On the Road Again

In Dirtbag, Massachusetts, #9 on our hardcover nonfiction list, Isaac Fitzgerald “weaves a raucous mosaic of a rough-and-ready New England rarely seen with a transfixing story of his path to finding himself,” according to our starred review. His book tour, too, has charted a winding path, from St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn and a Books Are Magic–hosted conversation with Saeed Jones, to Skylight Books in Los Angeles, where he chatted with Emily St. John Mandel. In between, BJ’s Lounge in New Orleans was the setting for a Blue Cypress Books discussion with Kristen Arnett that also saw Fitzgerald take a turn behind the bar.

Low Expectations

Sona Movsesian lands at #10 on our hardcover nonfiction list with The World’s Worst Assistant, “a hilarious look,” per our review, “at the past 13 years she’s spent ‘not [being] great at my job’ as comedian Conan O’Brien’s personal assistant.” As she documents “misadventures on golf carts, starstruck introductions to former presidents, incognito stalkings, and murder fantasies, her narrative offers a refreshing departure from the traditional assistant horror stories of pleasing a tyrant boss.” The author described her relationship with Coco in a prepub interview with PW: “We’ve gotten to the point where Conan has begrudgingly accepted how unprofessional I can be, but I also have accepted how my nonprofessionalism could be fodder for him. I think both of us get something from not being professional.”

Media Watch

When Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man pubbed in 2009, our review deemed it a “fast-paced, fun debut thriller.” Eleven installments later (leaving aside Greaney’s little side gig coauthoring and then writing Tom Clancy novels, plus other solo work), a movie based on book one began a limited theatrical release July 15 and premiered on Netflix a week later. The tie-in edition edges onto our mass market list at #20, but things could start looking up: the movie debuted at #1 on the streaming service’s top 10 chart, and a sequel is already in the works.


Matthew Ball
#4 Hardcover Nonfiction
Ball, the former global head of strategy for Amazon Studios, provides what our review described as a “thorough guide to the future of the internet.” In his words, it’s “a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3-D virtual worlds that can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users.”

Paul Hollywood
#5 Hardcover Nonfiction
“In this nostalgic paean to his baking career, Great British Baking Show judge Hollywood offers up a delectable jaunt through his favorite classic British and American bakes,” per our review. “While the book is loaded with easy-to-follow recipes for a raft of familiar treats, Hollywood’s ‘real passion,’ bread baking, is where his collection shines.”