Bestselling preternatural books in paperback (fiction and nonfiction)

The bestselling paperback books with preternatural themes are a study in contrasts this week. Religion, specifically Christianity, dominates top sellers on the New York Times’ nonfiction paperback list, while mass market paperbacks having television tie-in top the bestselling lists for fiction in both the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly.

Nonfiction Paperback

At the top of the nonfiction paperback list is Heaven is for Real: A little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. This book, told in the voice of a young Nebraska boy who had a near death experience, offers a remarkable glimpse into heaven wrapped in a charmingly simple message: Heaven is for Real. Published by Thomas Nelson. (Also ranks Number 1 on the NYT list.)

From a glimpse inside heaven to a glimpse Inside a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. The Number two book among bestselling nonfiction paperbacks is a must read for those seeking to become or understand shape shifters. Author (and psychology professor) Alexandra Horowitz invites readers to imagine a world colored not by sights but by smells and the incredible olfactory senses of canines. Inside a Dog is not a training book nor one that memorialize a beloved companion. It is a book about better understanding of man’s best friend and how we live together. Published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. (Ranked Number 11 overall among bestselling paperback nonfiction according to the NYT.)

Have you ever wondered if Vampires and Weres could ever truly get along? Checking out Unlikely Friendships might shed a little hopeful light on the possibility of the supernatural creatures living in harmony. Jennifer Holland, a senior writer for National Geographic, grants insight to 47 unusual and yet, touching pairings within the Animal Kingdom. Published by Workman. (Ranked Number 12 overall among bestselling paperback nonfiction according to the NYT.)

Some sort of a psycho-socio-anthro-ologist person would probably look at this book and say that it has nothing to do with cuteness and really symbolizes how, deep down, humans want to see beyond differences. That we believe that love comes in many forms, and that we all can really get along if we just look past surface differences, much like the elephant on Page 4 that is best friends with a sheep. They cuddled and napped together!

Monica Hesse, Reviewer, Washington Post

90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life offers another glimpse into heaven, this time through the eyes of Baptist minister (and author) Don Piper. After years of keeping this remarkable experience to himself, friends and family have finally prevailed upon him to share (with a little help from Cecil Murphey)  the tale with the world. After being declared dead at the scene of an accident, Piper spends 90 Minutes in Heaven, before coming back to life and a long painful recovery. This book, published by Revell Books, a division of the Baker Publishing Group, reveals a story that may just change a life. (Number 14 overall on the NYT list of bestselling nonfiction in paperback.)

Paperback Fiction

This week’s list of 5 bestselling paperback novels is almost entirely tied to the popular HBO original series Game of Thrones. In fact, four of the top five selling fictional paperback books are related to the series and written by George R.R. Martin and published by Bantam Dell. The top 4 bestselling paperback novels are:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords
  4. A Feast for Crows

A Game of Thrones, the first in the series and the bestselling paperback fiction book of the week was nominated for a Nebula award and introduces readers to the vividly real world and characters of the Seven Kingdoms. Each subsequent book picks up the thread of the tale and carries it forward through complex plotting and such beautiful prose it’s almost a shame it was ruined by being performed.

Rounding out the list of bestselling novels with a preternatural twist is The Shack by William P. Young. In this tragic thriller readers are Mackenzie Allen Phillips’ (Mack) receives a letter from God inviting him back to the shack in the wilds of Oregon that was the scene of his greatest sorrow four years earlier. What he finds will change him forever. Published by Windblown Media.