Branching Out

With her tremendous catalogue of hit records, singer-songwriter Carly Simon is pop music royalty. She’s also publishing royalty—the Simon in Simon & Schuster is Richard L. Simon, the company’s cofounder and Carly’s father. Her memoir, published not by S&S but by Macmillan’s Flatiron Books, details her troubled relationship with her father as well as with various other men, confirming, for example, longtime speculation that part of her song “You’re So Vain” refers to Warren Beatty. The book takes its name from her album Boys in the Trees, released in 1978, and a new disc, Songs from the Trees, is billed as “a musical memoir collection” and a companion to her autobiography. As she explains on her website, “Most of these songs are precursors to what eventually became the book.” At #13 in hardcover nonfiction, Boys in the Trees debuts with 9,563 print units sold.

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

New & Notable

Cross Justice
James Patterson
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #2 overall
53.9K print units

The latest Alex Cross outing joins two other books about the police detective and psychologist currently on our lists—Merry Christmas, Alex Cross in trade paper, and Hope to Die in mass market.

Thing Explainer
Randall Monroe
#2 Hardcover Nonfiction, #10 overall
34K print units

The author of 2014’s What If? returns with a book that describes, per the subtitle, “complicated stuff in simple words”—everything from tectonic plates and the solar system to microwave ovens.

Beth Moore
#23 Hardcover Nonfiction
5,817 print units

The newest title by the founder of Living Proof Ministries pubbed November 1, but had its best sales this week, charting for the first time.

Back in Black

As the holiday buying season kicks off, it’s not surprising that the biggest-selling books this week got a Black Friday boost. Eight of the 10 top sellers did better this week over last, with three titles getting percentage bumps in the triple digits. Based on these numbers, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Title: Elf on the Shelf (boy doll)

Author: Carol V. Aebersold

Print units: 49.7K

Increase Over Previous Week: 231%

Title: Elf on the Shelf (girl doll)

Author: Carol V. Aebersold

Print units: 36K

Increase Over Previous Week: 241%

Title: Jesus Calling

Author: Sarah Young

Print units: 34K

Increase Over Previous Week: 411%

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Old School (Wimpy Kid #10) Jeff Kinney Abrams/Amulet 196,834
2 Cross Justice James Patterson Little, Brown 53,910
3 Elf on the Shelf (boy doll) Carol V. Aebersold CCA&B 49,724
4 Lost Ocean Johanna Basford Penguin 39,930
5 Tricky Twenty-Two Janet Evanovich Bantam 38,225
6 Killing Reagan O’Reilly/Dugard Holt 37,811
7 Elf on the Shelf (girl doll) Carol V. Aebersold CCA&B 36,323
8 The Guilty David Baldacci Grand Central 34,511
9 Jesus Calling Sarah Young Thomas Nelson 34,353
10 Thing Explainer Randall Munroe HMH 34,048

All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.