Archive for the ‘Bestsellers’ Category
At #2 on the 2/15/15 NYT Nonfiction Hardcover list is a book that many have had trouble getting their hands on, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, (South Dakota State Historical Society Press). The book, which had an initial print run of just 15.000 copies, was sold out before Christmas. A second printing of 15,000 was released the week represented by the list and it is now out of stock on Amazon and wholesaler sites (some indies, like Powell’s have copies available). As NPR reported last week, a third printing, of 45,000 copies is in the works. If you haven’t been tracking this title, check EarlyWord‘s earlier coverage from August, December and January.
Other notable new additions to the list:
#6 The Reaper, Nicholas Irving with Gary Brozek, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s) — with a cover that bears striking similarities to American Sniper, (Harper) as well as a similar subtitle, (author Irving is just “One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers” as opposed to Sniper‘s Kyle, who gets a higher billing as, “the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History“). Unsurprisingly, given the success of Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of Sniper, rights were acquired to adapt The Reaper as a 5-part TV series by the Weinstein Co. No news yet on which network will air the series, but production is expected to begin this summer. We’re not seeing significant holds in libraries at this point.
#8 Ghettoside, Jill Leovy, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; OverDrive Sample) — as we wrote earlier, the author has been in the media, with appearances on The Daily Show and NPR’s Weekend Edition, The book has been reviewed widely, including a cover review in the NYT Book Review. Holds are heavy in several libraries.
Attention to Paula Hawkins and her #1 bestseller The Girl on the Train (Penguin/Riverhead; OverDrive Sample) continues, indicating the novel’s popularity won’t peak soon. The New York Times devoted some of its Friday book coverage to the title again, publishing a profile of Hawkins and likening her to “a new generation of female suspense novelists — writers like Megan Abbott, Tana French, Harriet Lane and Gillian Flynn — who are redefining contemporary crime fiction with character-driven narratives that defy genre conventions. Their novels dig into social issues, feature complex women who aren’t purely victims or vixens, and create suspense with subtle psychological developments and shifts in relationships instead of procedural plot points and car chases.”
The Washington Post agrees, pairing GOTT with Harriet Lane’s Her (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample, Jan. 6) and pointing out that both feature “a troubled Englishwoman who takes an almost morbid interest in another person or persons. At first merely voyeurs, the two women soon become meddlers.” The Post reviewer, Dennis Drabelle, finds Her the better novel, deeming it “brilliant” while saying GOTT makes “the reader feel a bit manipulated.”
Another book published nearly at the same time as GOTT, Tim Johnston’s Descent, (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample, 12/10/14), is getting similar review attention as part of the newest Gone Girl crowd. As we reported earlier, both The Washington Post and NPR give it high praise. NPR went so far as to say that it makes Gone Girl “seem gimmicky and forced.”
Readers’ advisors looking for even more books to pair with GOTT might think back to the 2011 debut literary thriller, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson (HarperCollins; OverDrive Sample) – another twisty and riveting novel about a woman with memory issues (the author’s next book, Second Life is coming in May from Harper). GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower predicts the next GOTT is the just-released The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, (HarperCollins/Morrow), one of our Nine Titles to Know for the week.
Meanwhile, GOTT continues to gather steam on its own. The Los Angeles Review of Books, known for its literary bent, jumps on board combining an essay on artistic theory with a deep appreciation of the novel. Reviewer Kim Kankiewicz compares the book to Hitchcock, as many reviewers do, saying “nothing replicated my response to Rear Window until I read Paula Hawkins’ debut novel, The Girl on the Train … Hawkins writes as an astute reader of her own genre. She anticipates us as we anticipate her. She confirms our suspicions gradually, and our pleasure in the ending is heightened by what we saw coming.”
Fans of Hawkins can look forward to her next outing. The New York Times profile reports that Hawkins “has another book under contract, a Gothic-tinged psychological thriller about sisters that she says is now a month overdue. Like The Girl on the Train, it’s not a conventional crime story.”
After debuting at #1 on the Combined NYT Fiction list last week, but at #2 on the Hardcover list, The Girl on the Train is now solidly #1 on both lists, with All the Light We Cannot See right behind it at #2.
In Nonfiction Alexandra Fuller’s third memoir, Leaving Before the Rains Come, (Penguin Press, Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #10 after a flurry of advance attention. Since then, it is a People magazine pick in the 2/9 issue. The Washington Post reviewed it this week, saying, “Fuller has written a divorce memoir for people who may not like divorce memoirs … The book is a deeply felt, beautifully written account of the emotional challenges of forging any kind of relationship — between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, parent and child. It also is a rich portrayal of life in Africa and a raw chronicle about the double-edged sword of independence.”
Behind it at #11 is Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad by histoian Eric Foner, (Norton). It is prominently covered in this Sunday’s NYT Book Review, which applauds Froner for doing “a superb job of focusing the story of the Underground Railroad on a human level.” Earlier, the daily NYT published a fascinating story about Foner’s discovery of a document (via his dog walker) that challenges recent skepticism among historians that the railroad was more myth than reality. Note that Stevie Wonder is set to produce an adaptation of the book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad, by Betty DeRamus (S&S/Atria, 2005) as a series for NBC, to be titled Freedom Run. Meanwhile, cable channel WGN America is working on its own 8-hour series, Underground.
