Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category


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).

Riordan’s Next Best Seller

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

1423160916_25a72Ten years ago Rick Riordan got kids interested in reading about Greek mythology with the publication of The Lightning Thief. Since then he has also written series based on Roman and Egyptian mythology.

Now he is turning his attention to Norse myths with his newest book Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One, The Sword of Summer (Disney; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

It debuts this week in the #1 spot on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list, a list that includes all ages and formats as well as in the top spot of The New York Times’ Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list.

In and interview with Entertainment Weekly Riordan says that Norse myths present a special challenge because are gruesome and he had to figure out how to “present this accurately but also in a way that’s not completely terrifying”

Below is the book trailer.

Slate’s AudioBook Club Features THE MARTIAN

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

9781101905005_e42deThe team at Slate are back with their next book club pick, this time it is the ongoing best seller and basis for the blockbuster movie, The Martian (Mass Market MTI; RH/Broadway; OverDrive Sample) by Andy Weir.

The discussion is wide ranging and at times persnickety as the three participants go back and forth with negative and positive responses.

Katy Waldman, Slate’s words correspondent, was “weirdly riveted” by the process of how astronaut Mark Watney works through the catastrophes involved in being abandoned on Mars, but she summarizes it as “nerd-wish fulfillment fantasy, the next wave of reality shows, like Survivor Mars” and in the end can only recommend it with reservations. However, she recommends the movie wholeheartedly.

Laura Miller, books and culture columnist for Slate, is the most positive on the book, offering some book-discussion worthy ideas, comparing it to several recent novels in which the protagonists work through complex processes to avert disasters, such as Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves.

November’s conversation will address one of the year’s most talked-about literary novels, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (RH/Doubleday), currently up for two major awards. It is the favorite among odds makers to win the Booker Prize, to be announced later today. On the National Book Awards longlist, we will learn if it makes the shortlist tomorrow.

FATES AND FURIES Hits Bestseller List As Holds Continue to Grow

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 1.00.33 PMAs we predicted last week, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT and Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) has made The New York Times hardcover fiction list at #7.

It is also exceeding a 3:1 holds ratio at most libraries we checked, with some placing second orders for additional copies.

The NYT’s features Fates and Furies in the Sunday Book Review “Inside the List” section as well, where Gregory Cowles, the paper’s preview editor and best-seller columnist, compares it to Gone Girl, “minus the murderous psychopathology.”

In a share-worthy summary, Cowles goes on to say “both tell the story of a marriage first from the husband’s somewhat complacent perspective, then change course midway to reveal a wife far more active and vengeful than expected.”

Nancy Pearl Interviews Paula McLain

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.48.46 AMLibrarian Nancy Pearl, who has often recommended Beryl Markham’s West with the Night (Macmillan/North Point Press; Blackstone Audio; eBook from OpenRoad Medic; OverDrive sample), interviews author Paula McLain as part of the Book Lust series airing on the Seattle channel. McLain’s  fictional take on Markham’s life, Circling the Sun (RH/Ballantine; BOT and RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) has been a NYT best seller since its publication at the end of July.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.49.41 AMThe two discuss how McLain came to focus on Markham after her success writing about Hemingway’s first wife in the novel The Paris Wife (RH/Ballantine; BOT and RH Audio; OverDrive Sample). It turns out that McLain struggled after the publication of that breakout book, spending years searching for a subject.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.50.27 AMShe wrote hundreds of pages on both Georgia O’Keeffe and Marie Curie only to have both projects fail to take off. Finally, while on vacation with her sister and brother-in-law she stumbled across West with the Night, Markham’s vivid memoir (which even Hemingway, who hated Markham, praised to the skies). McLain’s brother-in-law was reading it poolside and told her it was going to be important in her life. She ignored him and it for a year longer before picking up the story and getting swept away.

Fall Previews Make an Impact

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

spiders-web  purity  9781609452865_4717c

As predicted, Harper Lee’s “new” novel was the book of the summer, hitting number one on the NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list in its first week of publication and remaining there for 6 weeks, only slipping to #2 last week, when Sue Grafton’s X hit that spot.

