Tuesday 17 September 2019

Michelle Obama beats David Walliams to top of Christmas book chart

David Walliams topped the Christmas book chart in 2016 and 2017.

Michelle Obama beats David Walliams to top Christmas book chart (Yui Mok/PA)
Michelle Obama beats David Walliams to top Christmas book chart (Yui Mok/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming has topped the Christmas book chart for 2018.

The former US first lady fended off competition from David Williams, whose latest children’s book The Ice Monster was in the running for the festive accolade, as well as fitness coach Joe Wicks’ new vegan offering.

According to Nielsen BookScan – the industry-leading measurement of print book sales – Mrs Obama’s book sold 91,882 copies between December 9 and December 15, the week of sales used by the organisation to compile its bestseller list.

The Ice Monster by David Walliams (Harper Collins)

The overall value of the sales of Becoming was £1.36 million, Nielsen Book said.

Walliams, who has topped the seasonal chart twice before, sold 80,413 copies of his book across the reporting week, totalling £547,200.

The TV star and author topped the chart in 2016 and 2017 with The Midnight Gang and Bad Dad respectively.

Fitness star Wicks, best known as The Body Coach, was in third place with Veggie Lean In 15: 15-minute Veggie Meals With Workouts, which was only released on December 13.

Despite only being released halfway through the week, it shifted 51,316 copies, totalling £431,800.

Andre Breedt, managing director of Nielsen Book Research International, said they have seen a “sizeable increase” in book sales over the Christmas shopping period and that 2018 was “no exception”.

Veggie Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)

He added: ​“The four-week Christmas period accounts for approximately 15% of annual book sales – over double the figure of an average four-week period (6%).​”

Mr Breedt previously said the fact that three such different works were contenders to top the chart showed a broad “mixture of trends” in the UK.

Other books on the top 10 list include Guinness World Records 2019, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book.

Nielsen BookScan is in its 25th year of measuring book sales in the UK.

It collects point-of-sale data from 6,500 book stores across the UK, including high street shops, internet retailers, independent bookshops and museums.

PA Media

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