BOOK WORLD Bestsellers — Nov. 20, 2011

The lists this pre-holiday weekend, this last weekend before the holiday season kicks-off in earnest, has several heavyweights making their debut — and likely to be hanging around for weeks to come.

President Bill Clinton — who has been out of the limelight these past few years, deferring a bit to Hillary Clinton and her vital diplomatic post and even daughter Chelsea, from her lovely, press-obsessed wedding to a new role at NBC News her role — speaks out, and does so not with a press conference, but a book. With the 2012 campaign (somewhat appallingly) in full swing replete with much heated banter about the role of government (or whether it’s needed at all), and all amid a true economic crisis for the nation, Clinton decided this was the perfect time to lay out his vision for government’s involvement in a robust economy. And it turns out to be crucial, not the scary job-destroying monster many on the campaign trail would have you believe (and often their pronouncements don’t jive with official data or seemingly most economists’ views). We’ll see what happens ...

Also in nonfiction are the new cookbook from D.C.’s very own cupcake stars, the sisters of Georgetown Cupcake, as well as acclaimed historian Robert Massie’s new biography of Catherine the Great, placing the extraordinary Russian empress in the political and social context of 18th-century Europe and giving her time to speak, by way of excerpts from her letters and diaries. And a new, one-volume history of World War II fro historian Max Hastings, which is receiving rave reviews.

The new fiction list finds a new #1 champion, the third new book a top the chart in as many weeks, with the debut of Stephen King’s hefty novel ”11/22/63,” which follows a professor who has the chance to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy that fateful day in Dallas. But the novel’s focus is how this mild-mannered professor’s own life changes, and not a reimagining of history had the president;s life been saved.

Also new are Italian novelist Umberto Eco’s new novel of innuendo and conspiracy theories, which dominated 19th-century political life, and a new Mistborn novel from Brandon Sanderson, the bestselling writer tasked with finishing fantasy great Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” saga.

BOOK WORLD

Bestsellers — November 20, 2011

[click on the author’s name to be linked to Book World’s review]



NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. STEVE JOBS (Simon & Schuster, $35)

By Walter Isaacson. The life of the offbeat, visionary founder of the Apple corporation, based on numerous interviews with Jobs himself. (3)

2. BACK TO WORK: WHY WE NEED SMART GOVERNMENT FOR A STRONG ECONOMY

(Knopf, $23.95). By Bill Clinton (1)

3. KILLING LINCOLN: THE SHOCKING ASSASSINATION THAT CHANGED AMERICA FOREVER

(Henry Holt, $28). By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (7)

4. THE CUPCAKE DIARIES: RECIPES AND MEMORIES FROM THE SISTERS OF GEORGETOWN CUPCAKE

(HarperOne, $23.99). By Katherine Kallinis & Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne (1)

5. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2012

(Guinness World Records, $28.95). The series unveils a “wide-screen” design, new topics and previously unseen photos. (6)

6. THE QUEST: ENERGY, SECURITY, AND THE REMAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD

(Penguin Press, $37.95). By Daniel Yergin (4)

7. JACK KENNEDY: ELUSIVE HERO

(Simon & Schuster, $27.50). By Chris Matthews. The political pundit’s biography of President Kennedy, drawn from multiple sources. (2)

8. CATHERINE THE GREAT: PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN

(Random House, $35). By Robert K. Massie. The remarkable life of German princess turned Russian Empress. (1)

9. INFERNO: THE WORLD AT WAR, 1939-1945

(Knopf, $35). By Max Hastings. A weighty, one-volume account of a momentous defining point in history. (1)

10. NO HIGHER HONOR: A MEMOIR OF MY YEARS IN WASHINGTON

(Crown, $35). By Condoleeza Rice. Candid reflections from the former secretary of state. (2)




FICTION HARDCOVER

1. 11/22/63 (Scribner, $35)

By Stephen King. A modest English professor is offered the chance to change history — by preventing the JFK assassination. (1)

2. THE LITIGATORS (Doubleday, $28.95)

By John Grisham. The fortunes of a sketchy law practice may change thanks to a new recruit and one major lawsuit. (3)

3. ZERO DAY (Grand Central, $27.99)

By David Baldacci. A top notch U.S. Army CID investigator finds something amiss in a rural West Virginia Town. (2)

4. THE PRAGUE CEMETERY (Houghton Mifflin Harcout, $27)

By Umberto Eco. A whirlwind tour of 19th-century Europe’s myriad conspiracies, both real and fictitious but all equally unsettling. (1)

