Clash of the Titans
It’s a big week for a pair of children’s authors who are well accustomed to big weeks: J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan. The #1 book in the country is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second of the new hardcover editions of Rowling’s series, with color illustrations by Jim Kay. Its first-week print unit sales eclipsed those for the first revamped title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which pubbed this week last year and debuted at #5 in the country overall.
So what was #1 that week? The Sword of Summer, first in Riordan’s Magnus Chase series. The follow up, The Hammer of Thor, debuts this week at #2 in children’s fiction, and #5 in the country overall.
A Semple Plan
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple, the story of one woman’s catastrophically bad day and a “sharp, funny read” according to our review, lands at #7 in Hardcover Fiction. It’s the author’s first novel since 2012’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, a book whose popularity (502K print copies sold) has not only stoked interest in her new book but is also influencing Semple’s brand.
The familiar sunglasses-wearing face from the Bernadette cover appears as an icon on the Today Will Be Different jacket. On December 20, Little, Brown is releasing a mass market edition of Semple’s first novel, 2008’s This One Is Mine, with Bernadette branding.
First-Week Print-Unit Sales
|This One Is Mine (2008)||237|
|Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (2012)||2,722|
|Today Will Be Different (2016)||9,799|
Three faith-based titles enjoyed strong debuts on our Hardcover Nonfiction list this week, and a fourth got a boost in its second week on sale.
After a relatively modest debut last week at #12 in nonfiction, Sarah Young’s Jesus Always is up nine notches this week and is the #8 book in the country overall. At #5 in nonfiction, Is This the End? by David Jeremiah, founder of the Turning Point ministry, examines current events through a biblical lens.
In Divine Dance, at #6, Franciscan friar Richard Rohr considers the concept of the Trinity, proposing a more accessible deity than the one who, according to his publisher, dominates popular imagination: “an angry, distant, moral scorekeeper or a supernatural Santa Claus.” One position below, Think Better, Live Better is the latest inspirational title from pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen, whose most recent book, 2015’s The Power of I Am, has sold 235K print copies.
New & Notable
Two by Two
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #3 overall
In his latest novel, Sparks, who in 2015 announced an amicable separation from his wife, writes of a man navigating single parenthood.
Love Your Life, Not Theirs
#4 Hardcover Nonfiction
Cruze, who is coauthor with her father, Dave Ramsey, of 2014’s Smart Money Smart Kids, explains the financial perils of comparing oneself to others.
Top 10 Overall
|1||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||Rowling/Kay||Scholastic/Levine||76,266|
|2||The Girl on the Train||Paula Hawkins||Riverhead||65,394|
|3||Two by Two||Nicholas Sparks||Grand Central||63,541|
|4||Killing the Rising Sun||O’Reilly/Dugard||Holt||61,555|
|5||The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase #2)||Rick Riordan||Disney-Hyperion||58,641|
|6||Born to Run||Bruce Springsteen||Simon & Schuster||48,745|
|7||The Girl on the Train (trade paper movie tie-in)||Paula Hawkins||Riverhead||39,654|
|8||Jesus Always||Sarah Young||Thomas Nelson||39,279|
|9||The Girl on the Train (mass market movie tie-in)||Paula Hawkins||Riverhead||38,190|
|10||Harry Potter and the Cursed Child||J.K. Rowling et al.||Scholastic/Levine||37,907|
All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.