Jumping to the top of Germany’s fiction list at the end of January was Swiss novelist Martin Suter’s Elephant, about a mysterious glow-in-the-dark pink elephant, the product of a genetic experiment, and the humans who want to exploit its powers of enchantment.

Following closely behind was Paul Auster’s 4 3 2 1. Auster has long been a popular writer in Europe, more so than in the U.S. Rowohlt anticipated the whopping new novel’s popularity and relied on four translators to make certain the German edition—which comes in at 1,264 pages—would appear at the same time as the 880-page U.S. edition, which was released in late Janaury by Holt.

In France, the second in Audrey Carlan’s Calendar Girl series, February, leads the charts. Could part of the appeal be that, in this episode of the erotic series, the titular high-priced call girl is escorting a French artist on visit to Seattle? In the second slot is Stop with Your Lies by Philippe Besson, a classic work of French autofiction in which the narrator, who is Besson himself, sees a face that takes him back to the erotic adventures of his teenage years.

Sweden, like much of the world, has shown a passion for Elena Ferrante’s work: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay led the fiction list there in January. A trio of health and diet books dominated the Swedish nonfiction list, with YouTube star Therese Lindgren’s Sometimes I Don’t Feel So Good still at #1.

International Bestsellers


Fiction Nonfiction
1 Calendar girl Février
February: Calendar Girl, Book 2
Audrey Carlan
Hugo Roman
L’avenir en commun
The Common Future
Jean-Luc Mélenchon
Le Seuil
2 Arrête avec tes mensonges
Stop with Your Lies
Philippe Besson
Emmanuel Macron
XO, Paris
3 Ta deuxième vie commence quand tu comprends que tu n’en as qu’une
Your Second Life Begins When You Understand That You Only Have One
Raphaëlle Giordano
Histoire mondiale de la France
World History of France
Le Seuil

For the week ended Feb. 5; used by arrangement with GFK/Livres Hebdo


Fiction Nonfiction
1 Elefant
Martin Suter
Wunder wirken Wunder
Miracles Work Wonders
Eckart von Hirschhausen
2 4 3 2 1
Paul Auster
Wer wir waren
Who We Were
Roger Willemsen
S. Fischer
3 Meine geniale Freundin
My Brillant Friend
Elena Ferrante
Alexander von Humboldt und die Erfindung der Natur
Alexander von Humboldt and the Invention of Nature
Andrea Wulf
C. Bertelsmann

For the week ended Feb. 12; used by arrangement with Buchreport


Fiction Nonfiction
1 Den som stannar, den som går
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Elena Ferrante

Ibland mår jag inte så bra
Sometimes I Don’t Feel So Good
Therese Lindgren
Bokförlaget Forum

2 Lykttändaren
Pontus Ljunghill
Wahlström & Widstrand
Blodsockerkoll på 8 veckor
The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet
Michael Mosley
Bonnier Fakta
3 En bror att dö för
A Brother to Die For
Anders Roslund & Stefan Thunberg
Food Pharmacy
Food Pharmacy
Mia Clase & Lina Nertby Aurell
Bonnier Fakta

For the week ended Jan. 17; used by arrangement with Svensk Bokhandel