Truss the Chicken Now
"I flush. Oh, I was just imagining your hands traveling up my thighs and your teeth nibbling my breast," says the narrator in the opening pages of Fifty Shades of Chicken, a Clarkson Potter cookbook parody of Fifty Shades of Grey.
The narrator is a hen, speaking to an apron-wearing chef, and the book lands at #20 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list. The author is not a hen, but does carry a pen name playing on the chicken theme—FL Fowler (Clarkson Potter will not reveal the author's real identity). Start guessing…
"The book came to us on an exclusive submission, and we jumped on it in a hot second late last summer," says Doris Cooper, v-p and editorial director of Clarkson Potter.
And with such recipes as Spread-Eagle Chicken and Flame-Licked Chick, the book has already garnered press in People and Huffington Post and on the Today show and Anderson Live. —Mark Rotella
Movie Gum Drops from McEwan
Sweet Tooth, the new novel by Ian McEwan, hits our Hardcover Fiction list this week at #8, selling over 14,000 copies (according to outlets tracked by Nielsen BookScan). It helps when they make a movie of one of your books. Atonement, made by Joe Wright (whose Anna Karenina just opened) and nominated for seven Academy Awards, remains by far McEwan's biggest seller, racking up close to two million in print sales, according to BookScan. Saturday, with over 400,000 copies sold, is a distant second. PW didn't have much love for Sweet Tooth—"McEwan devotees may hope that in his next novel he returns to characterizations deeper than the paper they're printed on." Neither did Michiko Kakutani: she called it "clever but annoying," this from a critic who has had high praise for McEwan in the past.. So McEwan must have been thrilled when Working Title Films, the production company behind the movie adaptation of Atonement, acquired the rights to this screen-ready novel, which features an intriguing role for a woman of about, oh, Keira Knightley's age.—Mike Harvkey
It's all about lucky number seven for Jeff Kinney's new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, The Third Wheel. It's the seventh book in the series; Kinney just completed a seven-city, seven-day book tour through the Midwest; and the book arrived with a massive first printing of more than 6.5 million copies (not quite seven, but close enough). But when it comes to the bestseller list, all those sevens add up to #1. The Third Wheel sold more than 357,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen BookScan.
In the new book, Greg Heffley works hard (especially for him) to secure a date for his school's Valentine's Day dance, among other misadventures. Kinney's book tour began on The Third Wheel's release date, November 13, and took him from Kansas City, Mo., to Grand Rapids, Mich., with stops in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit. Kinney's larger events featured a Wimpy Kid Rolling Party, including a deejay and dance floor, and Kinney also appeared at smaller "meet and greet" events with dozens of other area booksellers. Last Wednesday, Kinney dropped by the Today show, and on Thanksgiving Day, the Wimpy Kid balloon made its third annual appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Bestseller lists aren't the only place where Kinney's self-centered hero is holding his own. Three films based on the books have been released to date, most recently Dog Days, which landed in theaters back in August. Together, the three films have grossed more than $224 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. With each new book and film, Kinney's creation seems less like a wimp and more like a juggernaut.—John A. Sellers