5. THE BEST OF ME (Grand Central, $25.99)

By Nicholas Sparks. A funeral calls former high school sweethearts back to their rural North Carolina town. (5)

6. THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING (Little, Brown, $25.99)

By James Patterson and Richard DiLallo. A mother’s holiday nuptials may be the healing salve for a family fractured by their father’s passing three years earlier. (4)

7. HOTEL VENDÔME (Delacorte, $28)

By Danielle Steel. A savvy hotelier juggles the demands of his exclusive Manhattan hideaway and the demands of a single dad. (2)

8. THE MARRIAGE PLOT (FSG, $28)

By Jeffrey Eugenides. Set in the early ’80s, it’s a tale of two men, one woman, their complicated relationship and a senior thesis on the 19th-century English novel. (5)

9. 1Q84 (Knopf, $30.50)

By Haruki Murakami. A surreal, hefty novel chronicling parallel worlds — our own, and that of the title; a runaway hit in Japan. (3)

10. THE ALLOY OF LAW (Tor, $24.99)

By Brandon Sanderson. A fantasy tale set 300 years after the original Mistborn Trilogy, with Scadrial embracing a newfound modernity. (1)



NONFICTION PAPERBACK

1. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A LITTLE BOY’S ASTOUNDING STORY OF HIS TRIP TO HEAVEN AND BACK

(Thomas Nelson, $16.99). By Todd Burpo (44)

2. GAME CHANGE: OBAMA AND THE CLINTONS, MCCAIN AND PALIN, AND THE RACE OF A LIFETIME

(HarperPerennial, $16.99). By John Heileman & Mark Halperin. Reissued with a new afterword in Oct. 2010. (1)

3. THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM: OFFICIAL GAME GUIDE

(Prima, $26.99). By David Hodgson. Navigating the popular role-playing video game. (1)

4. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

(Broadway, $16). By Rebecca Skloot. How one woman’s death from cervical cancer in 1951 led to the creation of the prodigious HeLa cell line. (36)

5. THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES: THE SECRET TO LOVE THAT LASTS (Northfield, $14.99)

By Gary D. Chapman. Knowing that special someone. (18)

6. CLARK HOWARD’S LIVING FAT IN LEAN TIMES: 250+ WAYS TO BUY SMARTER, SPEND SMARTER, AND SAVE MONEY

(Avery, $18). By Clark Howard (2)

7. THE HAPPINESS PROJECT (Harper, $14.99)

By Gretchen Rubin. What happened when a lawyer, writer and mom set out to improve her life in a year. (14)

8. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (Workman, $14.95). By Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazell. Fourth edition of the popular guide. (16)

9. THE OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE (College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (92)

10. OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS

(Back Bay, $16.99). By Malcolm Gladwell. Assumptions about success challenged. (17)



FICTION PAPERBACK

1. THE NEXT ALWAYS: BOOK ONE OF THE INN BOONSBORO TRILOGY

(Berkley, $16). By Nora Roberts. A love story set in the very real Maryland town. (2)

2. THE HELP (Berkley, $16)

By Kathryn Stockett. A frank chronicle of the lives of several black maids working in a town in 1960s Miss. (31)

3. SING YOU HOME (Atria, $16)

By Jodi Picoult. Three characters take turns narrating this emotional tale of parenting, relationships and love. (4)

4. THE VALCOURT HEIRESS (Jove, $7.99)

By Catherine Coulter. A missing cache of gold, a destructive tyrant and the new Baron Wareham feature in this period romance. (2)

5. CRESCENT DAWN (Berkley, $9.99)

By Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. Dirk Pitt races to stop extremists targeting Muslim holy sites. (3)

6. TOUCHED BY ANGELS (Avon, $7.99)

By Debbie Macomber. Three New York women from different walks of life are each assisted by three very unique angels. (3)

7. THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS (Mira, $7.99)

By Debbie Macomber. A young woman’s holiday-themed matchmaking experience, with an unexpected ending. (2)

8. WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS (Bantam, $9.99)

By Dean Koontz. The murders of four families are being re-created years later, perhaps by a ghost. (4)

9. THE TIGER’S WIFE (Random House, $15)

By Téa Obreht. While on a humanitarian mission, a doctor in the Balkans is confronted by the riddles of her own family’s past. (1)

10. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)

By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the African continent woven into a sweeping saga. (49)


Rankings reflect sales for the week ended November 13, 2011. The charts may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright 2011 by Nielsen BookScan. (The right-hand column of numbers represents weeks on this list, which premiered in Book World on Jan. 11, 2004. The bestseller lists in print alternate between hardcover and paperback; the complete list can be found online.)

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters