Miller and Birch lead Booker sales for book chains

Miller and Birch lead Booker sales for book chains

AD Miller's Snowdrops and Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie are the bestselling books in the Man Booker shortlist on the high street, ahead of the prize's announcement this evening.

A D Miller’s Snowdrops (Atlantic) is the bestselling title at Waterstone's with bookies' favourite Julian Barnes' A Sense of An Ending (Jonathan Cape) in second place. Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English (Bloomsbury) was its third, Patrick De Witt's The Sisters Brothers (Granta) fourth and Esi Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues (Serpents Tail) was its fifth, with Jamrach's Menagerie in last. At WH Smith, Jamrach's Menagerie and Snowdrops are almost neck and neck and are followed by A Sense of An Ending.

Waterstone’s spokesman Jon Howells said: "Opinion is split here about what will win. The favourite is obviously the Barnes, but a lot of people are raving about The Sisters Brothers. I think they are right—there will be a surprise winner [tonight]. Whatever the controversy, the Booker remains an incredibly powerful force, and the winning author will reap the rewards very quickly."

Yesterday, bookmaker William Hill announced Julian Barnes’ A Sense of an Ending was the 6/4 favourite, with 50% of bets placed on the prize backing the Jonathan Cape author to win. Amazon.co.uk revealed Barnes had also been the shortlisted title most downloaded to the Kindle, with 29% of people choosing his book from those in the running for the prize.