This week, titles from the fall previews fulfill predictions. The Girl In The Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz (RH/Knopf) and Purity by Jonathan Franzen (Macmillan/FSG) arrive at #1 and #2, moving Watchman to #3.

Another title that appears on all the fall previews, Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child,  (Europa Editions) arrives on the Paperback Trade Fiction list at No. 3. Indicating that the heavy coverage has brought new readers to the author’s Neapolitan series, the first title in the series, My Brilliant Friend makes its debut  at #8, tied with Celste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Books) at #7, after 16 weeks. [Ng was one of the authors in our Penguin Debut Authors series.]

SELP-HELF #1 Self Help Title

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.26.49 AMYouTube star Miranda Sing debuts at #1 on the NYT Advice, How-To, & Miscellaneous bestseller list with her first book, Selp-Helf (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample).

It is #6 on the USA Today list, an even more impressive feat since that list does not divide titles by category, putting the social media author right behind:
1) Go Set a Watchman, 2) Grey,
3) Paper Towns, 4) To Kill a Mockingbird, and 5) Girl on the Train.

The NYT Sunday Book Review covers the book (actually, it’s more like a printed scrap book) in their “Inside the List” column, saying “YouTube star Miranda Sings — real name Colleen Ballinger — has become a comic sensation by milking the disconnect between her supreme confidence and her hopeless lack of ability in pretty much any human endeavor: can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t apply lipstick inside the lines. Now she’s taken that endearing incompetence into the book world with a parody advice guide.”

Sings is just one of the social media personalities charging into the old media world of books. As we reported earlier, there are dozens of others getting attention (see our collection of 17 new and forthcoming titles).

The book may have been propelled by the author’s appearance at VidCon which just wrapped and is shining old media attention on new media disruption. Founded by VlogBrothers John and Hank Green in 2010, it has grown exponentially.

In his lengthy report on the convention, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair writes that “I have been to the high temple of digital video and I have seen its awesome, occasionally terrifying might. The revolution is not coming. It’s here.”

New York magazine signals their unease with the headline, “An Old Person’s Remote Recap of VidCon 2015.”

Number One Best Sellers

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates   Go Set a Watchman

At the same time that #blacklivesmatter reveals tp those who weren’t aware that racism still plagues this country, two books also appeared as reminders. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, (Harper), reveals the comlex reality behind the saintly character of Atticus Finch.

Written 55 years later Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH AudioOverDrive Sample) describes how frightening it is to be a black parent today.

Both books now land at the top of the NYT best sellers lists, Go Set a Watchman on the fiction list and Between the World and Me on nonfiction.


GIRL Gets Director

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train is now one major step closer to the screen. Deadline reports that DreamWorks has hired Tate Taylor to direct. Taylor’s had experience with best selling novel adaptations, having directed the movie based on his childhood friend, Kathryn Stockett‘s novel, The Help.

Deadline also reports that GOTT is “the fastest selling adult novel in history with over two million copies sold in the United States alone.” but that story, recently reported by the Wall Street Journal now has a correction which reads, “In an earlier version of this article, the book’s publisher incorrectly said it was likely the fastest ever to reach that sales figure. Books that have sold faster include Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which sold 2 million hardcovers in just over a month, not including ebooks.”

Controversy Sells;

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 9.26.35 AMProving once again that there’s nothing like controversy to help sell a book, Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer (Harper; HarperCollins audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the NYT Best Seller List at #2 for the week of May 24.

The book accuses the Clintons of selling influence to foreign governments and individuals through the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton campaign has fought back by identifying several factual errors. As a result, Harper has changed the Kindle version to delete passages or revise sections. As reported in Politico, Amazon sent purchasers a notice that “significant revisions have been made” to their electronic copies, which Harper then said were just  “7-8 factual corrections.”

Undaunted, Schweizer continues roiling up controversy. In the new issue of USA Today, he objects to his testy interview with George Stephanopoulos in April, saying he should get a do-over because the broadcaster did not reveal that he personally donated $75,000 to the Clinton campaign in 2012.

Paula Hawkins: New Book Coming

Monday, April 20th, 2015

The Girl on the TrainThe author of the uber-bestselling The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead), Paula Hawkins tells The Daily Beast that she is at work on another psychological thriller that she hopes “to finish over the summer so that it hopefully will be out summer or autumn of next year.”

