It’s Hard for Scottoline to Keep Quiet About the Choices We Make

The prolific Lisa Scottoline—who writes two novels each year—has yet another bestseller with her latest stand-alone thriller, Keep Quiet, which debuts this week at #4 on our Hardcover Fiction list. Keep Quiet, which has 175,000 copies in print, and was excerpted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, explores every parent’s worst nightmare: to what lengths would one go to protect one’s child from suffering the consequences of an action that could destroy his or her future? The story opens with Jake Buckman, a Philadelphia-area accountant, allowing his 16-year-old son to drive his Audi on a quiet road at night. But what starts out as a father-son bonding joyride turns into tragedy, forcing Jake to make a split-second decision that will plunge him and his son into a world of guilt and lies.

According to Scottoline, Keep Quiet is “the anatomy of a decision and its after-effects, in addition to being a family story and a crime thriller.” The novel was inspired by Scottoline’s concerns involving a street near her home with a blind curve. “I think,” she says, “what if somebody was here and I hit them? What if my kid were driving and my kid hit them? What would I do?” The decision that Jake makes can be viewed from so many different perspectives —moral, ethical, and legal—that Scottoline expects that this novel will be a popular book club selection. There are no wrong or right answers, Scottoline says. “He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.”

While Scottoline had to cut short her national tour short due to her 90-year-old mother’s death on April 13, she is scheduled to resume touring soon with appearances at two bookstores in South Jersey. She also is one of the featured breakfast speakers at BEA in New York on May 29.—Claire Kirch

Can and Did: Lydia Davis Makes the List with Her New Collection

Call her a writer’s writer: one novel, six previous story collections, including Varieties of Disturbance, a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. Call her an acclaimed translator: Swann’s Way, Madame Bovary. Call her an award-winner: the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. And now, call Lydia Davis a bestselling author. As Jonathan Galassi, FSG president and publisher and Davis’s longtime editor, says, “It’s thrilling to see Lydia on the bestseller list finding a broad and passionate readership.” Entering our Hardcover Fiction list at #25, Davis’s Can’t and Won’t: Stories, her first since 2009’s The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, offers more of what PW—in a starred review—called “her subtle and distinctive brand of storytelling,” with “poems, vignettes, thoughts, observations, and stories that defy clear categorization” and “bulletproof prose [that] sends each story shooting off the page.” The collection has received glowing reviews from the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Elle, among many other publications. In the New York Times (where the book became an Editor’s Choice pick), Peter Orner wrote: “This is what the best and most original literature can do: make us more acutely aware of life on and off the page.” Davis’s book tour launched with a sold-out Selected Shorts event at Manhattan’s Symphony Space with Jonathan Franzen on April 2, and has included appearances at the Brooklyn Public Library (for the Gotham: Writers in New York series) and the 92nd Street Y (with Jean Echenoz), as well as an interview with Rob Spillman of Tin House. She appeared at the Free Library of Philadelphia on April 18 and will have multiple appearances at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York. Davis fans can look forward to her summer essay in the Atlantic Monthly on the evolution of a short story, as well as appearances on Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson, WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show, and Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm.—Jessamine Chan

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint This Week Units
1 Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 59,864
2 Insurgent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 58,363
3 Allegiant Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 49,712
4 Never Go Back Lee Child Dell 44,313
5 The Fault in Our Stars (paperback) John Green Penguin/Speak 34,043
6 Heaven Is for Real (movie tie-in) Todd Burpo Thomas Nelson 33,124
7 Starting Now Debbie Macomber Ballantine 32,045
8 Flash Boys Michael Lewis W. W. Norton 31,526
9 Heaven Is for Real Todd Burpo Thomas Nelson 27,915
10 The Fault in Our Stars (hardcover) John Green Dutton Books 26,202