Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category

Best Sellers: Patchett Hits New Highs

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

9780062491794_46ce0Ann Patchett lands at #4 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, making Commonwealth (Harper; HarperAudio) her highest ever debut.

According to the paper, Bel Canto reached #8 in 2003 but debuted at #70 and State of Wonder hit, and peaked, at #12.

Commonwealth is #1 on the PW Fiction list, making it likely to land on the NYT‘s list at #1 as well when the Oct 2 list comes out later this afternoon.

Library patrons are echoing the sales figures. Holds are strong on all formats at libraries we checked.

It looks like Jonathan Burnham, publisher of HarperCollins’s Harper imprint, was correct when he told The Wall Street Journal “It’s probably the most commercial novel Ann has written yet.”

As we noted earlier, it is a darling of critics. It made most, if not all the fall reading previews. It is also the Indie Next #1 pick for September; Entertainment Weekly gave it a solid A review; The Guardian says it is “outstanding;” and Jennifer Senior reviewed it early for the daily NYT, calling it “exquisite.

Towles Rises; HIDDEN FIGURES Soars

Monday, September 19th, 2016

9780670026197_2f9f39780062363596_b2357On the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, half the titles are new this week. J.D. Robb’s Apprentice in Death (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample) lands at #1, followed by Carl Hiaasen’s Razor Girl (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

The number 7, 8, and 10 spots are new as well, filled by Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), and Downfall: A Brady Novel of Suspense, J. A. Jance (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

All but Towles are to be expected and that is a significant rise for him. His debut, Rules of Civility, never broke the top ten, rising only as high as #16 and holding that position for just one week. It is also both an Indie Next pick and a Fall Reading favorite. Holds are strong in most libraries we checked.

On the nonfiction side, four new titles appear, including the #1 seller this week, Oprah’s pick Love Warrior: A Memoir, Glennon Doyle Melton (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

New at #7, is Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). As we have written, it is the basis for a forthcoming movie starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe. A tie-in arrives this December.

The paper spotlights the title in “The Story Behind This Week’s Best Sellers” quoting Shetterly on her experience growing up: “I knew so many African-Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did.”

Dave Barry’s Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (PRH/G.P. Putnam; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #8 and The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) rounds out the new books in the top ten, landing at #10.

Oddly, the J.K. Rowling titles that appeared in the top ten on the USA Today list don’t appear on either the Middle Grade or the YA eBook lists.

Best Sellers: E-Only Debuts

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Cursed ChildAfter holding the #1 spot on the USA Today Best-Selling Book list for six straight weeks Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two falls to #5 this week, ending, says the paper, “the longest run of any book this year.”

Right behind it are three new e-book only shorts  by J.K. Rowling as part of the “Pottermore Presents” series:

 

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106280)

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106273)

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, J.K. Rowling (Pottermore, September 2016; ISBN 9781781106297).

They are ranked numbers 6, 7, and 8 respectively. Unfortunately, it appears these titles are unavailable to libraries.

61ae8165-1593-4b88-b616-4f066a22a725img400Another e-only title debuting on the list is Blue on Black by Michael Connelly (Hachette/Little, Brown/Mulholland; OverDrive Sample) at #31. It is part of the Strand Originals series, a partnership between Mulholland Books and Strand Magazine to reprint the “best and most popular” short stories from the magazine as e-book and audio digital downloads.

Titles in the series, which are available to libraries, are published in quarterly groups. The first. published last April, included works by Jeffery Deaver, Ian Rankin, Linwood Barclay, Faye Kellerman, and Olen Steinhauer. Click through for the full list for 2016.

More Fall Reading

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

The Wall Street Journal adds to the fall previews with their picks of 32 books to fill the fall with reading. The list mixes fiction and nonfiction and highlights new books tracing the legacy of the Holocaust [subscription may be required].

9781250088277_caef4One of the titles certain to interest librarians, that has not yet appeared on any other preview, is The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel, Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press). It asks if an algorithm can identify the elements of a blockbuster novel and provides answers based on a five-year study.

This approach is not new. FiveThirtyEight data mined blockbuster films to see what they could find as defining features and found 11 commonalities and for years researchers have been looking into what makes a hit song.

WSJ profiles the authors, who studied over 5,000 novels and claim their method can “pick out a future New York Times-list best seller with 80% accuracy.”

Their process focuses on “2,800 features including points of theme, style, vocabulary and punctuation … [and has found] subject, not genre, has a much greater impact on driving a best seller.”

