The #1 book in the country is Magnolia Table, Vol. 2 by Joanna Gaines, a “solid, breezy sophomore outing” per our review. The author held a “book signing” at home on release day, with older daughter Ella running security and husband Chip and the other kids, including toddler Crew, playing fans. She’s also been posting somewhat anarchic cooking videos using recipes from the book: “Quarantine Cooking Episode 1—Jo’s Chocolate Chip Cookies” has garnered 925K views on YouTube. On April 8 she appeared on Today, speaking for many when she told Hoda Kotbe, “I feel like every day I’m baking something. I need to tone it down a bit.”
The latest Oprah Book Club pick, Hidden Valley Road by journalist Robert Kolker, debuts at #5 in hardcover nonfiction. Our starred review called the book, which centers on a family in which six of 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia, “a haunting and memorable look at the impact of mental illness on multiple generations.” Among the hard truths Kolker learned in researching the book, he told PW in a February 24 q&a, was the fact that “even after all this time, despite major advancements in treating bipolar disorder and depression and other illnesses, no one can still agree on exactly what schizophrenia is.”
The Life-Changing Magic of Working from Home
Decluttering guru Marie Kondo and Rice University management professor Scott Sonenshein debut at #12 in nonfiction with Joy at Work, and the coauthors have been making the media rounds with work-from-home tips. “Before you begin working, take a moment to center yourself,” Kondo told Good Housekeeping. “I strike a tuning fork to purify the air around me, a practice that helps me to focus and feel calm.” Sonenshein spoke with his university’s student paper about challenges he’s faced in the remote classroom. “One of my classes has 60 people, and you can’t even see all of them on the Zoom screen,” he told the Rice Thresher. “The book focuses on building higher quality relationships instead of higher quantity.”
NEW & NOTABLE
THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT
Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski
#6 Hardcover Nonfiction
Featuring cartoon illustrations by Tom Neely, this book of serial killer profiles is based on the authors’ true crime program, The Last Podcast on the Left. Some 12,000 Patreon supporters pledge more than $62K a month to support the show, which the authors, who met on the Brooklyn comedy scene, launched in 2010.
THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES
#14 Hardcover Fiction
“This powerful, eclectic novel,” our starred review said, “both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.” Grady has several virtual events lined up, including an April 22 Facebook Live panel hosted by Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, and an April 23 pay-what-you-can discussion supporting Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, N.C.