David Walliams’ second short story collection The World’s Worst Children 2 (HarperCollins Children's) has held on to the UK Official Top 50 number one spot for a third week running, a week longer than its predecessor spent in the top spot in May-June 2016. While its volume declined by 48% week on week, The World’s Worst Children 2 still easily outsold second-placed Joe Wicks’ Cooking for Family and Friends (Bluebird), by 15,444 copies.
Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Hamish Hamilton) has ended Paula Hawkins’ (pool) party at the top of the Original Fiction chart. After five weeks in the number one spot, Into the Water (Doubleday) has dribbled down to third, with both Roy and John Grisham’s Camino Island (Hodder & Stoughton) rushing to fill the void. Similarly to Into the Water, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is the much-anticipated follow-up to the author’s debut mega-hit—though Roy made her fans wait 18 years longer than Hawkins did. Her 1997 Booker Prize winner The God of Small Things (HarperCollins) shifted 613,427 copies in paperback upon its release in May 1998. But as the hardback was published in the pre-BookScan era, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has delivered Roy’s first Original Fiction number one after it sold 9,384 copies this week.
Peter Robinson’s When the Music’s Over (Hodder) leapfrogged Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Orion) to take the Mass Market Fiction top spot—the author’s first since January 2014. It is also the first time Hodder have taken the category top spot since David Nicholls’ Us crested the chart just over two years ago, neatly bookending a Tory majority government.
Naomi Alderman’s The Power (Penguin) surged into the Top 50, climbing 142 places to claim 27th and jolting 212% in volume selling 5,446 copies after winning the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction last week. But the real power lay with Waterstones—two of its Books of the Month for June, Deborah Levy’s Booker-shortlisted Hot Milk (Penguin) and Jane Harper’s The Dry (Abacus) , hit the Top 50 in a first for both authors. The retailer’s Children’s Book of the Month, Kieran Larwood and David Wyatt’s The Legend of Podkin One-Ear (Faber & Faber), charted 10th in the Children’s and Young Adult Fiction top 20, beating Anthony Horowitz’s new Alex Rider title Never Say Die (Walker).
Against all Father’s Day traditions, Peppa Pig: My Daddy (Ladybird) was denied the Pre-School and Picture Book number one by Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men: My Daddy (Egmont).
Maybe it was the fault of the general election, but the print market suffered a 7.1% drop in volume and 6.2% decline in value week on week. The year-on-year numbers were slightly cheerier—value was up a healthy 5.9%, while volume inched over the line to post a 0.1% bump. These two figures could sum up 2017 to date as it nears the half-way point; while value is nearly 2% up on 2016, volume lags behind by 0.8%.