Lights out: Anthony Doerr’s sleeper hit All the Light We Cannot See has hit a milestone – it enters USA TODAY’s top 10 for the first time, in its 34th week on the best-seller list. The World War II novel, about a blind French girl and a Nazi youth, is No. 8; its previous high was No. 11 on Dec. 11. (USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books full list will publish Wednesday, early because of the holiday.)
Light has been a strong seller through the holidays. It entered the list at No. 57 upon its release in May and, propelled by good reviews and word of mouth, was No. 27 by June 5. The novel received another boost this fall when it was nominated for the National Book Award; losing to Phil Klay’s Iraq War novel Redeployment made no dent in sales. Publisher Scribner reports an impressive 920,000 copies in print in various formats, up from a first printing of 60,000.
‘Unbroken’ streak: It took 184 weeks, but Unbroken finally hit No. 1 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list on Dec. 18. (Its previous high was No. 3.) Now Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction best seller about World War II hero Louis Zamperini has a mini- streak going – it’s No. 1 for the third straight week, thanks to Angelina Jolie’s film adaptation. The movie, which earned middling reviews (USA TODAY’s Claudia Puig gave it 2.5 out of 4 stars), has made $51.2 million since its Christmas Day opening. Unbroken is the first book to be in the top spot for at least three consecutive weeks since the young-adult novel (turned movie) If I Stay had a five-week run from Aug. 7 through Sept. 4. The No. 1 book changed every week from Sept. 11 until Nov. 13, when Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul hit No. 1 and then repeated the following week.
‘Hobbit’ happening: The Hobbit is making what seems like its umpteenth comeback on USA TODAY’s list, thanks to the final installment in Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 classic is No. 37, up from No. 131 last week. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, has earned $175.6 million since its Dec. 17 opening. Tolkien’s tale of Bilbo Baggins has spent 189 weeks on the list; its highest ranking was No. 2 on Dec. 20, 2012, when the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, was in theaters.