What Sorcery Is This?

A pair of books debuting on our hardcover fiction list offer different takes on the wizarding world.

Landing at #2 in hardcover fiction, #5 overall, Battle Ground is the 17th entry in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. The author “swiftly pays off on the major cliffhanger from Peace Talks, launching wizard Harry Dresden and the city of Chicago into a no-holds-barred battle,” our starred review said. “This is urban fantasy at its best, combining spectacular magic and deeply explored character.”

With A Deadly Education, #11 in hardcover fiction, Nebula Award– and Locus Award–winning author Naomi Novik begins a trilogy that “puts a refreshingly dark, adult spin on the magical boarding school setting,” our starred review said. “The students of Scholomance, a boarding school for sorcerers, must weather survival-of-the-fittest trials, fighting off the Lovecraftian monsters known as maleficaria (or “mals”) that routinely break in to eat students.”

Hitting a High Note

The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the autobiography of the singer whom Guinness World Records calls the Songbird Supreme for her five-octave range, is the #6 book in the country. In it, she discusses her high-profile relationships as well as growing up in a household in which physical and emotional violence were routine. “I have used my songs and voice to inspire others and to emancipate my adult self,” she writes. “I offer this book, in large part, to finally emancipate that scared little girl inside of me.” Publicity has included a remote appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen; his eponymous Holt imprint published her book.

The Grass Is Greener

A thriving subset of poets write verse intended as messages of support for their millennial peers. Rupi Kaur may be the best known; others include r.h. Sin, whose She’s Strong, but She’s Tired debuted at #7 in trade paper last week. This week, three new books in the subgenre land on our lists.

#9 in the country: Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass by singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, “a self-styled queen of millennial gloom,” according to the L.A. Times.

#2 trade paperback: Swimming Lessons by Riverdale actor Lili Reinhart. Born in 1996, she’s on the cusp of millennials and Generation Z.

#12 trade paperback: Heart Talk by activist Cleo Wade. New York magazine, acknowledging her inspirational self-help slant, proposed that she might be “the millennial Oprah.”


Nicholas Sparks
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #1 overall
An Army surgeon injured by a mortar blast in Afghanistan reacclimates to his hometown of New Bern, N.C., the setting for several of Sparks’s novels, including his debut, 1996’s The Notebook.

Marilynne Robinson
#10 Hardcover Fiction
“Robinson’s stellar, revelatory fourth entry in her Gilead cycle (after Lila) focuses on Jack Boughton, the prodigal son of a Gilead, Iowa, minister,” our starred review said. “This is a beautiful, superbly crafted meditation on the redemption and transcendence that love affords.”