Music to His Ears

The Song of the Cell by Pulitzer winner Siddhartha Mukherjee lands at #14 on our hardcover nonfiction list. “The author’s ideas about the near future of medicine,” according to our starred review, “are both convincing and inspiring, and woven throughout his narrative are accessible explanations of cell biology and immunology.” In a prepub interview with PW, Mukherjee offered thoughts on what constitutes science writing at its best. It “dispels distortion and restores accuracy, but it does so in a way that’s not polemical,” he said. “It’s about following the data, understanding the data, describing its limitations. All of this through storytelling.”

Along for the Ride

Cormac McCarthy has the #8 book in the country with The Passenger, “a rich story of an underachieving salvage diver in 1980 New Orleans, the first in a two-volume work,” per our review. Though the book’s philosophical discussions don’t “feel quite as thematically grounded as they do in his masterworks,” the novel’s “many pleasures will leave readers aching for the final installment.” Those readers are in luck: Stella Maris is due out in December, a much shorter wait than the 16 years since The Road.

Food Network Stars

A pair of cookbooks by Food Network personalities, each of which received a starred PW review, debut on our lists.

With Go-to Dinners, the #3 book in the country, Ina Garten “serves up a delicious, no-nonsense collection of weeknight recipes that are ‘simple to follow and work every time,’ ” per our review. “Practical and practically faultless, this is a real treat.” Garten has hosted Barefoot Contessa since 2002, and earlier this year launched a new show, Be My Guest with Ina Garten.

Kardea Brown’s The Way Home, #6 on our hardcover nonfiction list, marks what our review called the “exceptional debut” of the host of Delicious Miss Brown. The author, who is of Gullah Geechee descent, “writes that Gullah food traditions are ‘the foundation of southern cooking,’ and the tantalizing offerings,” the review noted, “pay homage to her heritage and add a delicious twist to traditional dishes.”


Lee Child and Andrew Child
#2 Hardcover Fiction, #6 overall
The 27th Jack Reacher novel and third collaboration between the Child brothers is “relentlessly paced,” according to our review, and though “the authors sacrifice some narrative momentum” with a pair of subplots, “they also provide all the familiar elements Reacher fans expect,” leading up to a “thrilling denouement.”

Stacy Schiff
#16 Hardcover Nonfiction
“Pulitzer winner Schiff (The Witches) delivers a revelatory and frequently riveting account of the life of founding father Samuel Adams,” per our starred review. “This is a must-read for colonial history buffs.”