Japanese comics haven’t yet reached the ubiquity of adult coloring books circa 2015, but with each passing month it seems only a matter of time. The #3, #4, and #5 books in the country—the top three on our trade paperback list—are all manga titles: Jujutsu Kaisen (Vol. 11) by Gege Akutami, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Vol. 23) by Koyoharu Gotouge, and Chainsaw Man (Vol. 6) by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Each sold several thousand more print copies in its first week than its predecessor volume did. In total, six manga books are new this week, including the hardcover Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (Part 5, Vol. 1) by Hirohiko Araki, #10 on our hardcover fiction list.
Among the hardcover fiction debuts are two August book club picks that delve into thorny relationships between women.
At #5, We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz—chosen by Reese’s Book Club and Marie Claire’s #ReadWithMC—follows best friends who reunite in Chile for their annual vacation, with deadly results. “Bartz does a good job dramatizing the increasingly creepy relationship between the two women,” our review said, “as the twisty plot builds to a slightly confusing conclusion.”
Read with Jenna’s August selection, The Turnout by Megan Abbott (#15 on the list), centers on a dance school helmed by siblings. Our starred review called Abbott “pitch-perfect at making the sisters’ complex dynamic and mix of emotions plausible and painful,” and said she captures “the competitiveness and cruelty of children’s ballet, where every young girl wishes to be the center of attention.”
Joy to the World
Landing at #14 on our children’s fiction list, Black Boy Joy is a “luminous middle grade anthology,” our starred review said, collecting “17 stories by as many Black male and nonbinary authors focusing on Black boys’ happiness.” The book “will especially resonate with Black readers,” the review continued, but “any reader will appreciate how this genre-bending collection expands the horizons of what joy for Black boys can be.” In a conversation hosted by PW, middle grade fantasy author Kwame Mbalia, who edited the book, and contributor Lamar Giles discussed the takeaway for readers. “If this book is a road map,” Mbalia said, “there are 17 different routes you can take to find joy and that’s just the start.”
NEW & NOTABLE
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #1 overall
An ex-Army sniper turned hit man plans one last job while, in a story within the story, he writes his thinly veiled autobiography. Our starred review called it a “tripwire-taut thriller,” adding that King “consistently delivers more than his readers expect.”
RUN: BOOK ONE
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell
#17 Hardcover Nonfiction
“This worthy successor to the late Congressman Lewis’s March graphic memoir trilogy picks up in the civil rights leader’s life during the 1960s counterculture revolution,” our starred review said. “This living history gives faces and voices to the legends of the civil rights era and connects their struggles to the present.”