Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Present from Random House Inc.--The Books Keep Coming. Plus Hardcover Bestsellers for This Past Week.

This blog post almost turned into a meditation on industry practices in the world of tiny independents among several big players, but I decided that these bestsellers are meaty enough to save that rant for another day. But I will say that The Art of Fielding would have been our #1 fiction title and Steve Jobs are #1 nonfiction title if we hadn't run out of copies the last week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James
2. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
3. 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
4. The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
5. 11-22-63, by Stephen King
6. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
7. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
8. The Prague Cemetery, by Umberto Eco
9. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
10. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

Interestingly, our sales are almost triple of James's last at this location when it was a Schwartz, despite having total sales only a bit more than this location had at the time. Similarly, our sales of the new Erik Larson are more than ten times what they were at the Downer Schwartz for Thunderstruck. Are these much bigger titles or is it the slightly different profile for the store? I'd say it's a bit of both (more the latter), but lest you make some sort of generalization, remember when I was talking about how V is for Vengeance outsold U is for Undertow at Boswell? Well, both sales trail T is for Trespass at the Downer Schwartz.

Note to Stephen King--though small potatoes, I'm proud of just passing the 50-copy mark for 11-22-63. But more than that, we're still working on Skippy Dies, one of your favorite things of the year in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. Just crossing the 30 mark for hardcover and paperback, and we promise to continue working on it.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
2. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
3. Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
4. A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor
5. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
6. Arguably, by Christopher Hitchens
7. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by Chris Matthews
8. Catherine the Great, by Robert K. Massie
9. Then Again, by Diane Keaton
10. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

History, bio, history, bio. Jason's Lake Effect pick, The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, was #14 for the week. I guess you have to get to Goodnight Ipad to find a humor title, and I guess that's another book we could have put in fiction. Our bestselling cookbook is Cook's Illustrated Cookbook; it never occurred to me to consult with Jason that there was a hole in the basic cookbook slot this fall. I would say that after Diane Keaton, our bestselling celeb memoir is Bill Maher's The New New Rules. Both it and Goodnight Ipad are from David Rosenthal's Blue Rider Press.

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