Arriving at #14 Guantánamo Diary (Hachette/Little, Brown) by Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Hachette/Little, Brown), who writes about the torture he’s endured in the prison where he’s been held since 9/11. It is the cover review in this Sunday’s New York Time Book Review.
Fulfilling rumors from yesterday, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample), is an instant #1 NYT best seller, debuting at that spot during its first week on sale. In a slight adjustment to the rumor, it arrives at #1 on the Combined Fiction list, but not on the Hardcover Fiction list. On that list, the number one spot is still held by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), on the list after 37 weeks, representing another unusual trajectory, the slow and steady rise.
Is The Girl on the Train actually a debut, as is widely claimed? Not according to Gregory Cowles in the NYT‘s “Inside the List” column, it can only be counted as a debut thriller, since, as Hawkins herself says in an NPR interview, she previously published romantic fiction under a pseudonym (The Wall Street Journal identifies her alias as Amy Silver; WorldCat lists all three of Silver’s titles as only published in the U.K. and only held in U.K. libraries).
Still, a book by an author with no identifiable track record arriving at #1 during it’s first week on sale is a major feat (it wasn’t until “debut” author Robert Galbraith was revealed as actually being the famous writer of a certain series of childrens book that The Cuckoo’s Calling hit best seller lists, several months after publication).
As we noted earlier, to our knowledge, there’s been only one debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale, Elizabeth Kostova’s first book, The Historian, (Hachette/Little, Brown). It debuted on the hardcover list in 2005, back before there was an ebook list, so technically, that record still holds.
If you look at other lists, the story is different. On the PW/BookScan list, The Girl on the Train is #2, after Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (RH/Bantam) and All the Light We Cannot See is at #3.
The other debut novel on the new hardcover fiction list is The First Bad Man by Miranda July, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio), arriving at #6, after a barrage of media attention, not all of it positive. The best seller list annotation makes it sound like Fifty Shades of Grey, “A houseguest forces a passive woman into a bizarre but liberating sexual relationship.” Reviewing it, the NYT’s Michiko Kakutani said, “The novel starts off tentatively, veers into derivative and willfully sensational theater-of-the-absurd drama — part Pinter, part Genet — and then mutates, miraculously, into an immensely moving portrait of motherhood and what it means to take care of a child.” A few libraries are showing heavy holds.
On the Combined Nonfiction list, Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius (Simon & Schuster, 2011; OverDrive Sample) debuts at #5, long after its original publication, due to attention from the new NPR show, Invisibilia, (see our earlier story). Several libraries have ordered additional copies (it is now available in trade paperback) because of heavy holds.
Debuting on the Combined Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous list at #8, is a title that some libraries have not yet ordered, Picture Your Prosperity, by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, (Penguin/Portfolio; Penguin Audio, 1/13/15). It’s been covered in the business press (the NYT Business section, and in Forbes).
We’re hearing rumors that the debut rapidly racking up holds in libraries, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead; Thorndike; BOT Audio Clip; OverDrive Sample), will hit the tomorrow’s NYT best seller list at #1.
UPDATE: EarlyWord just received confirmation from the publisher that it is indeed an instant best seller, debuting on the Feb. 1st list, to be released online tomorrow.
This makes it only the second debut in recent history to arrive at #1 in its first week on sale (the record was set in 2005 by Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian).
The book it is often compared to, Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s third novel, also made its debut on the list at #1 in June, 2012.
Author Paul Hawkins is one of the speakers at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting, on the LibraryReads/AAP panel (sorry, that event is now completely booked). She will also sign in Penguin Booth #4823 on Jan. 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
The second title in Mark Zuckerberg’s new Facebook book club, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, (Penguin/Viking, 2011; trade pbk, 2012; Brilliance Audio OverDrive Sample), announced on Saturday, immediately moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, and is now at #307 from a lowly #7,514.
The selection may seem at odds with the times, but Zuckerberg insists, “Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.” He adds, “A few people I trust have told me this is the best book they’ve ever read.”
As to the length, it is 800 pages. Zuckerberg admits he will need a month to finish it, so he promises to pick a shorter book in two weeks so club members can read both at the same time.
One of those people is Bill Gates, who has called The Better Angels of Our Nature his “favorite book of the last decade” and “a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time.”
The rise in sales was not quite as great as for the first selection, Moisés Naím’s The End of Power, which climbed to #10 on Amazon’s rankings and also just debuted at #14 on the Jan. 25 New York Times combined nonfiction best seller list. Ironically, as The Washington Post reported, Facebook proved to not be a conducive platform for the book discussion.
The attention also generated holds in libraries. Given the brief two-week window for these selections, however, it will be a losing proposition for libraries to try to meet the demand. We can just hope Zuckerberg’s discovery that books can be “very intellectually fulfilling … in a deeper way than most media today” has resonance.
Debuting on the Jan. 25 NYT hardcover fiction best seller list at #6 is the second in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son, (RH/Del Rey; Recorded Books; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample), surpassing the first book, which spent three weeks on the extended list.
