A memoir, a gardening guide, and a compendium of White House recipes...
Exactly three weeks after it was released by Crown Publishing Group on May 29, First Lady Michelle Obama's book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America is on the top of bestseller lists for gardening titles. In her personal memoir about becoming the nation's most high-profile child health advocate and foremost gardening promoter, Mrs. Obama also celebrates community food access efforts across America. (Above: A photo from the book, with First Dog Bo)
Documented with lavish photographs, the book is divided by the seasons as Mrs. Obama tells the story of her 1,500 square-foot Kitchen Garden, and includes tips for starting gardens of all sizes and recipes from the White House chefs. The book is an elegant wake-up call for the paradigm shift that is needed to change the nation's food culture to one that is far better for the next generation. CLICK HERE for a book excerpt.
As of today, American Grown is #1 on Amazon.com's list of Bestsellers in Gardening & Horticulture, where it sells for $17.85. In the company's Health, Fitness & Dieting category, it is #35. The book sits at #80 on Amazon's overall Top 100 Best Sellers List, where it has been on the list for 22 days. (Above: The book jacket)
American Grown is also #1 among gardening titles at the online outlet ABEbooks.com,where it sells for $18.37. Both Amazon and ABE update their rankings hourly.
American Grown this week is #106 on USA Today's Best-Selling Books list, which ranks up to 150. It is down from #68 last week. The book entered the Top 150 on June 7th.
Mrs. Obama held an autograph session for the book at DC's downtown Barnes & Nobles store last week, when the book was #62 on the B&N Top 100: Book Bestsellers list, another list that gets updated hourly. This week it is not on the list. American Grown was #29 on the list on Monday, June 4, a week after it was released.
American Grown has also been released as a very good E-Book, but it has yet to land on any of the bestseller lists that are in the current issue (dated June 24) of The New York Times Book Review for any categories: Hardcover Nonfiction, Combined Print & E Book Nonfiction, and E-Books.
Publisher's Weekly is not currently releasing weekly bestseller lists.
The First Lady has promoted American Grown with visits to TV shows, interviews on radio shows, and in interviews with wire service news outlets as well as with outreach to Mommybloggers. The book has not been the subject of many reviews, but The New York Times, in a round-up review of gardening titles, hailed American Grown as "a warm and personable record" with "an impassioned message."
Mrs. Obama accepted no advance for the book, and author proceeds will be donated to the National Park Foundation for programs that promote gardening and healthy eating, and to fund the ongoing maintenance of the White House Kitchen Garden. The cover price is $30.
CLICK HERE for recipes from the book.
*Photos by Quentin Bacon, reprinted from American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama. Copyright © 2012 by the National Park Foundation. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.