Jeff Kinney's latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid adventure, The Third Wheel (Amulet), has been crowned the US Christmas number one, topping the final official Nielsen BookScan US bestseller chart to be published before Christmas Day.
The hardback novel, which follows Greg Heffley's attempts to find a date for his school Valentine's Day dance, sold 193,200 copies in the week ending 15th December—more than double the sales of his nearest competitor, news anchor Bill O'Reilly's analysis of the assassination of JFK, Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (Henry Holt). The $28 hardback publication sold 84,600 copies through BookScan's US Consumer Market panel.
Carol V Aebersold's perennial Christmas bestseller, Elf of the Shelf (CCA & B), takes third position in the list with a 64,100 sale. Self-published in 2005, the book comes with an elf doll and has become a word-of-mouth hit over the years. Sales totalled 64,100 copies last week and has now sold 408,900 copies in 2012 to date.
Another of O'Reilly's titles, Killing Lincoln (Henry Holt), takes fourth place in the chart, ahead of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof (Random House).
John Grisham's The Racketeer (Doubleday) proved the bestselling novel in the US last week, selling 45,000 copies according to BookScan. It takes ninth place in the overall chart—two ahead of E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage) which, with sales of 6.2m, has been comfortably the bestselling book in the US in 2012 thus far.
Six other books have sold more than 1m copies in the US this year: E L James' two other Fifty Shades novels, Darker and Freed; the three books in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy (Scholastic), and Kinney's The Third Wheel.
In total, 22m books were sold in the US last week according to Nielsen—p 23% week on week. Sales were down 6% on the same week last year, although this is an improvement on the year in general which has seen printed book sales slump by 10% in comparison to 2011.