“After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heart wrenching!”
Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD
Entertainment Weekly calls it the “gripping follow-up to last year’s should-have-been-huge debut.”
It is the lead in this week’s NYT BR “Inside the List” column.
The Jan. 25 New York Times best seller lists are studded with new titles, but the real surprise is a book that has already been on the hardcover fiction list for 36 weeks. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner; Thorndike; S&S Audio), remarkable for its tenure on the list, but also for its gradual rise to number one.
In December, the New York Times examined the factors that went in to making this “unexpected breakout bestseller.” At that point, it had just climbed from #6 to #2. As S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy observed, “An awful lot of titles drop off the best-seller list after four months, and it’s a miracle if it lasts more than four months,” but even more surprising, this one, “not only kept going, but the longer it went, the bigger it got.”
Many libraries continue to show heavy holds (we issued a holds alert for it back in April last year). One large system expects interest to continue, having just entered a substantial reorder. The trade paperback is currently scheduled to release in June, but don’t count on that if the hardcover continues selling.
Next week, we’ll see if it continues at number one, or whether The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, (Penguin/Riverhead) takes that spot.
The film adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller Unbroken has served to keep that book on the NYT Best Seller List in hardcover for 189 weeks. In addition, the tie-in is #1 on the paperback list after 23 weeks and YA version is #8 on that list after 8 weeks.
Now a new title joins the pack, Zamperini’s own, which he finished just before his death at 97 last year. Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini, David Rensin, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the new hardcover nonfiction list at #9.
Reviewing it when it came out in November, USA Today warned that other than shedding “more light on the reality of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), which afflicted Zamperini,” it doesn’t go much beyond Hillenbrand’s book. It does, however, exude “the nothing-to-lose honesty of a nonagenarian whose to-hell-and-back history results in a spiritual self-satisfaction.”
Holds are light in most libraries.
Unbroken isn’t the only movie causing a rise in sales for related books.
It joins Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (RH/Bantam), at #5 after six weeks, returning to the lists after its original publication in 1988 as a result of the movie, The Theory of Everything, which is actually based on the memoir by Hawking’s wife Jane from 2007, now re-eeleased as a tie-in, Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything by Jane Hawking, (Alma Books, November 7, 2014). NOTE: Thanks to Kate Hull for the update on the tie-in.
Many were surprised that David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, (Random House, 9/2/14; Recorded Books) didn’t make the transition from the Booker longlist to the shortlist, but Mitchell can take solace in the fact that it debuts at #3 on the 9/21 NYT Hardcover Fiction best Seller list, the highest spot so far for any of the published longlist titles.
Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, is a fan. She alerted branch staff last week,
I love it when the customers are ahead of me! David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) has come roaring back with yet another spendidly written, mind-bending read. I thought The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet was brilliant, but this book is astounding, and the customers have snatched every last copy.
The heroine — if you can call her that — is Holly Sykes (Holly, as in GoLightly? Sykes as in Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist?) David Mitchell loves nothing more than to keep you wondering, and wonder you will. He’s also one of the most evocative writers I’ve ever read, literally painting pictures with words — it’s no wonder Hollywood is tempted to make films of his books. To say he enjoys playing with the timeline, and your reality, is an understatement, and of course, that’s his plan. It’s your job to relax and enjoy the ride.
You don’t really read Mitchell, so much as experience him. If you haven’t read Mitchell, this is the perfect novel with which to start.
You can read the first chapter via OverDrive.
We predicted it would be a best seller, but In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Outside magazine’s Hampton Sides, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio; RH Large Print) exceeded our expectations, debuting on the 8/24 NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list at #3. Library holds are increasing, of course, and several have ordered more copies.
The book, which has already received wide coverage, was reviewed in Sunday’s NYT Book Review, saying, “In the Kingdom of Ice” is a harrowing story well told, but it is more than just that. Sides illuminates Gilded Age society, offering droll anecdotes of Bennett’s [owner of the New York Herald, who financed the trip] escapades in New York, Newport and Europe.”
The audio sample, below, offers one of those droll anecdotes about the “exceedingly wealthy and flamboyant” Bennett. You can also read a sample, via OverDrive:
Debuting at #15 on the New York Times hardcover fiction list this week is a book we’ve had our eye on, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known, (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio). That position puts it just below another domestic thriller, The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty (Penguin/Putnam/Amy Einhorn) which has had a fairly long 16-week run on the list.
You Should Have Known arrived with strong advance buzz and 3.5 stars from People magazine. Janet Maslin in the New York Times last week heaps praise on the first part of the book, but complains that the latter “isn’t nearly as gripping.” The Los Angeles Times reviewer Wendy Smith says, “It’s almost impossible to put down Jean Hanff Korelitz’s riveting new novel for the first 200 pages as it dismantles the comfortable existence of a couples therapist over the course of a few nightmarish weeks” and agrees that the tension “dissipates in the second half,” but doesn’t regard that as a bad thing, simply the book developing a “quieter drama.”
Libraries that ordered it modestly are showing heavy holds, as high as 12:1.