Lee Child has reclaimed his UK Official Top 50 number one, as Night School (Bantam) boomeranged back into the top spot, displacing Star Wars: Rogue One (Egmont). The 1996-set Jack Reacher prequel sold 26,343 copies for £111,552, and held the Mass Market Fiction number one for a third consecutive week.
A plethora of new entries peppered the chart. The latest Richard & Judy Book Club tranche thundered into the Top 50 en masse, with five titles in the top six. Robert Harris’ Conclave (Arrow) shifted 11,721 copies to take second place, while Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things (Hodder), Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (Corgi), Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent (Profile) and Clare Mackintosh’s I See You (Sphere) all selling in excess of 10,000 copies and charting in third to sixth place. Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place (Tinder) hit 16th, Kate Eberlen’s Miss You (Pan) charted 25th and Tana French’s The Trespasser (Hodder) scored 42nd place.
In total the eight picks for summer shifted 68,206 copies between them, 19% more than the winter tranche’s first week in the chart.
Jo Nesbo’s latest Harry Hole title The Thirst (Harvill Secker) was the sole hardback in the top 10, selling 10,136 copies to become the fastest-selling Original Fiction title of the year to date. It elbowed John Connolly’s two-week wonder A Game of Ghosts (Hodder) off the category chart number one. Other new entries, including Stuart MacBride’s A Dark So Deadly (HarperCollins), David Baldacci’s The Fix (Macmillan) and Erin Kelly’s He Said/She Said (Hodder), followed in its wake.
Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (Particular) has already dipped in and out of the Top 50 a few times, following boosts from International Womens’ Day and Mother’s Day. A category change this week—from Biography to Children’s Non-Fiction—sees the Kickstarter-funded title swipe the Children’s number one, with 4,337 copies sold.
The BBC Proms 2017 Festival Guide crescendo-ed all the way to the top of the Paperback Non-Fiction top 20, shifting 7,562 copies to displace Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens (Vintage).
The Life in the UK Test Handbook (Red Squirrel) re-entered the Small Publishers Non-Fiction top 20. The title hit its highest-ever weekly volume last June, in the week following the EU Referendum, but dropped out of the chart for the rest of 2016. However, since the prime minister announced her intention for a hard Brexit in January, the Life in the UK Test Handbook has been regularly bobbing in and out of the top 20. The snap election, announced last week, has clearly nudged the title back up the charts.
The market suffered from a 13.9% drop in volume and a 9.7% decline in value week on week, following the Easter Sunday bank holiday. Value was even down 3.1% on 2016’s Easter weekend. However, average selling price rocketed up 4.8% to £8.19—its highest since mid-February.