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.