Marching On

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who died July 17, was known as the “conscience of the Congress.” He was also the National Book Award–winning author of the graphic memoir trilogy March, coauthored by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. Like that series, Lewis’s 1998 memoir, Walking with the Wind, recalled the civil rights icon’s activism; our starred review called the book “a uniquely well-told testimony.” In the week after the congressman’s death, the 2015 edition of that title and the first volume of March, which pubbed in 2013, both saw a surge in sales.

A Good Start

Lindsay Ellis, a film critic and YouTuber with 988K subscribers, lands at #6 in hardcover fiction with her debut novel, Axiom’s End, a story of first contact with extraterrestrials. “Lovers of character-focused sci-fi will find plenty to enjoy in this gripping alternate history,” our review said. As with so many authors, Ellis’s tour has been virtual: she spoke with fellow SF author John Scalzi at an event hosted by the Strand in New York City on July 21, and on July 26,

Bookshop Santa Cruz hosted a discussion with Vox critic at large Emily VanDerWerff. But Ellis recently had a close encounter of the IRL kind: she spotted her book on the shelf at her local B&N.

Blow It All Up

How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro is the #2 book in the country. “American philosophy is under attack,” he writes, by people on the political left whom he places within a tradition he terms “disintegrationist.” “The philosophy of division is a philosophy of power politics, a philosophy that paints America as a mythical construct, instituted by those at the top of the hierarchy in order to reinforce their own control.”

In Twilight of Democracy, #11 in hardcover nonfiction, journalist Anne Applebaum sees a different threat. “Responsible conservatism has drifted into bigotry, antidemocratic ideology, and revenge psychology, argues this deeply personal analysis of the populist right,” our review said. “This anguished and forceful jeremiad crystallizes right-of-center dismay at the betrayal of the conservative tradition.”


Alex Trebek
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction, #4 overall
The longtime Jeopardy host discusses his career, his personal life, and his cancer diagnosis, and devotes an entire chapter to his trademark mustache, which he famously shaved in 2001.

Emma Donoghue
#18 Hardcover Fiction
“Donoghue’s evocation of the 1918 flu, and the valor it demands of health-care workers, will stay with readers,” our review said of this work of historical fiction, whose pub date was moved up a by year because of its resonance with the Covid-19 pandemic. “Her blunt prose and detailed, painstakingly researched medical descriptions do full justice to the reality of the pandemic and the poverty that helps fuel it.”