Novels Approach

A pair of debut novelists who are well-known in other formats make their marks on our hardcover fiction list.

At #6, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is by Ocean Vuong, author of the T.S. Eliot Prize–winning poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Our review called his first novel “a haunting meditation on loss, love, and the limits of human connection.”

Kristen Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things, #17, is a “dark and original debut,” our review said, and Arnett is “a keenly skillful author with imagination and insight to spare.” She’s also Literary Hub’s library columnist, a popular tweeter, and the author of the 2017 story collection Felt in the Jaw.

(See all of this week's bestselling books.)

In the Club

The new release Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok, a “thoughtful thriller [that] explores the Chinese immigrant experience in New York and Amsterdam,” per our review, debuts at #13 in hardcover fiction. It was a Today Read with Jenna (Bush Hager) pick and also the June selection from Belletrist, helmed by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss.

Sarah Haywood’s debut, The Cactus, which our review called “hilarious and endearing,” pubbed in 2018 and has sold about 1,300 copies in hardcover. The trade paper reprint landed in May, and the week after Reese Witherspoon chose it as her June book club pick, it moved about five times as many copies as the hardcover has since its release. It debuts at #19 on our trade paperback list.

Siege and Desist

Michael Wolff follows Fire and Fury, the fifth-bestselling book of 2018, with Siege, a “caustic narrative of the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency,” our review said. “Wolff’s gossipy account relies, he admits, on not-unimpeachable sources with axes to grind, especially former Trump adviser and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon, who is quoted so much that he is virtually a coauthor.” It debuts at #4 in hardcover nonfiction, with 18K print copies sold. Fire and Fury, whose early demand exceeded supply, sold more than 31K print copies in its first two days and another 197K in its first full week.

New & Notable

City of Girls
Elizabeth Gilbert
#3 Hardcover Fiction, #5 overall
The Eat Pray Love author’s first novel since 2013’s The Signature of All Things is a “beguiling tale of an innocent young woman discovering the excitements and pleasures of 1940 New York City,” our starred review said.

The Rest of the Story
Sarah Dessen
#3 Children’s Fiction
“Dessen explores her signature themes of family and romance in this layered contemporary novel,” our review said, her first since leaving longtime publisher Viking for HarperCollins’s Balzer + Bray imprint.

Naturally Tan
Tan France
#6 Hardcover Nonfiction
This “feisty and affecting memoir,” as our review deemed it, is the second of 2019 from a Queer Eye star, after March’s Karamo by Karamo Brown. September brings Antoni in the Kitchen, a cookbook by Antoni Porowski, and Over the Top, Jonathan Van Ness’s memoir.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens Putnam 47,813
2 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss Random House 33,562
3 Unfreedom of the Press Mark R. Levin Threshold 30,437
4 Unsolved Patterson/Ellis Little, Brown 25,293
5 City of Girls Elizabeth Gilbert Riverhead 23,912
6 Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid Jeff Kinney Amulet 23,417
7 The Mueller Report Scribner 22,304
8 Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered Kilgariff/Hardstark Forge 21,186
9 The Pioneers David McCullough Simon & Schuster 19,522
10 Shadow Warrior Christine Feehan Berkley 18,242

All unit sales per NPD BookScan except where noted.