‘Doctor Sleep’ is King
Stephen King hits #1 on our Hardcover Fiction list with Doctor Sleep, his 51st novel and the sequel to his third (and perhaps most famous) novel, The Shining. Two years ago, King’s 11/22/63 debuted with 84,000 copies sold in its first week—a number significantly smaller than Doctor Sleep’s 134,000-copy debut this week. A new trade paper edition of The Shining, first published in 1977, is also seeing a bump: it’s sold 8,000 copies since Anchor released it in late August. —Gabe Habash
Check out this quartet—Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, Getting to Happy—notable titles from the outspoken Terry McMillan, who’s touched myriad readers with her homespun wisdom and poignant tales of families and friendships. In her eighth novel, Who Asked You?, McMillan once again gives exuberant voice to characters who live in a racially diverse L.A. hood. Marking its second week on our Hardcover Fiction list, the author’s latest has sold 10,803 copies to date. She launched the book in New York City with a Sept.17 reading at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square, followed by a stint at BookCourt in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill. At the latter event, McMillan delighted her audience by sharing stories from her time living in that neighborhood and taking her son to read in the store in between errands.
Terry’s tour stops have included D.C.’s National Book Festival, Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company, and Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. Still to come: Houston’s Brazos Bookstore and the Cadillac Palace Theatre for Chicago’s Ideas Week. Media coverage: NPR’s Weekend Edition, PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show, AARP’s Prime Time Radio, and Sirius XM’s Pia Lindstrom Presents.—Dick Donahue
Sandra Brown’s Deadline, which debuts at #6 on our Hardcover Fiction list, focuses on well-respected reporter Dawson Scott, who’s just returned from covering the war zones in Afghanistan. One fateful day, Dawson gets a call from a source within the FBI asking him to cover a new development in an unresolved case that began 40 years ago: the disappearance and presumed murder of former Marine Jeremy Wesson, the biological son of two terrorists on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. This could be the biggest story of his career, and Dawson is personally motivated to uncover the truth.
Brown has more than 80 million copies of her books in print worldwide and her work has been translated into 34 languages. Her last two hardcover releases both debuted in the top five on the New York Times bestsellers lists, with Lethal netting over 883,000 units across formats and staying on the New York Times bestseller lists for 28 weeks. Low Pressure (published in September of last year) has already sold nearly 443,000 copies across formats, and the mass market edition is still to come.
In 2008, Brown was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writers Association. In 2011, she went on a weeklong USO tour of Afghanistan, meeting with service members on numerous bases. This year Grand Central Publishing started releasing her backlist titles for the first time in e-book format. Since February, the company has released eight titles and sold 445,000 e-books across that list.
Can’t Wait for Christmas?
October feels a little early for sleigh bells and holly, but this month a whole raft of Christmas-themed romance novels will be hitting the shelves to whet readers’ appetites for kisses under the mistletoe. (Reviews of over 20 Christmas romance reviews appeared in a special roundup in the Sept. 2 issue of PW.) Heading the pack is Sherryl Woods’s A Seaside Christmas, which ties in to her Chesapeake Shores series and sold 5,995 copies to land at #13 on our Hardcover Fiction list this week. Susan Mallery is just behind with Christmas on 4th Street, #14, with 5,992 copies sold. Perhaps readers of contemporary smalltown romances are picking them up together. Fans of westerns will be more interested in Linda Lael Miller’s A Proposal for Christmas, which sold 3,311 copies and is at #21 on our Hardcover Fiction list, and Janet Dailey’s Merry Christmas, Cowboy, #13 on the Adult Mass Market list, with 9,914 copies sold. Consider this your annual reminder that hardcovers may look handsome in gift wrap, but you can’t beat mass markets for stocking stuffers.—Rose Fox
For Lahiri, Fiction Four
Born in London and raised in Rhode Island, Lahiri made a smashing literary debut with her internationally bestselling 1999 collection, Interpreter of Maladies, which won the Pulitzer and the PEN/Hemingway Award. In her New York Times review, Michiko Kakutani wrote, “Ms. Lahiri chronicles her characters’ lives with both objectivity and compassion while charting the emotional temperature of their lives with tactile precision. She is a writer of uncommon elegance and poise, and with Interpreter of Maladies, she has made a precocious debut.”
The Lowland lands at #4 on our Hardcover Fiction list, with sales to date of 18,796 copies. The book has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and longlisted for the NBA. The author’s 10-city tour kicked off Sept. 30 with a Philadelphia Free Library appearance; other events have included B&N’s Union Square location in New York; D.C.’s Politics & Prose; the Princeton Public Library; Greenlight Bookstore’s “Brooklyn Voices” event at St. Joseph’s College; and more. After three trips to press, Knopf reports 150,000 copies in print.—Dick Donahue
The Wonder of Dawkins
Controversy-courting evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins cracks our Hardcover Nonfiction list this week with his memoir, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, which lands at #19. Dawkins launched the book on Sept. 23 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater and followed with a barrage of events. He appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Diane Rehm, and the Michael Medved Show; sold out his event at 92nd Street Y; and continued his N.Y.C. tour with appearances at N.Y.U.’s Skirball Center, the Hudson Union Society, and the New York City Atheists Society. He then headed to D.C. for appearances at George Washington University and the National Press Club. Don’t expect Dawkins to take much of a break now, however. He has plans to follow up An Appetite for Wonder with a second volume that charts the massive changes in his life post–The Selfish Gene, the groundbreaking study he published at 35.
Fans of Brandon Sanderson who touch down at major airports in the coming weeks could be in for a treat. Delacorte released Sanderson’s YA fantasy Steelheart, book one of the Reckoners trilogy, on Sept. 24, and the author has teamed up with the publisher to orchestrate the Steelheart promotion. At every stop on his current 15-city, 26-day author tour, Sanderson is visiting an airport bookstore to sign books and slip into some copies a lenticular promotional postcard. The author then tweets his followers clues to where the cards can be found. The lenticulars include a URL and a code that unlocks a special area of Sanderson’s Web site, where fans will find a chapter of Words of Radiance, book two of the Stormlight Archive, which pubs next March. Steelheart, which had a 350,000-copy first printing, debuts at #2 on our Children’s Frontlist Fiction list.