While the fall holiday season traditionally has been the ideal time to release new cookbooks, this year's selection has been stellar. Booksellers are reporting many bestselling cookbook titles, among them two that have made it onto the national charts: Hallelujah!: The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes (Random House) by Maya Angelou and Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Really Make at Home (Clarkson Potter) by Ina Garten. Other titles that have been on our list—The South Beach Diet Cookbook (Rodale) and Ruth Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin)—are still among the top 25 bestsellers, as is Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader from Viking. At Borders, five titles in HarperCollins's Beautiful Cookbook series are among the chain's top 50 hardcover bestsellers, and one Midwestern bookseller, Harry W. Schwartz in Milwaukee, Wis., reported five books by Emeril Lagasse among its top 15.
Both Garten and Angelou are marking their third week on PW's hardcover chart. Garten's first printing of 250,000 copies was not enough to feed her fans and Clarkson Potter went back to press three more times, bringing the total to 400,000 copies. Garten has been doing autographings in 10 cities in such venues as Williams-Sonoma and Costco, as well as bookstores. And—a first for one of her books—Potter is running a 30-second TV spot on the Food Network during Garten's holiday special (airing at the end of this month and again in December). Angelou's book has 180,000 copies after three printings. She wrote the cookbook at the request of Oprah (she appeared on the show and had a first serial in O). Still to come are features in Ebony and Essence.