Today in Books

The Thriller Writer Outselling James Patterson and John Grisham

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

Meet the New Queen of the Bestseller List

You’re expecting this to be a story about the latest TikTok romantasy hit, aren’t you? The clock app may be hogging headlines with stories about dragon riders who do it, but it’s Freida McFadden’s thrillers that are dominating bestseller lists. McFadden, a physician who writes under a pseudonym to protect her relationship with her patients, self-published for a decade before signing a deal with Sourcebooks’s Poisoned Pen Press. Her 23 (!) books have sold more than 6 million copies, making her the fastest-selling thriller writer in the U.S., outpacing heavy hitters James Patterson, David Baldacci, and John Grisham, who all show up beneath her on current sales charts. The New York Times‘s Alexandra Alter details McFadden’s rise in a new profile, which also hints at fascinating tidbits about Sourcebooks’s strategy. Now, my kingdom for a piece about the enduring appeal of the self-pub-to-traditional-deal pipeline.

New Hillary Clinton Memoir Coming for Election Season

Simon and Schuster has just announced a new Hillary Clinton memoir, titled Something Lost, Something Gained: Reflections on Life, Love, and Liberty, coming September 17. (I would’ve called it I Told You So or But Her Emails, and that’s why I’m not in charge of such things.) The book “will be both personal and political, reflecting on her marriage, friendships and the process of aging, as well as offering her views on topics ranging from Russia to the upcoming U.S. election.”

Something Lost, Something Gained be Clinton’s eleventh book and her first memoir since 2017’s What Happened, her post-game analysis of the 2016 presidential election. Clinton has been largely absent from the public eye since then—who can blame her?—and it will be interesting to see how this book performs relative to What Happened, which came out of the gate with more than 300,000 copies sold its first week.

It’s Not About the Books

As my colleague Kelly Jensen writes frequently in Book Riot’s Literary Activism newsletter, attempts to ban books with LGBTQ+ content are not about the books, they’re an attack on the rights and existence of LGBTQ+ people. No one knows this better than queer librarians like Idaho’s June Meissner, who has been verbally abused and physically assaulted by library patrons while simply trying to do her job. Meissner makes a direct connection between political efforts to ban books with LGTBQ+ content and anti-queer violence: “I do think that a lot of that political speech around it does make things more dangerous and worse for me.” American Library Association president Emily Drabinski, who is gay, echoed these sentiments, telling the Associated Press, “When we see attacks on those books, we have to understand that those are attacks on those kinds of people as well.”

Remember, folks, this is on the ballot in November as well.

The Best New Books Out This Week

Mid-summer tends to be a little on the sleepy side as new releases go, but there are some exciting new books out this week. What’s on your TBR?

The comments section is moderated according to our community guidelines. Please check them out so we can maintain a safe and supportive community of readers!

Leave a comment

Become an All Access subscriber to add comments.