Sara Gruen has her highest debut ever with At the Water’s Edge (Spiegel & Grau), a novel about Philadelphians pursuing theLoch Ness monster during World War II. It lands at No. 12. (The full list will publish on Thursday.) While that’s Gruen’s best debut, it’s not her highest ranking. That belongs to Water for Elephants, which hit No. 1 in 2011, thanks to the movie adaptation. It took a while for Elephants to make it to the top; the period circus novel first entered the list at No. 141 in 2006. Elephants spent 200 weeks on the list. Gruen’s 2010 novel Ape House peaked at No. 65. But despite the presence of a mythical beast, this doesn’t quite add up to a legendary love story.”
‘Magic’ touch: Cleaning house, Japanese-style, has struck a real chord with American readers. Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Ten Speed Press), at No. 16 this week, is one of the breakout hits of 2015. The manual, published last fall, entered the top 150 on Nov. 6 at No. 104.