Actually, it's a tale of two first novels and how they set a few records in 2002. Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones has had the kind of success that even veteran authors dream about. Published in June with a first printing of 35,000 copies, by the end of the year it had more than two million. And in a year where 24 books had stays in the #1 slot, Sebold enjoyed 11 weeks in the lead, the best record for 2002; in second place, with four weeks at #1 each, were Grisham's The Summons and Jean Auel's long-awaited sequel to her bestselling Children of the Earth series, Shelters of Stone. Another first novel, The Nanny Diaries, was on PW's bestseller list for 32 weeks, making it the year's longest-running bestseller; in second place was The Lovely Bones, with 25 weeks; in third place was The Summons, with 21 weeks.
Volume 249 Issue 51 12/23/2002