A New Spin

Abby Jimenez’s rom-com The Happy Ever After Playlist, which revisits characters from The Friend Zone, her 2019 debut, lands at #7 in trade paper. “Sparkling wit and vulnerable characters bring this story to life,” our starred review said. “Jimenez tackles deep emotions without ever losing sight of fun.” The book launch, planned with Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis, was rescheduled as a virtual event in the author’s living room. Her husband worked the camera; oldest daughter Naomi performed a musical intro; and Jimenez, who also owns the mini chain Nadia Cakes, chatted about the book with coworker Erin Campbell, winner of Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

Instant Pot of Gold

The #10 book in the country is The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook by Jeffrey Eisner, a self-taught cook whose Pressure Luck Cooking YouTube channel has 290K subscribers. His 100 recipes—think mac and cheese, pot roast, and chicken and dumplings—have homey appeal, as he wrote in a March 18 Instagram post: “Right now the world can use a whole lot of comfort.” A few weeks later, while suited up for a Target run, he spotted his debut in the wild.

Nest Egg

In mid-April, online nerd journal Gizmodo, whose tagline is “We come from the future,” touted a retro pastime that’s recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. The headline: “An Isolation Guide to Birdwatching from Your Home.” Right on cue, ornithologist and artist David Allen Sibley alights at #14 in hardcover nonfiction with What It’s Like to Be a Bird, a “fascinating work,” our review said, that offers “eye-opening facts on almost every page” as well as more than 300 illustrations, many of them life-size.


John Sandford
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #4 overall
“Series fans are most likely to enjoy” Sandford’s 30th thriller featuring U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport,” our review said, which offers “a dramatic high-stakes premise and plenty of action, but not much character depth.”

John Scalzi
#20 Hardcover Fiction
“Hugo Award–winner Scalzi knocks it out of the park,” our starred review said, “with the tightly plotted, deeply satisfying conclusion to his Interdependency Sequence space opera trilogy.” Among the author’s numerous other books: 2014’s Lock In, about a global pandemic.