midnight, subtitled The Dark Artifices Book One, bears a further attribution that ties it in to the show, A Shadowhunters Novel (the main character in the new book appeared in the previous series).

The debut novel The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample) continues as a best seller after four weeks, moving up a bit on the USA Today list and down on others.

Moving to #8 on the USA Today list is a title that is doing well in ebook (it also moves up the WSJ eBook Fiction list, to #3), The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, from British publisher, Bookouture. On his author page, Bryndza says that the is his first crime thriller after a several romantic comedies.

9780399184413_1d3cb  9780544272880_2ba1e

In nonfiction, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli is still at #5 in its second week on the NYT list, tied with #4 The Immortal Irishman, by Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), about an Irish revolutionary who fled his home country and became the general of New York’s Irish Brigade during the Civil War. It received media attention in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day (including an interview with the author on NPR’s Morning Edition).

Secret Author

Monday, March 14th, 2016

9781609452865_92e01The interest in the hidden identity of Elena Ferrante, author of the Neapolitan novels that have swept through the best seller lists, hit a boil this weekend, sending her titles soaring again on Amazon.

The real author behind the Ferrante pseudonym has rigorously kept her (or his) true identity private. She grants email interviews only and those exchanges pass through her publisher.

That only fuels speculation, and the latest, reports The New York Times, comes from an Italian author and professor who has conducted an historical and literary study of the books. He sets his eyes on a fellow professor from Naples named Marcella Marmo. Both Ms. Marmo and Ferrante’s publishers flatly deny it.

“It’s nonsense,” said the publishers and “I’m not Elena Ferrante,” said Ms. Marmo. Those predictable responses have not quelled speculation.

Holds and circulation remain high across the series that includes My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of The Lost Child (all published by Europa Editions)

Just last week, it was announced that Ferrante is on the longlist for the Man Booker International Prize, adding even more interest to this long-running literary parlor game.