Putnam’s Super Seven: The publisher Observes a Milestone
Today’s hardcover lists include an impressive seven titles, six fiction and one nonfiction, all from Putnam and its imprints—a feat, notes publicity director Alexis Welby, “that we haven’t achieved in more than 10 years, since March 2003.” Of the fiction entries, two venerable authors are in their second weeks on the lists—J.D. Robb’s Thankless in Death moves from #28 to #2 place on our Hardcover Fiction list, with year-to-date sales of 32,150, while Sue Grafton’s W Is for Wasted (from the Marian Wood imprint) moves from last week’s #1 to #3 in fiction (sales year-to-date: 85,500). Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison’s latest, The Final Cut (see elsewhere on this spread for more on this book) debuts in sixth place on our Hardcover Fiction list, while Clive Cussler’s The Mayan Secrets lands at #9 in its third week. Robert B. Parker’s Damned If You Do by Michael Brandman takes the 15th spot and, from Amy Einhorn’s imprint, Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret wraps up the publisher’s six-pack of fiction bestsellers. On our Hardcover Nonfiction chart, A. Scott Berg’s Wilson moves to #13 from last week’s seventh place.
In addition to the publisher’s coup on the lists, Putnam this year has been celebrating its 175th anniversary. Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a Proclamation from the City of New York declaring May 28 G.P. Putnam’s Sons Day. —Dick Donahue
The Last of the Gallagher Girls Hits the List
Since Ally Carter made her YA debut with Hyperion in 2006, she has become the queen of the “clean” teen series, writing books without much in the way of sexual content or strong language. In addition to her Gallagher Girls series, about a group of girls attending an elite school for training spies, she has written three installments of the Heist Society, starring a girl from a family of thieves who gets embroiled in her own high-risk jobs. The two series combined have sold more than two million copies, and both have been optioned for film. On Sept. 17, the sixth and final Gallagher Girls installment, United We Spy, arrived on bookshelves, and it lands at #3 on our Children’s Picture Fiction list. Carter bid goodbye to the Gallagher Girls with a multicity tour in late September, which wrapped up, appropriately, at Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum. Finishing the series has been “bittersweet,” the author told PW. “On the one hand, I’m very excited to finish the series, very excited to see my characters ride off into the sunset. On the other hand, I am definitely going to miss that world.” —Kate Pavao
Linda Ronstadt Narrates Her Rise to Fame
What adjectives can possibly do justice to Linda Ronstadt’s voice? Lustrous? Velvety? Yearning? Luminous? It’s a voice I’ve held dear for many years, and if there were a multimedia component to these pages, I’d attach my karaoke rendition of “Different Drum,” as well as a gushy fan letter. Sadly, as reported in the AARP Magazine online in late August, Ronstadt, who retired from performing in 2009 and lives in San Francisco with her family, can no longer sing because of Parkinson’s disease. Given her current health struggles, Ronstadt’s fans have yet more reason to celebrate the publication of Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, which debuts at #11 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list. Here, Ronstadt—winner of 12 Grammy Awards, the first female artist in pop music history to release four consecutive platinum albums, and once called the “Queen of Rock” by Time magazine—shares stories from her childhood growing up in a musical Anglo-Mexican family in Tucson, Ariz., her move to Los Angeles at age 19, and her path to stardom in the male-dominated folk-rock and country-rock scene of the 1960s and ’70s—with cameos by Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Neil Young, and many others. Best known for her double-platinum album Heart Like a Wheel, Ronstadt’s eclectic oeuvre includes the American songbook, opera, and Mexican folk songs. PW’s review noted that in reading this book “one sees why its author, a perpetual student of her craft, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College of Music.” Ronstadt herself writes: “At the time, struggling with so many different kinds of music seemed like a complicated fantasy, but from the vantage point of my sixty-seven years, I see it was only a simple dream.” Her publicity campaign kicked off with a profile in the New York Times, followed by interviews with ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NPR’s Fresh Air. Ronstadt is currently on an eight-city book tour, which began in New York and will finish in Arizona. Though there won’t be another album, fans can savor the fact that their favorite “girl singer” has become an author.
Ducks in a Row
It’s a family affair and a publisher’s dream: three bestsellers written by members of the same family, those hirsute Robertsons of Duck Dynasty fame, and all published by Howard. All three titles are in the top 10 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list: The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson is #10; Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson is #4; and Si-Cology by Si Robertson, uncle-in-chief, is top duck at #1. Publisher Jonathan Merkh, an industry veteran, thinks it may be the first time three family members have simultaneous bestsellers. In-print numbers for those titles are whopping—more than a million each—and no surprise, there’s more to come. Howard will ship 400,000 copies of Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen in October— squirrel for Thanksgiving, anyone? And next year, for fans of the clan who are also majoring in humanities: Phil-osophy by Phil Robertson.
—Marcia Z. Nelson
Want to Win a Crown Jewel?
In Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison’s The Final Cut (#6 in Hardcover Fiction), Scotland Yard’s Det. Chief Insp. Nicholas Drummond boards the first flight to New York City when he learns that his colleague, Insp. Elaine York, the “minder” of the Crown jewels for the Jewel of the Lion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been shot dead, her body dumped on the bank of the East River. Meanwhile, the cunning international thief known as the Fox steals the centerpiece of the exhibit, the infamous Koh-i-Noor diamond, from the Queen Mother’s crown. FBI special agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, from Coulter’s domestic thriller series (Bombshell, etc.), join Drummond in his search for the Fox, who will stop at nothing to deliver the Koh-i-Noor to the man who believes in its deadly prophecy. Nicholas Drummond and his partner, FBI special agent Mike Caine, lay it on the line to retrieve the Koh-i-Noor and to live to tell about it.
On the marketing side, Coulter and Ellison have partnered with Adler’s of New Orleans to offer fans and readers the chance to win a 14k white gold and diamond Halo pendant on a 16-in., 14k white gold chain, inspired by the Koh-i-Noor. The sweepstakes is open until Oct. 1, and you can enter to win at www.penguin.com/finalcutsweepstakes. —Peter Cannon