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embraced Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train and Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, with multiple editions of both titles in each country’s top 20, both nations adopted a different self-help tome to take a distant second place to Cursed Child. Americans flocked to organisation guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (Ten Speed Press), while Brits backed chirpy Instagram-based personal trainer Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 (Bluebird).

AB FAB It is a testament to Wicks’ popularity that Lean in 15’s UK volume is 350,000 copies higher than Kondo’s US volume, despite the UK’s population being less than 20% the size of the US’. We may have untidy houses, but at least we’ll have rock- hard abs. (Perhaps.) But like Robbie

Williams and Cheryl Cole before him, “The Body Coach” has failed to crack America, where his début has sold just 6,570 copies. However, being shunned by US book-buyers puts

him in good company. David Walliams, who authored two of the UK’s top 20 for the year to date and has pocketed a total of £7.3m thus far in 2016—has shifted just 15,879 units in the US since records began. Despite Americans having something of a reputation for being obsessed with food, the Brits seem to be outpacing them at their own game, with five cookbooks in the UK chart compared to none in the US. It should be noted that four of those cookbooks—Wicks’ Lean in 15 and Lean in 15: The Shape Plan, Michael Mosley’s The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet (Short) and Ella Woodward’s Deliciously Ella Every Day (Yellow Kite) are technically “healthy”, with only Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking (BBC) flying the flag for cake-eating. Americans instead appear to focus on mind rather than body—aside from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, three other self-help titles chart in the top 20:

Above J K Rowling, who tops the charts on both sides of the Atlantic; and the two authors who directly trail her: cleaning guru Marie Kondo in the US list and Joe Wicks in the UK chart

Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder 2.0 (Gallup); Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages (Moody) and Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass (Perseus).

INSULAR ISLAND Though many Brits are expressing confusion and barely concealed derision at Donald Trump’s rise to prominence in the US presidential election, the book chart across the pond is noticeably more outward- facing than the UK’s: it features four titles by British authors, one Japanese and one Swedish in its top 10. In comparison, the UK’s top 10 titles are authored by six Brits and one American . . . who is, in fact, writing about the UK (Bill Bryson in The Road to Little Dribbling). Of the 15 authors that feature in the UK chart, only three are foreign and of those, only one (David Lagercrantz) was translated. However, the UK wins the numbers game. Both territories have seen their year-to-date print


In the UK, [Rowling’s] 2016 value sales are already at £18.8m— last year’s biggest- selling author, Julia Donaldson, ‘only’ earned £13.8m in the entirety of 2015

volumes increase on the same period in 2015: the US by 1.29% and the UK by 4.6%. While the US’ volume has already crested 200 million books sold, factoring in its larger population shows that the number of books bought by the average American citizen in the past year was 0.65, compared to the average Brit, who has bought nearly two whole books. US BookScan doesn’t provide value figures, but the UK’s market value to date reveals that same average UK citizen has spent £15.22 on books so far this year. 

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