This Old House

Isabel Wilkerson has the #4 book in the country with Caste, a “powerful and extraordinarily timely social history,” our starred review said, of the hierarchy that defines and divides America. On pub day, August 4, Oprah Winfrey revealed the title as her latest book club selection on CBS This Morning, and in a video call with Wilkerson, they discussed topics including a metaphor the author uses in the book. “I present our country as an old house,” Wilkerson said. “After a rain, you do not want to go into that basement sometimes, because you don’t want to know what you might face there. But whatever is there, you’re going to have to deal with it whether you wish to or not.”

Friendly Distancing

The #5 book in the country is Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, Jeff Kinney’s second book centered on Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley’s best friend. The author has been touring the Northeast in a bright orange van, using an eight-foot trident-shaped grabber to hand signed books to fans. In addition to bookstore appearances, Kinney has been visiting children of essential workers and others especially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eclipsing the Competition

Four of the five bestselling books in the country are August 4 releases, including the #1 title, Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight retelling from vampire love interest Edward’s point of view. Its publication has been a long time coming: in 2008, a partial draft was leaked online, and Meyer put the novel’s release on hold. “Working on a book for more than thirteen years is a strange experience,” she recently wrote on her website. “I’m not the same person I was then.”

The #2 book, Live Free or Die, is Fox News host Sean Hannity’s first book in a decade. He devotes two of 10 chapters to discussions of the “Deep State” and in the final chapter, praises “Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus and America’s Great Comeback.”


Tamsyn Muir
#11 Hardcover Fiction
The second volume in Muir’s Locked Tomb trilogy, which has sold double what its predecessor did in their respective first weeks, “ratchets up the horror, hijinks, and gallows humor of the series to a fever pitch,” our starred review said. “This dark, bloody puzzle box of a sequel is a knockout.”

Raven Leilani
#17 Hardcover Fiction
“Leilani debuts with a moving examination of a young Black woman’s economic desperation and her relationship to violence,” our review said, praising the author’s “mastery of nuance” and her main character’s “perceptive, funny, and emotionally charged” narration.