A Nation Divided

The top two books in the country overall are Crisis of Character, former Secret Service officer Gary J. Byrne’s account of his time in (Bill) Clinton’s White House, and Magic by Danielle Steel, which describes a year in the lives of impossibly glamorous, fictional high rollers. And while we can’t, in truth, predict election results based on book sales, it’s mildly diverting to speculate. Here’s our thoroughly unscientific look at which regions favor a Clinton takedown, and which opt for some glossy globe-trotting escapism.

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

Election Countdown

Comedian Michael Ian Black has published several books with Simon & Schuster, most of them illustrated titles for children. This week, his newest work, A Child’s First Book of Trump, illus. by Marc Rosenthal, debuts at #9 in Hardcover Nonfiction.

Though its stated aim is to “help children of all ages learn to identify a Trump and what to do if they should ever come across one in the wild,” make no mistake: this is an adult humor book, “adult” being relative. Sample quote: “Its diet is cash, its friends all go-getters/ Its poop spells out ‘Trump’ in 10-foot-high letters!”

Here Come the Sons

Two new books on our Hardcover Nonfiction list delve into the careers of political scions of years past. At #19, Bush by Jean Edward Smith is a “hard-hitting” biography of the 43rd president, according to our review, which said that the following “is as nice” as Smith gets: “George W. Bush may not have been America’s worst president.”

One notch below, Bobby Kennedy by Larry Tye is a “superb book,” per our starred review. “Tye beautifully captures Kennedy’s contradictions, his emergence from under the hard-to-like father to whom he remained forever loyal, and his growth into a public figure killed by an assassin’s bullet.”

Downton Meets Dickens

Earlier this year, as the final season of Downton Abbey began airing in the U.S., creator Julian Fellowes announced a new project: a serialized novel, set in a posh neighborhood in Victorian London, available to subscribers in weekly e-book or audio installments. The Belgravia app launched in April, though unlike Charles Dickens, who published his serial novels in real time and was able to respond to reader reactions, Fellowes completed his work before he began releasing it. This week, a bound edition debuts at #13 in Hardcover Fiction.

New & Notable


Elie Wiesel

#6 overall

The Nobel laureate died July 2, and the week after, sales of the 2006 trade paper edition of his Holocaust memoir were up 251% over the previous week.


Jennifer Keishinn Armstrong

#14 Hardcover Nonfiction

Pop-culture writer Armstrong takes a behind-the-scenes look at a TV show that, famously, was about nothing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Crisis of Character Gary J. Byrne Center Street 25,532
2 Magic Danielle Steel Delacorte 24,724
3 The Games Patterson/Sullivan Little, Brown 19,003
4 First Comes Love Emily Giffin Ballantine 18,905
5 Precious Gifts Danielle Steel Dell 18,202
6 Night Elie Wiesel Hill and Wang 17,834
7 Depraved Heart Patricia Cornwell Morrow 17,397
8 The BFG Roald Dahl Puffin 17,233
9 Me Before You (movie tie-in) Jojo Moyes Penguin 16,795
10 Silver Linings Debbie Macomber Ballantine 16,255

All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.