Columbine, Arias Books Debut in Nonfiction

Two books on the Hardcover Nonfiction list revisit crimes that, for very different reasons, have received tremendous attention and remain of particular national interest. Debuting at #2 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list, and #10 overall, A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold, mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold, chronicles the author’s attempt to grapple with her grief and shame over her son’s part in the 1999 massacre. All author profits, according to her publisher, will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.

In Conviction, which is at #6 in Hardcover Nonfiction, Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez recounts the five-year trial of Jodi Arias, who is serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander, her ex-boyfriend, in Mesa, Ariz.; after delivery of the guilty verdict on May 8, 2013, the AP said of the proceedings, “For its fans, the Arias trial became a live daytime soap opera.”

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

Sitting Pretty

Stars: they’re just like us! Maybe not, but the publishing industry is doing a brisk business in celebrity lifestyle books that tell normal folk how to get the kind of Hollywood glow that comes not from skilled photo retouching, but from eating right, exercising, and other healthy choices. The latest is Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson, which debuts at #4 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list and which, according to our starred review, presents “diverse ideas and numerous practical methods in an attractive format.” Here’s a look at first-week print-unit sales for Hudson’s book and a few of its predecessors.

Pretty Happy (2016) by Kate Hudson 12,709
It’s All Good (2013) by Gwyneth Paltrow 15,283
The Body Book (2014) by Cameron Diaz 11,228
Timeless Beauty (2015) by Christie Brinkley 8,259
Strong Looks Better Naked (2015) by Khloé Kardashian 6,949

Psyched Up

The Widow by British journalist and first-time novelist Fiona Barton debuts at #11 on our Hardcover Fiction list with 4,036 print units sold and plenty of buzz—the book has been optioned for TV in the U.K. by the team behind Wolf Hall and is being mentioned in the same breath as Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. It’s one of several novels of psychological suspense pubbing in the next few months; we’ll explore the trend in our mysteries and thrillers feature on March 28.

New & Notable


William Shatner, with David Fisher

#9 Hardcover Nonfiction

The actor and his coauthor, who also collaborated on Shatner’s 2008 autobiography, Up till Now, recount the erstwhile Captain Kirk’s complex, sometimes-fraught, decades-long friendship with his Star Trek costar Leonard Nimoy. PW’s review applauds “Fisher’s engaging prose and Shatner’s shrewd reflections and good humor.”

The Industries of the Future

Alec Ross

#17 Hardcover Nonfiction

Ross, who was a senior advisor for innovation to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, examines global trends in robotics, cybersecurity, big data, and other fields he says will have the greatest impact on world economies in the next 10 years.


Brandon Sanderson

#2 Children’s Frontlist Fiction

The final book in the Reckoners, Sanderson’s YA postapocalyptic trilogy in which a blast of radiation has given a small group of people superhuman powers, had the best debut week in the series. It beat out book #2, Firefight (2015), by more than 3K print units.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Ten Speed 23,351
2 Me Before You Jojo Moyes Penguin 21,602
3 When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi Random House 21,324
4 The Stranger Harlan Coben Dutton 20,600
5 Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss Random House 15,426
6 Dr. Seuss’s ABC Dr. Seuss Random House 15,377
7 Old School (Wimpy Kid #10) Jeff Kinney Abrams/Amulet 14,539
8 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss Random House 13,886
9 Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book Scholastic 13,801
10 A Mother’s Reckoning Sue Klebold Crown 13,523

All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.