Check out the hardcover nonfiction list and you will see that the dominant subject is politics. More than half of the books are by or about political figures and issues. In fact, the three new nonfiction bestsellers this week would be shelved under the P word. If not for the other bestselling category—diet books—Bill O'Reilly's Who's Looking Out for You? would have landed in the #1 spot, instead of #3. Broadway Books reports hefty sales and has already gone for a second printing of 82,000 to augment its 750,000-copy first printing. And Broadway reports that first-week sales were considerably stronger than for O'Reilly's previous #1 national bestseller, The No Spin Zone. That 2001 title was on our charts for 12 weeks, eight of them in the #1 spot. His earlier book, The O'Reilly Factor, had a 30-week run on PW's hardcover charts, with #2 as the highest ranking.
Molly Ivins has a second bestseller attacking President Bush's record with biting wit, Bushwhacked: Life in George's W. Bush's America. Her 2000 bestseller, Shrub, focusing on Bush's political record as governor of Texas, enjoyed a four-week run on the hardcover charts, landing in the #11 spot. Her newest lands higher (#7) and had a first printing of 110,000 copies; three additional printings bring the total to 128,000. Random reports that the first stops on Ivins's 12-city tour were SRO. Politics & Prose in D.C. hosted more than 900 people, its largest event ever.
Free Press notes that the massive collection of letters written by President Ronald Reagan over a 70-year span may be the "closest we will have to an autobiography"; in one of his final missives (Nov. 4, 1994), he wrote about having Alzheimer's. Reagan: A Life in Letters was published with a 70,000-copy printing; two additional trips to press take that figure to 110,000 copies. A September 23 one-day laydown was preceded by a September 21 interview with Nancy Reagan, son Ron Reagan Jr. and the book's three editors on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.