In Plain Sight: Greenwald Makes the Rounds with His Bestselling Book on Snowden
Despite its lack of assurances to his lawyers over a potential arrest, the U.S. government thankfully didn’t take Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Glenn Greenwald into custody upon his recent return to U.S. territory alongside fellow journalist and prize-winner—and de facto exile—Laura Poitras. In practical terms, it meant the pair could accept their prizes in person, but it also meant that Greenwald could do the media rounds in support of No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Whether Greenwald needed to hit up the usual promotion spots may be beside the point, as he and Poitras and their (in)famous subjects have been in the news cycles for months now, but the book lands at #11 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list after selling more than 9,600 copies its first week. Certainly appearances all over NBC, FOX, and CNN—as well as radio features on NPR and BBC outlets and a slew of print and online publications—didn’t hurt Greenwald’s efforts to publicize his criticisms of the National Security Administration’s domestic spying programs, governmental crackdowns on whistle-blowers and journalists, and other federal efforts to invade spheres of privacy. Nevertheless, as apologists for the National Security State line up to take pot-shots at him, he continues to go about his work as an investigative journalist at First Look Media’s the Intercept, which he founded this year with Poitras and Jeremy Scahill.—Alex Crowley
Another Name for Craig Johnson: Bestseller
Craig Johnson’s 11th Walt Longmire mystery, Any Other Name, debuts this week at #9 on our Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list, and it’s safe to bet that it’s going to rise after the third season of A&E’s popular television series Longmire premieres on Monday, June 2. Not only is Johnson receiving major consumer media coverage, including interviews with the Christian Science Monitor and Sirius XM’s Pia Lindstrom Show, but he’s also in the midst of a 26-city, 30-event tour that started in Casper, Wyo., on May 6 and is circling the country before winding up in Jackson, Wyo., on June 27.
In Any Other Name, Longmire does a favor for his former boss, Lucian Connally, agreeing to investigate the mysterious suicide of one of Connally’s friends, a detective in the next county. The case becomes even murkier when Longmire discovers that three seemingly unrelated disappearances of local women are all connected to the detective. The search for answers leads beyond Wyoming’s desolate Powder River Country to the Black Hills of South Dakota before ricocheting back to where it all began: the Campbell County sheriff’s office. PW wrote in its review of Any Other Name, “Johnson’s hero only gets better—both at solving cases and hooking readers—with age.”
Even though Johnson—whose first novel, The Cold Dish, was published 10 years ago—considers Any Other Name his darkest novel yet, George Guidall, the performer who narrates the audiobook editions, doesn’t see it that way. Johnson wrote to PW in an email that Guidall recently told him it’s “got some of the funniest scenes” that Johnson has ever written—such as the scene in a café where the sheriff shoots up the coffee pot during a meeting with Longmire and Connally. Somewhat taken aback by Guidall’s response to Any Other Name, Johnson writes, “Just goes to show how much the writer knows about what they’re writing.” —Claire Kirch
The Truth Behind ‘Liars’
For YA fans, one of the biggest challenges of the spring has been trying to avoid spoilers for E. Lockhart’s new novel We Were Liars, which debuts at #14 on our Children’s Frontlist Fiction list. “When I was preparing to talk about the manuscript at our list lunch,” recalled Delacorte Press v-p and publisher Beverly Horowitz, “I realized the campaign had to be, ‘Trust me. I can’t really tell you what it’s about. There’s an extremely rich family, but if I say more, I’ll ruin it, so just read it. You will thank me later.’ ”
Liars is narrated by Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the eldest child of the three striking Sinclair sisters of Boston, all divorced, whose wealthy father owns a private island where the entire clan summers. Cady and her cousins Mirren and Johnny, along with Gat, the nephew of Aunt Carrie’s live-in boyfriend, are the titular liars: a tight-knit quartet who live for the summer months they spend together. Something happens to Cady during “summer fifteen,” as she calls it, an accident that brings on an unspecified brain injury and intense headaches, but like the shimmery cover art, the precise outlines are hazy. More than that, Horowitz insists, nobody needs to know.
For the author, fairy tales have been a lifelong preoccupation. “For a long time I wanted to write a contemporary story with a fairy-tale structure so I could unpack some of what I had spent so much time thinking about,” Lockhart told PW. The fairy-tale variant that undergirds Liars is “Cap o’ Rushes,” the tragic story of a wealthy father who rejects his youngest daughter because he misunderstands the way she expresses her love for him. Shakespeare liked this one, too; it’s the same tale thought to have inspired King Lear.
Lockhart spent her last two years of high school at the Lakeside School in Seattle, a private academy that counts Microsoft’s founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen among its alumni. She attended Lakeside and later Vassar College on scholarship. “A lot of what I write comes out of the experience of being a person with one foot in and one foot out of that world of American privilege,” she said. “I’m interested in the way that social institutions—those privileged worlds of boarding school or prep school—influence the people who come out of them.” —Sue Corbett
The Son, a standalone by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, best known for his Harry Hole crime series, debuts at #12 on our Hardcover Fiction list this week.
Sonny Lofthus, a strangely charismatic and complacent young man, has been in an Oslo prison for a dozen years. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe them leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit—or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption, including the prison staff, police, lawyers, and a desperate priest. As long as Sonny gets his dope, he’s happy to play the criminal and the prison’s in-house savior. But when he learns a stunning, long-hidden secret concerning his father, he executes a brilliant escape from prison—and from the person he’d let himself become—and begins hunting down those responsible for the crimes against him.
Nesbø is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novel Nemesis was a finalist for the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Mystery.
Nesbø’s American author tour consisted of an appearance at Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena on May 12.—Peter Cannon
Top 10 Overall
|Rank||Title||Author||Imprint||This Week Units|
|1||The Fault in Our Stars||John Green||Penguin/Speak||83,361|
|2||The Fault in Our Stars (movie tie-in)||John Green||Penguin/Speak||44,284|
|3||Inferno||Dan Brown||Anchor 37,168|
|4||Unlucky 13||Patterson/Paetro||Little, Brown||34,465|
|6||Gone Girl||Gillian Flynn||Broadway||28,559|
|7||Oh, the Places You’ll Go!||Dr. Seuss||Random House||28,155|
|10||Capital in the Twenty-First Century||Thomas Piketty||Harvard/Belknap||25,660|