Back in Black

Just like that, holiday shopping is upon us. Several titles enjoyed a big sales boost in the days immediately after Thanksgiving, offering a clue as to what the publishing leading lights of the season might be.

Frontlist titles saw the greatest week-over-week gains for both adult fiction and nonfiction, with two exceptions: 2009’s The Walking Dead: Compendium One and 2012’s Jesus Today. The latter’s author, Sarah Young, also got a nice bump for her new book, Jesus Always, this week’s #1 in hardcover nonfiction.

Adult Nonfiction % Increase
Jesus Today by Sarah Young 269%
March (slipcase set) by John Lewis et al. 194%
Welcome to the Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson et al. 186%
The Case of Beasts by Mark Salisbury 181%
Jesus Always by Sarah Young 163%

Adult Fiction % Increase
The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman et al. 69%
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks 67%
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 41%
After You by Jojo Moyes 33%
See Me by Nicholas Sparks 33%

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

Collections Agency

Add up the print unit sales for this week’s 10 top-selling books and you’ll get a whopping 890K copies. Storybook collections for Disney properties and other licensed characters make up eight of those 10 titles. Mass market retailers promote such stocking stuffers every year for the holidays; most of this season’s hits are new for 2016, with the exception of Little Critter: Just a Storybook Collection, which pubbed in 2012.

Game On

Remember this summer, when everyone was all about Pokémon Go? Well, move over, mobile app. This week, Nintendo reported that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, released in November for its 3DS console, are the company’s fastest-selling games ever in the Americas. The official strategy guide to both games dropped this week, debuting at #16 in hardcover nonfiction and #8 in trade paper, with a combined 18K print copies sold.

Give Another Author a Chance

James Patterson scores with two new releases this week: the latest Alex Cross crime novel, Cross the Line, tops our hardcover fiction list, and the children’s title Give Please a Chance, coauthored by Bill O’Reilly, bows at #10 in picture books. It’s only Patterson’s second foray into that format; the first was 2004’s Santa Kid. And, as is often the case, you’ll find Patterson’s name on our trade paper, mass market, and children’s fiction lists, too.

New & Notable

Michael Chabon
#12 Hardcover Fiction
Inspired by stories Chabon’s grandfather told him more than 25 years ago, this is a “charming and elegantly structured novel,” our review said.

The Spy
Paulo Coelho
#21 Hardcover Fiction
Coelho, best known for his allegorical work The Alchemist, here mines the life of Margaretha Zelle, aka Mata Hari, through fictionalized letters to her lawyer that ring so true, our review said, “by the end, readers will believe they’ve read Zelle’s actual letters.”

Thank You for Being Late
Thomas L. Friedman
#8 Hardcover Nonfiction
Three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Friedman tackles the dizzying pace of modern life in what our review calls “an intelligent but overlong discussion.”

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Double Down (Wimpy Kid # 11) Jeff Kinney Amulet 120,562
2 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay) J.K. Rowling Scholastic/Levine 114,076
3 Disney Bedtime Favorites Disney Press 103,183
4 Disney Pixar Storybook Collection Disney Press 91,376
5 Disney Princess Storybook Collection Disney Press 87,326
6 Pete the Cat Storybook Collection James Dean HarperCollins 86,176
7 Frozen Storybook Collection Disney Press 85,428
8 Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Stories Disney Lucasfilm 69,388
9 Little Critter: Just a Storybook Collection Mercer Mayer HarperCollins 66,826
10 The Avengers Storybook Collection Marvel Press 65,539

All unit sales per Nielsen BookScan except where noted.