It’s a big week for old favorites, especially among children’s authors. Twilight/Life and Death pairs the 10th anniversary edition of Stephenie Meyer’s vampiric blockbuster with a gender-flipped version, in which ingenue Bella becomes Beau and sparkly immortal Edward is now Edyth. With 66K print units sold, it’s #2 in children’s frontlist fiction, and #3 overall.
At #3 in children’s fiction and #5 overall, with 44K print units sold, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling features new color illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medalist Jim Kay, whom Rowling selected to do new art for all seven novels in the series.
And at #5 with 12K print units sold, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell grew out of the fan-fiction sections of 2013’s Fangirl, which imagine a Harry Potter–esque character falling for his Draco-like roommate, who is a vampire.
On the adult side, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin, #2 in hardcover fiction and #7 overall, sold 33K print units this week. The volume packages three previously published novellas set a century before the events of A Game of Thrones.
On the Right Track
Patti Smith reflects on her life and her art in the new M Train, the follow-up to her 2010 memoir Just Kids, which won that year’s National Book Award for nonfiction. Kids debuted with 6,685 print units sold and to date has topped 440K units in hardcover and paperback. M Train is building on that success, debuting at #6 in hardcover nonfiction with almost 16K sold. Another musical memoir, Sounds like Me by Sara Bareilles, lands at #19 with 6,484 print units sold. The books arrive on the heels of Chrissie Hynde’s controversial Reckless; for more of the season’s musician-authored books, go to publishersweekly.com/music1516.
A pair of books on the Kennedy clan debut on our hardcover nonfiction list this week. In A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Fried, Kennedy—a former Rhode Island congressman and the youngest child of Ted—recounts, in the words of the subtitle, his “personal journey through the past and future of mental illness and addiction.” It’s at #7 with almost 15K sold.
Rosemary by Kate Cifford Larson, at #15 with 8,279 print units sold, details the tragic life of the oldest daughter of Joe and Rose Kennedy, who suffered a failed lobotomy at age 23 and remained isolated from her family for much of her life.
A More Perfect Union Ben Carson #2 Hardcover Nonfiction; #6 overall 37.9K print units The 2016 presidential hopeful has put his campaign on hold for two weeks while on tour for his new book, which, according to the subtitle, explains “what we the people can do to reclaim our constitutional liberties.”
The Survivor Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills #1 Hardcover Fiction; #4 overall 49.8K print units Flynn died in 2013, before finishing the 14th of his Mitch Rapp political thrillers; Mills completed Flynn’s work and plans to write two more in the series.
The Courage to Act Ben S. Bernanke #13 Hardcover Nonfiction 9,357 print units The former chairman of the Federal Reserve—who started his 12-year tenure in 2006, shortly before the housing bubble burst—offers an insider’s perspective on the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.
[This article, written by Carolyn Juris, appeared in the 10/19/2015 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: This Week’s Bestsellers: October 19, 2015]