Mo Video, Mo Sales
Kennedy Center Education artist-in-residence Mo Willems began hosting a daily livestream, Lunch Doodles, on March 16. He takes viewers inside his studio, sharing old notebooks, early sketches, and more. In the second episode, he featured Waiting Is Not Easy!, a 2014 Elephant & Piggie picture book with a timely topic: “We’re going to do a lot of waiting for the next couple of weeks,” he told viewers. The title returns to our picture book list at #14, with its best weekly print unit sales since 2018.
We Need a Hero, or Five
N.K. Jemisin followed her Hugo Award hat trick for the Broken Earth trilogy with the 2018 collection How Long ’til Black Future Month?, which opens with “The City Born Great.” A reworked version of that story acts as prologue to her new novel, The City We Became, debuting at #12 in hardcover fiction. In the trilogy launch, which our starred review called a “staggering contemporary fantasy,” the soul of New York is under siege from a malevolent force, and human avatars of the five boroughs must come together to defeat it.
Root for the Home Team
With Major League Baseball’s opening day postponed until at least June, fans can look back on last season’s underdog story. In Buzz Saw, which our review called “emotional and informative,” Jesse Dougherty, who covers the Washington Nationals for the Washington Post, “digs into the exciting story of how the team went from a losing record in May 2019 to World Series champions five months later.” Not surprisingly, this book is a hometown favorite, with 48% of sales in the D.C. market area.
NEW & NOTABLE
The Glass Hotel
Emily St. John Mandel
#6 Hardcover Fiction
“This ingenious, enthralling novel probes the tenuous yet unbreakable bonds between people,” our starred review said, “and the lasting effects of momentary carelessness.” It follows Mandel’s 2014 National Book Award finalist, Station Eleven, about a global pandemic.
Lady in Waiting
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction
With no new episodes of The Crown on deck, royal watchers are digging into this memoir, which received a starred review from PW, by a longtime confidante of Princess Margaret. “From a generation where we were taught not to overthink, not to look back or question,” Glenconner writes in the prologue, “only now do I see how extraordinary the nine decades of my life have been.”
#5 Hardcover Nonfiction
Another book for binge watchers, this is a “fascinating oral history,” our review said, of the NBC sitcom, which Nielsen reports is currently among the most-watched shows on Netflix.