Archer and Jockers have also found less is more, “Bestselling novels tend to have one or two topics which often feed off each other such as ‘children and guns’ or ‘love and vampires’ that together make up nearly a third of the novel whereas novels that fail to hit often try to cram too many topics in.” John Grisham and Danielle Steel have proven that fact, they say, staying on point within their individual niches.

The book has touched a nerve with some acquisitions editors, making them wonder if their jobs are on the line. We suspect plenty of readers and authors will also read the book with a wary, if interested, eye.

Riding High

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

9780345544803_79f84Elizabeth Letts’s The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis (Random House/Ballantine; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) has landed at #17 on the NYT extended hardcover nonfiction list.

The NYT highlights Lett’s in the “Inside the List” feature, noting that while WWII is a perennially popular subject, recently it seems books on the “quirky corners of the war” are particularly gaining ground. Like The Monuments Men before it, Lett’s book recounts a little-known mission during the waning days of the war, to save prized Lipizzaner stallions. The Nazis had abducted the horses, stockpiling them as part of a plan to create a super breed. With the war ending, supplies short, and the Russian army closing in, the horses were in danger of being slaughtered for food. No less a figure than General Patton ordered the rescue.

Letts is the author of a previous best seller about a horse, The Eighty-Dollar Champion (2011).

Check your holds. Several libraries show spikes on modest ordering.

More Backman On The Way

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The author of the long-running trade paperback best seller, A Man Called Ove, and two LibraryReads picksBritt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, (also currently a best seller in trade paperback), Fredrik Backman, has signed a deal to publish three new novels and a novella with S&S/Atria. Significantly, the news is reported by Deadline Hollywood, indicating the author has caught the attention of the U.S. movie business.

9781501160486_26853Coming first, on Nov. 1, is the novella,  And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer (S&S/Atria; ISBN 9781501160486). Deadline says, like Ove, it “centers on an elderly man, who struggles to hold on to his memories, face his regrets and help his son and grandson prepare for his death.” It will be issued in a “small-format hardcover,” with illustrations.

The first of the three novels will be titled Beartown (S&S/Atria, May 2, 2017; ISBN 9781501160769). Deadline says “It concerns a depressed town whose hopes for a brighter future rest on its junior ice hockey team as it goes after the national title.”

MV5BMjE0NDUyOTc2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk2NzU3OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,679,1000_AL_Meanwhile, the Swedish-language film adaptation of A Man Called Ove will open in limited release on Sept. 30 (some sources list it for release at the end of this month, but Sept. 30 now seems to be official).

Variety reviewed it when it was shown at the Goteborg Film Festival in February, calling the subtitled film “irresistible” and “A touching comic crowdpleaser,” commenting on the “terrific” cast and cinematography that makes it “a pleasure to watch.”

Cinema Scandinavia reports that in Sweden, where it was released late last year, Ove was a hit, topping the box office there and winning awards, including Best Actor for lead Rolf Lassgård.

Variety notes that Music Box Films won US distribution rights. They have previously brought to the U.S. such Swedish imports as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

TRULY MADLY GUILTY
A Best-Seller

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Truly Madly GuiltyLiane Moriarty’s latest Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), which, as we reported, has been showing large holds lists, hits the USA Today‘s best seller list at #2, the highest debut Morality has ever achieved reports the paper, right behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The buzz has also powered her 2012 novel The Hypnotist’s Love Story onto the list at No. 47.

Her publisher is delighted, telling USA Today, “We are thrilled that Liane has debuted the highest she ever has … And if we can’t be No. 1, I can’t think of anyone we’d rather be behind than the boy wizard.”

According to USA Today, Moriarty first made their best-seller list in “2013 with The Husband’s Secret, entering the list at 32 and rising as high as No. 3. She followed that up the next year with a No. 3 debut for Big Little Lies in 2014. This year, her earlier books The Last Anniversary rose to No. 15 and What Alice Forgot peaked at No. 27.”

Reviews for Truly Madly, however, have been uneven. USA Today gave it 2.5 stars out of a possible 4, calling it “a summer bummer” and The New York Times gave it a less than stellar early review. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B, saying “it begins to feel like a very special, very frustrating episode of CSI: BBQ … [but] what sets Moriarty’s writing apart in the genre generally dismissed as chick lit has as much to do with her canny insights into human nature as her clever plotting … for Moriarty’s many fans, that should be truly, madly good enough.” The Washington Post has the most positive take.

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.