Measuring Up

Fugitive Telemetry, sixth in Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries series and “another winning installment,” per our review, lands at #12 in hardcover fiction. The series, which has won Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, comprises four novellas published in 2017 and 2018 and, including the new book, two novels. Its protagonist, which our review described as a “solitude-craving, media-loving killer robot,” seems to be winning more fans with each new outing.

On Location

Jhumpa Lahiri finds herself at #9 on our hardcover fiction list with Whereabouts, which centers on a single, middle-aged woman in an unnamed Italian city. “The tranquil surface of her life,” our starred review said, “belies a deeper unrest: a frayed, distant relationship with her widowed mother, romantic longings projected onto unavailable friends, and constant second-guessing of the paths her life has taken.” Lahiri wrote the novel in Italian first, then translated it into English, her mother tongue. In a prepub interview with PW, she said she found the work “pleasantly challenging”: “I’m always trying to get back to that place where I really wasn’t sure of anything,” she said. “To make art, you’ve got to be in a very precarious place all the time.”

Media Watch

Leigh Bardugo launched her Grisha trilogy with 2012’s Shadow and Bone, which PW’s review described as “filled with lush descriptions, intriguing magic, and plenty of twists.” On April 23, Netflix premiered a series of the same name, based on that book and on 2015’s Six of Crows, first in a related duology. A tie-in edition of Shadow and Bone debuts at #12 on our children’s fiction list; two more books in the Grishaverse, 2019’s King of Scars and 2021’s Rule of Wolves, are at #24 and #9, respectively.


John Grisham
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #1 overall
“Grisham shoots an airball in this sappy novel about a South Sudanese teen’s journey from his impoverished home to the world of American sports,” our review said. “This is a disappointing outing from a writer capable of much better.”

Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
#1 Hardcover Nonfiction, #2 overall
Winfrey shares stories from her past with child psychiatrist and neuroscientist Perry, who offers clinical insights into overcoming behavioral patterns, in a series of what the subtitle calls “Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.” Look for more books on these topics in PW’s next health feature, scheduled for the May 24 issue.

Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, eds.
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction, #7 overall
Edited by Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement, and Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness and others), this anthology about “Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience” (per the subtitle) includes contributions from National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds and Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black.