After Khizr Khan held up his pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution on the last day of the Democratic National Convention in July, popular interest in the document soared. The ACLU began offering its edition for free and, according to its website, quickly moved 100,000 copies.
Another organization also has a 229-year-old hit on its hands: the National Center for Constitutional Studies, whose edition of the text (above) is the #4 book in the country this week. This version includes what the Intercept, the news website cofounded by Glenn Greenwald, called “annotations and right-wing commentary” from NCCS founder W. Cleon Skousen, a Brigham Young professor, staunch anticommunist, and supporter of the John Birch Society, who died in 2006.
Skousen’s version of the Constitution was in the news in January 2016, when the Los Angeles Times reported that Ammon Bundy and others occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon were shown carrying the NCCS edition. Weekly print-unit sales had been holding steady in the 1,000-to-2,000-copy range until a post-DNC surge.
(See all of this week's bestselling books.)
Sully by Chesley B. Sullenberger III, a tie-in to the movie of the same name, debuts at #14 in Trade Paperback; the film, starring Tom Hanks, opens September 9. In the book, which was previously released in 2009 as Highest Duty and sold 114K copies in hardcover, Sullenberger recounts his dramatic landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, known as the “miracle on the Hudson.”
Movers & Shakers
Hillbilly Elegy, in which Marine Corps veteran and Yale Law School grad J.D. Vance describes growing up poor in a struggling Rust Belt town, continues to garner attention for its timely perspective on what drives the working class. Sales have increased each week since its August 8 debut at #12 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list, and this week, print-unit sales are up 117% over last week, landing it at #2 in nonfiction—and #5 in the country overall.
Be Still and Know: 365 Daily Devotions sold a few thousand copies last week, which wasn’t enough to make our top-25 Hardcover Nonfiction list. This week, print-unit sales are up 79% over last week, and the book jumps 16 notches to debut on our list at #15. Devotionals —daily, weekly, and monthly readings meant to strengthen faith—are big business for religion publishers; to learn more about them, see “Good Medicine for the Soul,” p. 19.
New & Notable
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
#1 Hardcover Nonfiction, #3 overall
With nearly 40K print units sold, Schumer’s book had a better first week than every other book in the biography/memoir category so far this year, putting her, in one week, among the top 10 new bios/memoirs for the year to date.
The Last Days of Night
#14 Hardcover Fiction
Moore is adapting his historical novel, set in Gilded Age N.Y.C., for film, with Eddie Redmayne attached to star. In 2015, Moore won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for The Imitation Game, the same year that Redmayne took home the best actor Oscar for The Theory of Everything.
Top 10 Overall
|1||Harry Potter and the Cursed Child||J.K. Rowling et al.||Scholastic/Levine||242,739|
|2||The Girl on the Train||Paula Hawkins||Riverhead||60,015|
|3||The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo||Amy Schumer||Gallery||39,616|
|4||The Constitution of the United States||–||NCCS||24,224|
|5||Hillbilly Elegy||J.D. Vance||Harper||23,272|
|6||Uninvited||Lysa TerKeurst||Thomas Nelson||23,087|
|7||See Me||Nicholas Sparks||Grand Central||22,970|
|8||Rogue Lawyer||John Grisham||Dell||22,400|
|9||The Underground Railroad||Colson Whitehead||Doubleday||21,482|
|10||Sting||Sandra Brown||Grand Central||19,879|
All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.