Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category

Holds Alert: THE IDENTICALS

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Author Elin Hilderbrand hits a career high this week. Her latest book, The Identicals (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette LP; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), debuts at No. 2 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, right behind John Grisham’s Camino Island. Her highest ranking to date was last year’s Here’s To Us, which debuted at #4.

Holds are also high, running at 5:1 or above at the majority of libraries we checked.

The eighteenth in a series of titles set on Nantucket in the summer, USA Today writes, “Hilderbrand’s books are basically a seasonal staple, as important to beach reading as sunscreen and sand.”

Hilderbrand is the subject of a NYT‘s “By the Book” feature, answering “Lorrie Moore” to the question which writer she admires most. She says “[Moore] is a writer’s writer. Her long stories are absolutely, hands-down the best pieces of writing that exist, in my opinion.”

Ghosts of Leaders Past

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) is featured in this week’s NYTInside the List” column, as the book debuts at #10 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list, driven by both the author’s reputation and media attention.

The NYT reviews, calling it “highly enjoyable” and a “page turner written with great brio.” The Los Angeles Times reviews as well, writing that the book “finds the iron core of both men.”

Terry Gross interviews the author on Fresh Air, saying “The theme that unites [the two leaders] is standing up against totalitarianism, Hitler and fascism, Stalin and communism. Ricks says their writings have a lot of resonance today.”

Of that resonance, the NYT points out that “Critics have been generally shy about linking Ricks’s subject to today’s political climate.” Not so for the author. Pulitzer Prize-winning Ricks (who is now the NYT Book Review ‘s military history columnist) makes no bones about how the two men would view our current president. He details some of that in the Gross interview, but, as the NYT points out, he was far more blunt in his twopart podcast with Foreign Policy magazine.

Holds are topping 3:1 in several libraries we checked.

Michael Crichton Takes a Bit Out of the Best Seller List

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The publication of Michael Crichton’s posthumous novel, Dragon Teeth (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe, HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), sees the routinely bestselling author back on the lists, nearly a decade after his death.

The Dino/Western/Thriller debuts at #4 this week on the USA Today‘s Best-Selling Books List.

Before his death, Crichton was a fixture on the charts and four of his novels hit the #1 spot on the USA Today list, including Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, and Prey. (Their list began in 1993, thus missing some of his other hits). An earlier posthumous novel, Pirate Latitudes, peaked at #9.

Expect continued attention. Film rights have been sold to National Geographic Channel for a limited series and another Jurassic World movie, starring Chris Pratt, is due out in 2018.

New to the list and landing the #1 spot is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is the sequel to Lady Midnight which began a new YA series by Clare. It also debuted at #1 on the USA Today list, in 2016.

Several other books got notable bumps:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton; BlackStone Audio; OverDrive Sample) has moved up this week from #8 to #3.

Lifted by the heartwarming Wonder trailer, R.J. Palacio’s Wonder (RH/Knopf Young Readers, 2012; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) has again moved up the list, leaping from #83 to #10.

A tie-in comes out November 7, 2017, Wonder Movie Tie-In Edition by R. J. Palacio (PRH/Knopf Books for Young Readers).

More MILK AND HONEY

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Rupi Kaur will publish a new book in October, reports USA Today. Publisher Andrews McMeel describes the as yet untitled book as “a collection of non-traditional and deeply personal poems and original illustrations, focusing on growth, love and healing, ancestry and honoring one’s roots, expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.”

Kaur self-published her debut collection, Milk and Honey (S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), in 2014. It become a sensation and was picked up by Andrews McMeel in 2015.

It has been on the NYT Trade Fiction list for over a year, currently #3 (after three non-consecutive weeks at #1). It is a fixture among Amazon’s Top 100 (currently #8) and has been on USA Today’s list for 61 weeks, rising as high as #3. Every library we checked still has an active holds list.

On her website Kaur writes Milk and Honey is about “the experience of violence. abuse. love. loss. femininity … each chapter serves a different purpose. deals with a different pain. heals a different heartache.”

The Guardian ran a profile of the author in 2016. Below are videos of Kaur, in a TEDx talk and reading from her first book.

Amazon “Reimagines” Best Seller Lists

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Amazon announced today that it has launched a “reimagined weekly bestseller list,” which they claim, unlike any of the many lists already available, is “A Bestseller List for What People are Really Reading and Buying.” They don’t point out that it is also unique in that it tracks only the books that people buy through Amazon.

