John Irving's 10th book, The Fourth Hand, is the 10th 2001 bestseller to make it to the #1 spot after just one week on the shelves. So far that's one more than in 2000, when the total was nine books through the third week in July. Still, the record to beat is 18—that's the total number of books published in 2000 that hit the top bestseller spot the first week out. Irving's first media appearance for the book was Good Morning America on July 10, followed by a CBS Sunday Morning feature on July 15. Random House launched the book with a 260,000-copy first printing and has already gone back to press for an additional 50,000 copies, bringing the total to 310,000. Irving's last hardcover bestseller, A Widow for One Year, landed at #7 back on May 11, 1998; it had a run of four weeks in the #1 position and spent a total of 21 on the charts.
Volume 248 Issue 29 07/16/2001