The community of passionate readers who use the hashtag #BookTok have been exerting notable influence on sales, particularly for books that pack an emotional wallop. This week, two backlist titles, both of them #BookTok favorites, are among the 10 bestselling books in the country.
In Adam Silvera’s 2017 YA novel, They Both Die at the End, Rufus Emeterio and Mateo Torrez “receive midnight phone calls from Death-Cast, a service that notifies those with less than 24 hours to live,” our starred review said. “The New York City teenagers connect via the Last Friend app and decide to spend their final hours together.”
Madeline Miller’s 2012 debut, The Song of Achilles, “combines the poetic drama of The Iliad with a 21st-century understanding of war, sex, sexual politics, and Trojan War heroism,” our starred review said. The novels land respectively at #5 and #9.
Riley Sager lands at #7 on our hardcover fiction list with Survive the Night. The author “elevates a standard suspense trope—a young woman trapped in a car with a stranger she fears is a serial killer—in this stellar nail-biter set in 1991,” our starred review said. “Sager excels at playing with reader expectations and in concocting plausible, gut-wrenching twists.” It’s his fifth psychological thriller and his strongest opening week by far.
July’s GMA book club pick, The Personal Librarian, debuts at #11 on our hardcover fiction list. Our review said that coauthors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray “deliver a powerful take on the accomplishments of J.P. Morgan’s librarian,” Belle da Costa Greene, a Black woman who passed as white. “Benedict and Murray do a great job capturing Belle’s passion and tenacity as she carves a place for herself in a racist male-dominated society.” In an interview with the Washington Post, the authors spoke about why it was important for two writers to tell this story. “I do not believe that a Black woman could have done justice to Belle, just as I believe a white woman couldn’t have done her justice either,” Murray said. “We had to find a way to blend these two lives together for her and that’s what I think we did.”
NEW & NOTABLE
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
#1 Mass Market, #1 overall
For his first novel, the director adapts and expands on his 2019 film of the same name, following four main characters before, during, and after the movie’s events.
REBORN IN THE USA
#3 Hardcover Nonfiction
This love letter to America is a coming-of-age tale set largely in the author’s native Liverpool. Bennett cohosts the popular footy podcast Men in Blazers, and his book’s release coincides with two major events in the sport: the Copa América and the UEFA European Football Championship.