Global Warmth

Brandon Stanton has the #2 book in the country with Humans, which reflects the Humans of New York photographer’s ever-widening scope. “Hundreds of portraits from around the world are accompanied by poignant quotes from each subject in his signature style,” our starred review said, “and interspersed with the photos are fascinating details about Stanton’s process, like his standard first interview question: ‘What’s your greatest struggle right now?’ ” It’s Stanton’s third compilation for adults (he also published a picture book in 2014, Little Humans), and it debuts to his strongest first-week sales yet.

Ahead of the Game

Two banner days for an author: publishing a novel, and having it named a finalist for the National Book Award. Multitasker Rumaan Alam did both on October 6 with Leave the World Behind, his “spectacular and ominous latest,” our starred review said, in which “a family’s idyllic summer retreat coincides with global catastrophe.” It’s his third novel and by far his best opening week, landing at #4 in hardcover fiction.

Metropolis Now

The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, the host and the producer, respectively, of the 99% Invisible podcast, is the #10 book in the country. Launched in 2010, the program discusses the design and architecture choices people take for granted—the engineering behind the simple angled toothbrush, for instance. The book trains its focus on urban features, delving into why manhole covers are round, what dictates that traffic lights are red on top and green on bottom, and why those dancing inflatable tube figures proliferate at car dealerships.


Ina Garten
#1 Hardcover Nonfiction, #1 overall
“Garten admits in her delightful 12th outing that she’s been ‘a little grumpier’ than usual during the pandemic,” our review said, “and has been reaching for foods that soothe.” Bestselling cookbook authors: they’re just like us.

Rick Riordan
#1 Children’s Fiction, #3 overall
Riordan concludes his Trials of Apollo series with this fifth volume, which also caps off the story of contemporary demigod Percy Jackson, who first appeared in 2005’s The Lightning Thief. “He gets to road trip off into the sunset and into a brand-new chapter of his life,” Riordan told PW in a prepub interview. “It was time to finally, after all these years, let him turn 18 and become an adult. He may have more adventures, but he’s in a good place and living his life.”