Mackesy canters to top of charts, as Evaristo and Eddo-Lodge soar

Mackesy canters to top of charts, as Evaristo and Eddo-Lodge soar

Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (Ebury) has cantered back to the Official UK Top 50 number one spot, as books by black authors rocket up the charts. 

Mackesy's illustrated Waterstones Book of the Year has had an unusally long and consistent run at the top of the charts, first hitting the top spot in February, four months after publication, and it has barely left the top five since lockdown began.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter marches taking place across the UK last week, Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin) leapt into second place overall and topped the Mass Market Fiction top 20, making Evaristo the first female writer of colour to top the category chart, since records began in 1998. The only writer of colour to previously claim the pole, in that period, was Evaristo's fellow Booker winner Marlon James in December 2015.

Candice Carty-Williams' Queenie (Trapeze) also bounced back into the Mass Market Fiction top 20.

Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury) also jumped, climbing 155 places up the chart to hit the Paperback Non-Fiction number one, and third place overall, after jumping 376 places a week ago. Eddo-Lodge becomes the first British black author to top the Paperback Non-Fiction chart. Her publisher said: "Seeing Reni Eddo-Lodge top the chart today, we note that in these difficult and challenging times, people are turning to books to learn and educate themselves. In support of our authors and our staff, Bloomsbury has made a substantial donation to Black Lives Matter."

The 1984 edition of Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Virago) also climbed into the top 20.

The Hardback Non-Fiction chart saw Adam Rutherford's How to Argue with a Racist (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) re-enter, while Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy (Quercus) and Candice Braithwaite's I Am Not Your Baby Mother (Quercus) entered the chart for the first time, with Michelle Obama's Becoming (Viking)—the only title by a black author to ever hit the overall number one in the UK, in late 2018—holding eighth place, and returning to the Top 50. John Nichol's Lancaster (S&S) rose to fourth place in Hardback Non-Fiction in its second week on sale, jumping to 33rd place overall.

Michael Connelly's Fair Warning (Orion) held the Original Fiction number one for a second week, with John Grisham's Camino Winds (Hodder) holding the runner-up spot.

David Walliams' Slime (HarperCollins) re-claimed the Children's number one from Suzanne Collins' The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Scholastic), while Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give (Walker) returned to the Children's and YA Fiction top 20.

Nielsen BookScan was once again unable to provide sales figures or market data, because of the limited retail landscape caused by lockdown.