Staunch Support

The #3 book in the country is If It Bleeds by Stephen King, a four-novella collection of previously unpublished work that our starred review said “delivers exactly the kind of bravura storytelling King’s readers expect.” On April 17, S&S posted a video of the horror master reading chapter one of the title story. King walks into frame wearing a cloth mask and points out the Edward Hopper repro above his couch. “He’s sort of the patron saint of social distancing,” King says. “Since it’s just you and me, constant reader, I think I’ll take my mask off for the time being, and I hope when you’re out in public you’re wearing yours.”

Hive Mind

Christian author Jen Hatmaker has the #8 book in the country with Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire, a “delightfully syrupy work,” our review said, in which she “implores women to be unapologetically themselves.” On March 31 Hatmaker hosted Glennon Doyle on her For the Love podcast, shortly after the release of Doyle’s Untamed, currently #6 in the country. Doyle returned the favor, promoting Hatmaker’s book release in an Instagram Live chat on April 23. Two days earlier, Doyle did the same thing with Sue Monk Kidd, whose The Book of Longings, our starred review said, “proposes an audacious premise: Jesus of Nazareth was married, and his wife was a writer.” Longings debuts at #6 in hardcover fiction.

Spread the Word

When The Great Influenza by John M. Barry was released in 2004, our review called it a “sweeping history” of the 1918 outbreak. The title has since sold 388K print copies, with sales of the 2005 trade paper edition picking up in recent weeks. Our review makes clear the book’s eerie contemporary resonance: “Society’s ability to survive another devastating flu pandemic, Barry argues, is as much a political question as a medical one.”


David Baldacci
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #2 overall
Book six in the Memory Man series follows FBI consultant Amos Decker to London, N.Dak., where the booming oil industry has brought with it a host of criminal activity, to investigate a grisly murder.

Melissa M. Martin
#20 Hardcover Nonfiction
“Restaurateur Martin shares the history, traditions, and customs surrounding Cajun cuisine,” our starred review said, “and offers a tantalizing slew of classic dishes as cooked at her eatery in New Orleans.”