Credit Score

The Books of Jacob by Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft, debuts at #15 on our hardcover fiction list. It’s Croft’s first translation of a Tokarczuk work since the Booker Prize–winning Flights, and since Croft led a campaign to get translators’ names on book covers. “Putting our names on the covers of the books we wrote every word of takes two seconds and zero dollars,” Croft told PW in an interview in October. “Why not make that change?” She and novelist Mark Haddon cowrote an open letter advocating for translators, attracting support from the Authors Guild and from many notable writers including Tokarczuk. Croft’s name appears on the cover of the new book, which our starred review called a “subtle and sensuous masterpiece” that “will undoubtedly be read and talked about by lovers of literature for years to come.”

Loyalty Points

YA novelist Ruta Sepetys lands at #10 on our children’s fiction list with I Must Betray You, “an ominously suspenseful historical novel set at the brink of revolution” in 1989 Bucharest. Sepetys told PW in a prepub interview that she decided on the setting for this fifth book while on tour in Romania for her first, 2011’s Between Shades of Gray: “In all my books, I write about young people who are fighting for change. In Romania it was the young people who made therevolution [in 1989] happen—these defiant young people who had a dream of freedom that couldn’t be stopped.” The author won a Carnegie Medal for her third novel, 2016’s Salt to the Sea. Together her first four titles have sold more than one million print copies.

In Clubland

New releases include the Reese’s Book Club The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont, #9 on our hardcover fiction list. Per our review, “De Gramont offers an intriguing new theory of why Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days in this superior thriller, which places the woman Christie’s husband, Archie, was having an affair with at the time—here the fictional Nan O’Dea—at its center.”

Two positions below, Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake is the Read with Jenna selection. “Wilkerson debuts with a shining family saga that stretches from the 1960s Caribbean to present-day Southern California,” our starred review said, offering “superb descriptions of [the matriarch’s] homeland, from the tension between those who speak patois and those who believe in the superiority of standard English, to sensual descriptions of food, surfing, and coastal terrain.”


Dilla Time
Dan Charnas
#13 Hardcover Nonfiction
“A little known but influential rap genius gets his due in this spirited biography,” according to our starred review. “Charnas’s engrossing work is one of the few hip-hop sagas to take the music as seriously as its maker.”

Toni Morrison
#18 Hardcover Fiction
“Originally published in 1983, this stunning work from Nobel laureate Morrison follows two women who share a tenuous bond after meeting at an orphanage at eight in the 1950s,” our starred review said, calling the short story a “compact powerhouse.”