There are two Amazon Charts, each divided between fiction and nonfiction. “Most Sold” tracks the top 20 books “sold and pre-ordered through Amazon.com, Audible.com and Amazon Books stores and books borrowed from Amazon’s subscription programs such as Kindle Unlimited, Audible.com, and Prime Reading.” A separate list, “Most Read,” claims to reveal which titles people actually read by tracking the “average number of daily Kindle readers and daily Audible listeners each week.” In Big Brother fashion, Amazon can also track Kindle titles according “to how quickly customers read a book from cover to cover,” noting which are literally “unputdownable.”

The goal, they say, is to help customers “discover their next great read,” but a look at the actual lists reveals that they offer precious little “discovery.” The majority of the 20 titles on each list are already fixtures on other best seller lists. The rest are published by Amazon’s own imprints (e.g., Lake Union Publishing, Thomas & Mercer, Montlake Romance) or are digital editions available on Kindle (e.g., four titles in the Harry Potter series published by Pottermore). And since Kindle sales and readership are included, the lists can be influenced by special promotions, such as those from Amazon itself and from BookBub.

More useful, as an early indicator of titles grabbing public interest, is the Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list, updated hourly.

INTO THE WATER Surges to #1

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Reviews be damned, Paula Hawkins’s Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) can now be declared a #1 best seller. In its second week on sale, it moved to that spot on the new USA Today Best Selling Books list, jumping from #4 and knocking James Patterson off his perch in just one week. This practically guarantees it will be #1 on the NYT list later this week.

Holds are growing, reflecting the considerable interest in the author and some recent PR, via media interviews and her U.S. book tour. Patron demand is catching up. After a rather sluggish start, especially when compared to the pre-pub holds for her debut, lists have grown and libraries have placed multiple re-oreders.

INTO THE WATER Dives Onto Best Seller Lists

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Paula Hawkins’s sophomore effort, Into the Water (PRH/Riverhead; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). has landed at #4 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list, making it the second best selling adult novel on the list. Expect it to debut at #2 on the upcoming NYT‘s list after James Patterson’s 16th Seduction (Hachette/Little Brown; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It’s not being propelled by the reviews. As we have been tracking (and here), they are pretty damning, but they are outweighed by considerable interest in the author.

The #2 and #3 best-selling books are middle grade and YA series, reflecting the strength of those series, something that is masked by lists that divide their rankings by age/category.

The Trials of Apollo Book Two The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #2. It is the second in Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series.

Riordan released a series of tongue-in-cheek book trailers:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) is the third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. It makes a significant leap over the first two books in the series, landing at #3 this week. The first book did not make the USA Today list and the second only rose as high as #41. Maas tells Entertainment Weekly that she is planning another trilogy set in the same world, although with different characters.

Half of the top 10 titles are new this week. The other debuts are media darling Neil deGrasse Tyson is at #5 with Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton; BlackStone Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Danielle Steel at #9 with Against All Odds (PRH/Delacorte Press; RH Large Type; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Further down the list, a much older title has returned.

At #26 is The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) powered by last week’s release of the long awaited and highly anticipated trailer for the movie, set for release on August 4th.

Dropping down the list is Bill O’Reilly’s Old School: Life in the Sane Lane (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio). It debuted at #2 on the April 5th list and began falling after his firing from Fox News.

 

Possible TV Series: SHATTERED

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bOne of the autopsies of the 2016 election might be made into a limited TV series reports the NYT.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) has been optioned by Sony’s TriStar Television.

The paper says it has become “a mainstay in dinner-party chatter in political circles since its publication.” In library circles it is doing well too, as we reported earlier, holds soared on light ordering.

It hit the  NYT  Hardcover Nonfiction list at #1 last week, slipping to #2 this week, displaced by Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B

The daily NYT‘s chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling”and The Globe and Mail writes that the authors “may be credited with banging the first hot-tipped galvanized spiral-shank nail into her historical coffin … [it is] an unfavourable – no, an unforgiving – look inside the Clinton presidential campaign of 2016.” Staff from the Clinton campaign are pushing back.

Deadline Hollywood reports that this would make the fourth TV project focused on the election. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have a project with HBO. Annapurna and Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) have one in the works they are keeping under wraps, saying only it will be “Trump-centric.” Tomorrow Studios is making what they hope will become an ongoing series, called Trump: It Happened Here.

