Dance Dance Revolution
The #1 book in the country, and the latest Oprah’s Book Club pick, is The Water Dancer, the debut novel by journalist and cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates. It centers on a boy with a near-photographic memory born into slavery on a
Virginia plantation. “In prose that sings and imagination that soars,” our starred review said, “Coates further cements himself as one of this generation’s most important writers, tackling one of America’s oldest and darkest periods with grace and inventiveness.” First-week print unit sales for his new book were more than those for his previous two combined.
Strength in Numbers
In a pair of nonfiction debuts, high-profile memoirists share their survival stories.
Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye (the fourth of the Fab Five to publish a book in 2019) debuts at #4 in nonfiction, #9 overall, with Over the Top, in which he discloses the sexual abuse he endured as a child, his addiction struggles, and his HIV diagnosis. “To anyone who has ever felt broken beyond repair,” he writes in the dedication, “this is for you.”
Chanel Miller first came to public attention under a pseudonym, Emily Doe, after she was sexually assaulted on the Stanford University campus in 2015 and her attacker was sentenced to just six months in prison. In Know My Name, #5 in hardcover nonfiction, she reclaims her identity: “My name is Chanel,” she writes. “I am a victim, I have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that I am.”
The latest Read with Jenna pick, The Dutch House by Orange Prize–winning novelist Ann Patchett, debuts at #5 in hardcover fiction. “Patchett remarkably traces acts of cruelty and kindness through three generations of a family over 50 years,” our starred review said, in “a thoughtful, compassionate exploration of obsession and forgiveness; what people acquire, keep, lose, or give away; and what they leave behind.” Patchett’s most recent novel, Commonwealth, debuted with a few thousand fewer copies sold than The Dutch House and has since moved 204K copies in hardcover and another 227K in trade paper.
New & Notable
#1 Hardcover Nonfiction, #3 overall
The actor opens up about topics including her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, her battles with substance abuse, and the ups and downs of her long career.
The United States of Trump
#2 Hardcover Nonfiction, #5 overall
In O’Reilly’s foreword to his biography of the 45th president, he offers this assessment: “He’s a complicated man who is not prone to introspection, nostalgia, or patience.”
Year of the Monkey
#14 Hardcover Nonfiction
The musician and poet, who won the National Book Award for her 2010 memoir Just Kids, here “casts a mesmerizing spell with exquisite prose,” our starred review said, in a “luminous collection of anecdotes and photos.”
All unit sales per NPD BookScan except where noted.