Turn Off and Tune Out to Thrive, Huffington Says

When even an overachiever like Arianna Huffington— Cambridge University graduate, author of 14 books, founder of the Huffington Post news website, syndicated columnist —says that we should slow down and stop trying to lean in 24/7, it’s time we start paying attention. Evidently, many of us are already listening to her: Huffington’s latest book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, debuts at #2 on our list of Hardcover Nonfiction this week. There are 150,000 copies in print to date. In Thrive, Huffington argues that the relentless pursuit of money and professional success has eroded the quality of our personal relationships, our family lives, and, ironically, our careers. Huffington advises her readers to disconnect more from all the devices binding us to our work, live in the moment more, and to allow ourselves to fully experience the joy of life.

Huffington’s wake-up call came in 2007, she told Katie Couric on April 2. She collapsed one morning from exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone and sustaining a gash above her eye that required stitches. “When you’re lying in a pool of blood on the floor of your office, you’re not successful,” she told Couric, speculating that she would have had a heart attack by now if she hadn’t made some essential lifestyle changes. “We’re taking better care of our smartphones than we’re taking care of ourselves,” she pointed out, urging the audience to not just disconnect from their electronic devices at night, but to move them out of the bedroom. Seven or eight hours of sleep, she says, is essential to maintaining better productivity and creativity. Huffington is walking her talk: there’s a nap room with “nap pods” for employees at the company’s Greenwich Village headquarters.—Claire Kirch

The Thrill of Fantasy

Bestselling thriller author David Baldacci’s new fantasy series for children began with a journal that his wife gave him on Christmas Day 2008. “I immediately fled to my home office, opened to the first page, and wrote the name ‘Vega Jane,’ ” Baldacci told PW. “For me, ‘Vega’ has always been a cool name, since it represents a star. And ‘Jane’ is a typical British last name. I decided to write a story from a British perspective. And I decided it would be a fantasy.” Baldacci said he found delving into a fantasy world freeing. “As a thriller writer, I am earthbound, and I wanted to leave behind the real world and let my imagination run,” he said. “It was very liberating to not have to adhere to strict realism.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment has optioned film rights to The Finisher, currently #23 on our Children’s Fiction Frontlist list, and Baldacci is currently at work on a sequel. “I still love writing thrillers,” Baldacci said, “but fantasy is very new and fresh to me. In many ways, that journal was the best present I’ve ever received.” —Sally Lodge

Anne Perry Touring in the U.S. for Her Victorian Mystery

Anne Perry’s Death on Blackheath, her 29th Victorian mystery featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, debuts at #21 on our Hardcover Fiction list.

Pitt, the newly appointed commander of London’s powerful Special Branch, has the job of keeping Britain safe from spies and traitors. Yet he’s suddenly ordered to investigate two incidents that might have fallen to him when he was an ordinary policeman. Blood, hair, and shards of glass are discovered outside the home of naval weapons expert Dudley Kynaston, and Mrs. Kynaston’s beautiful lady’s maid vanishes in the middle of the night. When the mutilated body of an unidentified young woman is found near Kynaston’s home, Pitt realizes that this is no ordinary police investigation. Is Kynaston—one of Britain’s most valuable scientists—leading a double life, or is he being framed?

Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and the William Monk series. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as 11 holiday novels. She lives in Scotland.

The author just launched her U.S. tour in Houston with Murder by the Book, and will be touring into May. Highlights include the Philadelphia Book Festival, the Sacramento Bee Book Club, and an in-conversation event with George R.R. Martin at the Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe, N.Mex. She was profiled her in PW’s March 10 issue.—Peter Cannon

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint This Week Units
1 Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 96,803
2 Shadow Spell Nora Roberts Berkley 84,673
3 Insurgent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 81,599
4 Allegiant Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 63,723
5 The Fault in Our Stars John Green Dutton 45,127
6 Divergent (movie tie-in) Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 32,947
7 Daddy’s Gone A Hunting Mary Higgins Clark Pocket Books 32,263
8 NYPD Red 2 Patterson/Karp Little, Brown 30,681
9 The Hungry Girl Diet Lisa Lillien St. Martin’s Griffin 28,690
10 Divergent Series Complete Box Set Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 24,622