The NYT says of this newest project that no writers or stars have been chosen for the project and a network “is not yet attached.”

Sandberg, Atwood, and Strout Score

Friday, May 5th, 2017

The May 14 New York Times best seller lists shows three women in top spots.

9781524732684_e51e2The #1 hardcover nonfiction title is Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). A book about grief, resilience, and finding a way through tragedy – with some Facebook business ethos served on the side.

Coverage is pervasive, from NPR to In Style. The Atlantic offers a feature while The New Yorker and Wired offer a mix of cultural commentary and review. Summing up much of the positive coverage, The New York Times writes “This is a book that will be quietly passed from hand to hand, and it will surely offer great comfort to its intended readers.”

9780525435006_a03ffThe number one trade paperback title is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986; tie-in ed., PRH/Anchor, 2017; OverDrive Sample), rising to that position after 12 weeks on the list.

As the author modestly says, she is having “a moment.” Her 1986 book has been rising as part of a post-election wave of interest in dystopian novels, solidified by the premiere of the Hulu series,  which is airing to rapturous reviews and think pieces and has just been renewed for a second season.

9780812989403_3b3daElizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the fiction list at #4, following strong coverage.

It was the #1 LibraryReads pick for April and made many monthly best of lists. The NYT calls the book is “a necklace of short stories” and says that “the writing is wrenchingly lovely … You read Strout, really, for the same reason you listen to a requiem: to experience the beauty in sadness … it’s certainly more grim than Strout’s previous work. It’s more audacious, too, and more merciless, daring you to walk away.”

The Guardian compares Strout to John Steinbeck, Leo Tolstoy, and Anne Tyler, calling the book “a wise, stunning novel.” NPR’s Maureen Corrigan calls it “gorgeous” and says “Strout is in that special company of writers like Richard Ford, Stewart O’Nan and Richard Russo, who write simply about ordinary lives and, in so doing, make us readers see the beauty of both their worn and rough surfaces and what lies beneath.” The New Yorker ran a feature and The Atlantic showcases Strout and the literature that matters most to her.

 

FLOWER MOON Blossoms

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780385534246_0b8dcKillers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (PRH/Doubleday; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the USA Today Bestseller list at #7, a ranking that far outdistances Grann’s first book, The Lost City of Z, which hit a high of #68.

There is more good news for the journalist turned author. Deadline Hollywood reports that a dream team might join forces for the film version, consisting of Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro. The trio, who have never worked together on one film, are said to be seriously considering the project.

Flower Moon is a rich story for them to dig their teeth into, a true crime tale of high murder counts, conspiracies, the FBI’s young director, J. Edgar Hoover, and a former Texas Ranger named Tom White. The Independent speculates on who will play which historical figure, “DiCaprio [who previously played Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s 2011 film J. Edgar] may take up the role again, with De Niro probably the pick to play Tom White.”

The film rights were sold in a hot auction for 5 million, roughly a year before the book hit shelves. Variety says it “was one of the highest prices paid for movie rights in recent memory.”

It might prove a sound buy. The Lost City of Z is more than held its own in very limited release. However, it did not perform as well when it expanded to more theaters this past weekend.  Critics are mad for it, with the A.V. Club asking “Is this the best movie of the year so far?

UPDATE:
The book was featured on the 4/30 CBS Sunday Morning.

SHATTERED Soars To Bestseller Status

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780553447088_1273bThe news media is focused on Trump’s first 100 days, but it seems people still want to know about the campaigns that preceded it. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) hits the new USA Today bestseller list at number 3.

Library holds have grown dramatically since the book’s publication date, increasing ratios at impressive rates, albeit on cautious ordering. One library we checked has moved from a ratio of 1:1 to 53:1. Another jumped from 6:1 to 42:1.

As we noted earlier, NYT chief book critic Michiko Kakutani calls it “compelling” and says “Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in Shattered— and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating … and while it’s clear that some of these people are spinning blame retroactively, many are surprisingly candid about the frustrations they experienced during the campaign.”

9781250120618_caadfA potential future female presidential candidate also debuts on the list. Landing at No. 8  is This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren (Macmillan/Metropolitan Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). She tells the paper’s Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, “The direction that Donald Trump and his team want to drive this country is a direction that I don’t think America’s middle class can survive.”

The authors of both books have been making the media rounds.

