Against the Machine

Rage, the #1 book in the country, is Bob Woodward’s follow-up to 2018’s Fear, which also debuted at #1. It’s “another alarming and deeply reported account of turmoil, dysfunction, and recklessness within the Trump administration,” our starred review said. With almost 345K print copies sold, it’s the third-biggest first-week showing of the year.

Stranger Things

Susanna Clarke’s 2004 debut, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, is an 800-pager that won the Hugo and World Fantasy awards for best novel, and the Locus Award for best first novel. Sixteen years later, Clarke’s second novel, Piranesi, lands at #8 in hardcover fiction. It’s a relatively slim affair at 272 pages, but is thematically weighty nonetheless. “Clarke wraps a twisty mystery inside a metaphysical fantasy in her extraordinary new novel,” our starred review said. “With great subtlety, [she] gradually elaborates an explanatory backstory to her tale’s events and reveals sinister occult machinations that build to a crescendo of genuine horror.”

Keys to Success

Half a dozen titles are new to our children’s fiction list, including two that received starred reviews. At #14, Three Keys by Kelly Yang is a “complex yet accessible middle grade novel,” our starred review said, and the sequel to 2018’s Front Desk. “Yang expertly presents resonant themes—including privilege, assimilation, and solidarity—in nuanced ways, providing an entrée into contemporary issues.”

Tiffany D. Jackson’s YA novel Grown, #19, is a tale “of talent, ambition beyond opportunity, forbidden attraction, and the deadly consequences thereof,” our starred review said. “Jackson builds the story gradually and painfully to an astonishing, chilling climax.”


Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction, #4 overall
Now starring in the Netflix reality series Get Organized with The Home Edit, Shearer and Teplin offer a counterpoint to the decluttering trend, our starred review said: “As long as everything is sorted and placed in intuitive and reachable locations, they write, it won’t be necessary to more aggressively purge” one’s possessions.

Christopher Paolini
#5 Hardcover Fiction
Paolini, a 2003 PW Flying Start honoree at age 20 for what became his megaselling Inheritance Cycle YA fantasy series, makes his adult debut and “ventures into the realm of space opera,” our review said, “with a satisfying, far-future epic that questions what it means to be human.”