She adds, “It also deals quite a lot with memory issues, but in a different way. It’s about the memories we have from childhood and how the stories that we tell about ourselves and our families shape who we are.”

She drops no hints about the title and admits she is feeling the pressure to try to live up to the success of GOTT, but says she is persevering because she doesn’t want to “leave too big a gap between the first book and the second, because the longer that gap, the more terrifying the publication of the second book becomes.”

Best Sellers: THE LIGHT Makes a Comeback

Friday, April 17th, 2015

All The Light We Cannot SeeWe’d gotten used to seeing Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, tucked right behind the juggernaut of The Girl on the Train. But then Harlan Coben’s The Stranger came along and knocked it into third place. Last week, J.R. Ward’s The Shadows cast it into fourth place and it looked like the beginning of a slide.

But this week, The Light has returned to its old spot, banishing The Shadows altogether and moving The Stranger down to 4th position (The Girl on the Train keeps chugging along at #1).

The novel took Doerr ten years to write, a journey he described last month in Scribner Magazine.

A year ago, before the book became a best seller, Doerr talked about the places and ideas that inspired him.


Monday, April 13th, 2015

At the Water's EdgeSara Gruen’s At The Water’s Edge (RH/Spiegel & Grau; BOT Audio; RH Large Print; Overdrive Sample) debuts at the highest spot ever for the author (#6 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list and #12 on USA Today‘s general list).

Her 2006 novel, Water for Elephants was a slow build, eventually hitting #1 in paperback in anticipation of the movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Her next book, 2010’s Ape House debuted at #8 on the NYT list (#65 on USA Today‘s), lasting just a few weeks.

The new success is featured in both the NYTInside the List” column and USA Today, “Sara Gruen’s Loch Ness novel is a hit.”

Gruen herself is not so worried about matching her earlier success. As she tells NPR’s Weekend Edition, “I don’t tend to think ‘oh, I peaked at 38,’ I tend to think ‘I’m so happy about what happened with Water for Elephants, but I know I was struck by lightning’ … it’s not going to happen again and that’s ok. I get to keep doing what I love to do.”

While lightning may not strike twice, it appears Water’s Edge will attract a wider audience than did Ape House and fulfill predictions from collection development librarians that it will circulate briskly through the summer. It is rising on Amazon sales rankings this week and most libraries show growing holds.

Ready Player OneThe NYT trade paperback list offers the tale of another slow build, similar to Water for Elephants. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, (RH/Crown, 2011) hits the Trade Paperback Fiction list for the first time, after several weeks on the extended list (the hardcover also spent a few weeks on the extended list), probably based on news that Steven Spielberg has signed to direct the film adaptation as well as anticipation of the release of the next title, Armada (RH/Crown, RH & BOT Audio), set for publication on July 24th.

Cline will be one of the featured speakers the AAP/LibraryReads Dinner during BEA this year.


GOTT Still #1 For the NYT

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

The Girl on the Train  9780525953500_2544c  All The Light We Cannot See

It may have slipped to #2 on yesterday’s  USA Today’s best-seller list, but Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead) is still number one on the just-released NYT Hardcover Fiction list, with Harlan Coben’s The Stranger (Penguin/Dutton) at #2. Still going strong after 47 weeks is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner) at #3. We issued a holds alert for that book almost one year ago.

The Publishers Weekly/BooScan list shows that GOTT sold 5,000 more copies at the retailers they survey than Coben’s book.


Coben Stalls the Train

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.42.23 AMPaula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead) has slipped off the tracks, getting replaced as the top book on USA Today’s best-seller list by Harlan Coben’s The Stranger (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Girl on the Train ruled the top of the USA Today list for over a month but is now in the No. 2 spot.

In toppling Hawkins from her reigning position, Coben achieved what James Patterson could not. As we reported last week, Patterson’s newest, NYPD Red 3 (Hachette/Little, Brown), hit USA Today’s list in second place, behind GOTT. It has since slipped to the No. 5 spot.

Most libraries routinely buy more copies of Patterson then they do of Coben. It may be time to rethink that.