Spinning a New Tale

The #1 book in the country is The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a mystery by Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz. It continues Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published Millennium series, which began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, first published in the U.S. in 2008. Lagercrantz, who in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly described himself as “a Larsson nerd,” reread and took notes on the first three Lisbeth Salander books in preparation for writing the fourth, but said he did not consult any outlines that Larsson is rumored to have left behind. Here’s how first-week sales for Lagercrantz’s book stack up against those for Larsson’s trilogy.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008)
14.6K print units

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)
43K print units

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2010)
248K print units

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2015)
53K print units

(See all of this week's bestselling books.)

Notable Debuts

by Jonathan Franzen
#3 Hardcover Fiction, #5 overall
26K print units

Franzen told NPR’s Terri Gross that in this novel, “in a somewhat obsessive way, I gave every main character in the book some kind of secret.”

by Dick and Liz Cheney
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction
14K print units

The former vice president and his older daughter, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, assess U.S. foreign policy from World War II to the Obama administration.

Queen of Shadows
by Sarah J. Maas
#1 Children’s Frontlist Fiction
18K print units

This is the fourth novel in Maas’s Throne of Glass YA fantasy series; the first three books have sold a combined 219K in hardcover and trade paper.

Journey to the Bestseller Lists

The countdown begins: on September 3, otherwise known as Force Friday, Lucasfilm released merchandise under the “Journey to The Force Awakens” banner, the lead-up to the release of the new Star Wars movie on December 18. The program includes 20 new books set between the events of Return of the Jedi and the forthcoming film; Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, the first adult novel, debuts at #4 in hardcover fiction this week, and #6 overall, with 26K print units sold. Four Star Wars titles also debuted in children’s frontlist fiction, with print-unit sales totaling another 13K.

Taking the Field

At #8 in hardcover nonfiction, Endzone by John U. Bacon details, per its subtitle, “the rise, fall, and return of University of Michigan football.” It sold 7,526 print units this week, and a trio of Nielsen’s designated market areas, all in Michigan, account for 42.5% of those sales: Detroit; Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek; and Flint, Saginaw, and Bay City.

Screen Gem

Holly Ricciardi opened Magpie, her Philadelphia pie shop, in 2012. This week, her Magpie book of recipes debuts at #9 on PW’s hardcover nonfiction list. It doesn’t go on sale officially until September 15, but a month ago, Ricciardi made an appearance on QVC’s In the Kitchen with David, and the book sold out of the quantity available to program viewers. Running Press says that books were released from the warehouse August 25; out of the 6,714 print units that BookScan registered as sold this week, 6,546 were within the mass market channel, which includes QVC.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 The Girl in the Spider’s Web David Lagercrantz Knopf 53,463
2 Gray Mountain John Grisham Dell 35,705
3 X Sue Grafton Putnam/Wood 27,482
4 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Ten Speed 26,564
5 Purity Jonathan Franzen FSG 26,356
6 Aftermath Chuck Wendig Del Rey/LucasBooks 26,257
7 Wildest Dreams Robyn Carr Mira 25,179
8 Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee Harper 24,840
9 The Escape David Baldacci Hachette/Vision 24,615
10 Grey E.L. James Vintage 22,919

This week’s figures reflect underreporting on the part of one of Nielsen BookScan’s wholesale club accounts.

All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.