O’Reilly’s Book Brand Survives

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

9781250092335_665e3Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News but not at Macmillan imprint Holt.

USA Today reports that the ex-broadcaster has the backing of his book publisher. “Our plans have not changed,” says Holt publicity director Patricia Eisemann, of the next book in the highly profitable Killing series that O’Reilly writes with co-author Martin Dugard.

The Killing books, which examine the deaths of public figures such as Killing Kennedy (2012) and  Killing Patton (2014), have made a killing for Holt. They have also been the source of money-making movies for National Geographic. The cable network has also announced that they plan to continue to develop a TV movie based on Killing Patton.

The NYT reports that “more than 17 million copies [of the series are] in print and [it] is a reliable source of annual revenue for the [publisher]. In recent years, new books in the series have sold 1.1 million copies in the first few months after release.”

9781250135797_5bf07Recent press stories about the reasons behind O’Reilly’s ouster shine an ironic light on his newest book, Old School: Life in the Sane Lane (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), which Janet Maslin described in her NYT review as “meant to set forth the code of decency, honor and determination that made O’Reilly what he is today.” It debuted at #2 on the USA Today best-seller list, moving down slightly to #5 this week.

The NYT questions whether that will continue, writing “Even if Holt sticks with Mr. O’Reilly, sales of his books will almost certainly decline without his perch at Fox, which he used to promote his books to millions of viewers.” That seems borne out by Amazon’s sales rankings where the book has slipped to #19.

The next Killing book is set for a Sept. 2017 publication. With no title, no cover art, no advance reviews and no description on the publishers site, there is no information on what subject it addresses.

default_jacket_mmUntitled O’Reilly
Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard
On Sale Date: September 19, 2017
Hardcover | 304 pages |
$30.00 USD, $38.99 CAD
ISBN 9781627790642, 1627790640

 

To The Movies: HILLBILLY ELEGY

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

9780062300546_9dafbRon Howard’s Imagine Entertainment production company has won the film rights to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), reports Deadline Hollywood. Howard will direct.

Vance’s memoir arrived as the presidential campaign was heating up. The media embraced his sympathetic portrait of life in the Rust Belt as an explanation for the deep divides that drove the election. As a result of growing media attention, the book landed on best seller lists several weeks after publication. It is currently #2 on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list after 36 weeks.

It came to define what Slate‘s Laura Miller calls a new genre of nonfiction, the on-the-ground Trump explainer … illuminating the desperation driving white small-town Americans, as told by a native son.” She calls Vance’s book the genre’s “vanguard title.”

In a statement, Imagine describes it as “a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir … Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, J.D. has been able to look back on his own upbringing as a ‘hillbilly’ to illuminate the plight of America’s white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate.”

MISSISSIPPI BLOOD Tops The Lists

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

9780062311153_82abcDebuting at #1 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction best seller list is the conclusion to Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning trilogy, Mississippi Blood (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample). Moreover, it’s #1 on the USA Today list, indicating that it’s the top-selling book regardless of format or category.

This is Iles’s first time at #1 for both lists. The previous titles in the series rose as high as #2 on the NYT list for the first book, Natchez Burning and as high as #3 on the USA Today list, for second book,  The Bone Tree.

The NYT Book Review‘s “Behind the Best Sellers” columnist Gregory Cowles interviews Iles asking how it feels to complete this over 2,300 page long series about “race, murder and a fraught father-son relationship spanning half a century in the Deep South.” He replies,

“… when I started writing the trilogy, people were talking about America becoming a ‘postracial’ society, and I worried that my epic exploration of the secret realities of race had begun too late. Today, no one on earth would argue that America is postracial. Race is the wound in America’s side, and we still have far to go to heal it. ”

USA Today calls the book “searing” and quotes the Booklist review which says “This trilogy is destined to become a classic of literary crime fiction.”

Meyers and Saunders, Redux

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

On Monday, Seth Meyers hosted George Saunders on Late Night, a return of sorts.

As a result, Saunders’ novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT; Overdrive Sample), having already been a #1 on the NYT best seller, is moving up Amazon’s sales rankings this morning.

The two-part interview is a remarkable contrast to usual late-night celebrity fare.

Meyers introduces the second part of the interview with a phrase that may never have been uttered by a late night network host before, “the common architecture between writer and reader.”

Meyers has had experience with the author. He interviewed Saunders in February when he served as  the substitute host on the Charlie Rose Show.