Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category

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 has 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 in strong reviews such as the 3 out of 4-star review in USA Today, book editor Jocelyn McClurg said it was “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 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.

WIDOW Climbs NYT List;
PHYSICS Debuts

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The WidowTime to re-check your holds on The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample). It is steadily climbing the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, hitting #9 this week, its highest point to date.

The USA Today list shows a different pattern, where Widow appears to be dropping, moving to #34 this week from a high of #12. However, that list is more volatile because it tracks all formats, age ranges and subjects.  This week the paperbacks of several Oscar-related books jumped ahead of Widow, as did the paperback of the most recent Coctco pick, Kathleen Grissom’s  The Kitchen House (S&S/Touchstone; OverDrive Sample) which came back on the list at #9.

9780399184413_1d3cbThe greatest activity is on the NYT Nonfiction Hardcover list, with six new titles. Debuting in the highest spot is Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli at #5. As the NYT  “Inside the List” column notes, it comes to the U.S. at a propitious time,  less than a month after scientists reported findings that confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity. Most libraries show heavy holds on light ordering

Best Seller Debut: THE WIDOW

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

The WidowAs predicted by library holds, Fiona Barton’s The Widow (PRH/NAL; BOT; OverDrive Sample) hits best seller lists this week. It’s #12 on the 3/6/16 NYT Hardcover Fiction list. It’s also #12 on the USA Today list. That list combines all formats and categories and The Widow is the sixth hardcover fiction title.

9781250091789_42c57At number one on both lists is Jeffrey Archer’s Cometh
the Hour
, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio), the sixth in the Clifton Chronicles. USA Today notes this is a step up for the author, “Archer’s previous peak was No. 5 in May 2013, with Best Kept Secret, the third book
in the series. All the Chronicles titles have hit the Top 25, with four now making the Top 10.”

 

MORNING STAR Is #1

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Red Rising  golden-sun  morning-star_612x931

The third book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Morning Star (PRH/ Del Rey) debuts at #1 on the 2/28 New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers list, More significantly, it’s also #1 on the USA Today list, outselling books in all categories and formats.

Interest is growing in the series. The previous two titles debuted in lower positions. Golden Son arrived at #6, dropping down to the extended list the next week. Red Rising debuted was on the extended list for three weeks. It was a #1 LibraryReads pick.

Brown is at work on another trilogy, titled Iron Gold, reports USA Today. It picks up after Morning Star, but focuses on different characters.

A movie adaptation of Red Rising is in the works. In an interview earlier this month, Brown said it is in development with World War Z director Marc Forster. Don’t expect it any time soon, however. Brown says, “we’re not trying to do a rushed job of this. I did the first two drafts and my buddy is doing a new draft.”

Grim Reader

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Based on recent best seller lists, people love to read about death.

AIR

NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday examines the trend, prompted by a recent article in The Guardian which, based on the popularity of Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample), offers two explanations: the books present examples of ways to face the inevitable and the seemingly sad subject holds a measure of optimism, because the act of writing a memoir grants a measure of immortality.

9780767905923  9781401323257

The interview highlights a couple of well-known examples, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (Hachette/Hyperion, 2008) and Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom (PRH/Doubleday/Broadway, 2002).

9780805095159_a145b9780451492937_0cfcbThere are plenty of newer examples too, including Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Macmillan/Holt; 2014), which has been on the NYT hardback nonfiction bestseller list for over a year and Gratitude by Oliver Sacks (PRH/Knopf, 2015), now in its fifth week on that same list.

New #1 Best Sellers

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

There’s no surer sign of the beginning of a new season than movement on the best seller list.

Two new titles land at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction and Nonfiction best seller lists, breaking through titles that have dominated the top spot for weeks.

AIR  lucy-barton

At #1 in nonfiction is one of our crystal ball titlesWhen Breath Becomes Air, (PRH/Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

A young neurosurgeon’s account of facing his own death, it is followed at #2 by another new best seller, Pope Francis’s The Name of God Is Mercy (PRH/Random House).

In fiction, Elizabeth Stout’s latest, My Name Is Lucy Barton (Random House; Random House Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) breaks through to number one, moving The Girl on the Train down to #3, which has just completed over a year on the list, most of that time in the top five. At #4 is an even greater phenomenon, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, on the list for 89 weeks.

THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO Hits Bestseller Lists

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

9780062294418_b5b5cJohn Grisham, Stephen King, and Michael Connelly take the top three spots on the current NYT’s Hardcover Fiction list but Mitch Albom’s The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (Harper; OverDrive Sample) has opened in the number four spot, showing surprising strength when measured against the less than strong demand in libraries (holds are well within a 3:1 ratio where we checked).

Others are clearly enthused and USA Today selected it as one of their “Weekend Picks for Book Lovers.” They also 9781400067657_373ddselected the title currently holding down the top spot on the NYT’s Hardcover Nonfiction list, Jon Meacham’s Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush (Random House; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

It opens at #1 after continuing its rise following the juicy revelations that the senior President Bush called Dick Cheney an “iron ass” and had more to say about George W. Bush’s presidency.

9781591848066_5ff809781627792417_f19de Two other books about presidents fill the number two and three spots on the nonfiction list, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger’s Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History (Penguin/Sentinel; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing ReganThe Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Macmillian/Henry Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).