Portrait of the Author

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell debuts at #6 on our hardcover fiction list. It’s a “lush, provocative historical,” per our starred review, that “follows a young woman who is married off at 15 amid the complex world of 16th-century Italian city-states.” O’Farrell’s previous novel, 2020’s Hamnet, took five months to land on our list and to date has sold nearly 300K print copies.

In Clubland

Javier Zamora’s Solito, September’s Read with Jenna pick, lands at #9 on our hardcover nonfiction list. It’s “an immensely moving story of desperation and hardship” per our starred review, recounting “his childhood migration from El Salvador to the U.S.” Zamora’s 2017 debut, Unaccompanied, conveyed his experiences in verse, but, he recently told the Guardian, he found that prose could do what poetry could not. “In poetry, there’s a lot of white space. I think that’s a metaphor for how, on the surface, I was facing what had happened to me. With the help of a therapist and meditation, I really went hard into looking at my past to understand myself better. And doing that, I had the time and the space and the mental health that I could fill the page.”

What a Ride

Mo Willems has the #10 book in the country with The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!, the eighth title starring his irascible avian character. “Every Pigeon book is a reaction,” Willems told PW in an interview before his 2022 U.S. Book Show keynote. “The Pigeon finds, wants, needs, gets, can’t, has to, and, this time, will do something. That involves planning, expectations, accepting, and readjusting.” Pigeon’s new outing, Willems suggested, reflects what many readers have been experiencing in recent times: “Have your last few years been a roller coaster?”


Stephen King
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #1 overall
A teenager finds a portal to another world in King’s latest, “an overlong fantasy most likely to appeal to his YA fans,” according to our review. “Illustrations at the start of each chapter, headed with descriptions of what they include, further convey a juvenile feel. This attempt at creating a sense of wonder and magic falls short.”

J. Bradford DeLong
#16 Hardcover Nonfiction
“Spectacular economic growth in the long 20th century [1870–2010] fueled visionary hopes, but never quite fulfilled them, according to this sweeping study” by UC Berkeley economic historian DeLong, per our starred review. “The author conveys a wealth of information in elegant, accessible prose, combining grand, epochal perspectives with fascinating discursions on everything from alternating-current electricity to the gender wage gap.”