Increases in fiction sales were not enough to offset another round of declines in nonfiction, leading to a 2.3% drop in unit sales of print books in the week ended Aug. 28, 2021, compared to the week ended Aug. 29, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Sales in adult nonfiction fell 8.8%, though at this time a year ago there was no blockbuster seller. Tops in nonfiction in the week ended Aug. 29, 2020, was Jon Meacham’s His Truth Is Marching On, which sold just over 38,000 copies. In the most recent week, Mark Levin’s American Marxism remained #1, selling more than 29,000 copies. The top-selling new nonfiction book was Mike Duncan’s Hero of Two Worlds, about the Marquis de Lafayette, which sold more than 14,000 copies, landing it in fourth place on the adult nonfiction list. Adult fiction sales rose 18.7% in the week, with Louise Penny’s The Madness of Crowds making its debut in the #1 spot, selling more than 64,000 copies. Another new release, William Kent Krueger’s Lightning Strike, was #7, selling over 13,000 copies. Backlist titles and BookTok picks helped drive young adult fiction sales up 14.1% last week over 2020. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End stayed #1, selling more than 14,000 copies. Two perennial bestsellers, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsider and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, were in second and third place on the category list, selling about 14,000 and 10,000 copies, respectively. In juvenile fiction, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle sold 13,427 copies, dislodging Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man: Mothering Heights as the #1 title.
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