Paper Trail

Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, who specializes in national security issues, has the #6 book in the country with The Afghanistan Papers. The author “explains how he learned, in 2016, about a government program to interview hundreds of participants in the war for a report on policy failures in Afghanistan,” our review said. “Drawing on these transcripts and other oral history projects, Whitlock paints a devastating portrait of how public messaging about the conflict consistently belied the reality on the ground.” In this “rigorously detailed and relentlessly pessimistic” work, he takes three successive administrations to task, making for “a heartbreaking look at how America’s leaders ‘chose to bury their mistakes and let the war drift.’ ”

The Beat Goes On

Helen Hoang’s The Heart Principle lands at #10 on our trade paperback list. Calling the novel “beautifully melancholy and meditative,” our review explained that it’s not “a typical rom-com, but many will still swoon for this sensitive love story.” It’s Hoang’s third contemporary romance and her first time appearing on our lists. First-week print unit sales reflect her growing fanbase.

Ghost of Christmas Past

Halloween titles have begun creeping back onto our lists, and a new book, The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide, is #5 in the country. Inspired by the 1993 Tim Burton film, it includes decorating ideas, links to downloadable invitation templates, and more than 50 recipes whose names will resonate with fans—Jack Skellington Apple Hand Pies and a Sally Patchwork Layer Cake among them.


Paula Hawkins
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #2 overall
“The stabbing murder of 23-year-old Daniel Sutherland on his houseboat in London’s Regent’s Canal drives this twist-laden if unremarkable page-turner” from the author of The Girl on the Train, our review said. This is “a satisfying whodunit, but its overreliance on coincidence makes it fall short of the high standard of Hawkins’s previous work.”

Kentaro Miura
#3 Hardcover Fiction
The latest collection of Miura’s critically acclaimed, ultraviolent manga is the first to be released since the author-artist’s death in May. Initial print unit sales were more than double that of previous volumes.