Thursday, May 28, 2009

Selling Out

The Globe and Mail Best Seller Lists for May 27th, 2009:

Hardcover Fiction
1. Vision in White- Nora Roberts
2. The Shack- William Paul Young
3. Assegai- Wilbur Smith
4. The Best of Times- Penny Vincenzi
5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies- Jane Austen and Seth-Grahame Smith
6. The Host- Stephanie Meyer
7. The 8th Confession- Maxine Paetro
8. Pygmy- Chuck Palahniuk
9. Wicked Prey- John Sandford
10. The Winter Vault- Anne Michaels

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Always Looking Up- Michael J. Fox
2. Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell
3. The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch
4. True Patriot Love- Michael Ignatieff
5. Slow Death by Rubber Duck- Sarah Dopp
6. The Bro Code- Barney Stinson
7. Shakedown- Ezra Levant
8. Not Yet- Wayson Choy
9. My Booky Wook- Russell Brand
10. A Lion Called Christian- Anthony Bourke

Softcover Fiction
1. Angels and Demons- Dan Brown
2. The Book of Negroes- Lawrence Hill
3. Sail- James Patterson & Howard Roughan
4. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society- Mary Ann Shaffe and Annie Barrow
5. Phantom Prey- John Sandford
6. The Bourne Sanction- Robert Ludlum & Eric Van Lustbader
7. The Broken Window- Jeffery Deaver
8. Odd Hours- Dean Koontz
9. Careless In Red- Elizabeth George
10. Love The One You're With- Emily Giffin

Paperback Nonfiction
1.Three Cups of Tea- Greg Mortenson
2. Dreams from My Father- Barack Obama
3. Audition- Barbara Walters
4. The Audacity of Hope- Barack Obama
5. In Defense of Food- Michael Pollan
6. Blink- Malcolm Gladwell
7. The Brain That Changes Itself- Norman Doidge
8. The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell
9. Eat, Pray, Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
10. The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls

(Read the Canadian only, children, mystery, christian fiction and religion lists here.)

Do you follow bestseller lists?

On the rare occasion that I actually read a newspaper, I do look at the bestseller lists. Usually it's just to see what I've read (in this case only-- sadly and regrettably-- Dan Brown's Angels and Demons) and what I'd like to read (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Book of Negroes-- the latter of which I own, but haven't made a priority yet-- and possibly Pygmy, though I haven't read any Pahalniuk yet and cannot not start with Fight Club). For the most part I either shake my head (Russell Brand? Am I the only one that doesn't find him funny?) and shrug my shoulders (who's Maxine Paetro?)

So, which have you read?
Which do you want to read?
What do you think these lists say about Canadian reading choices?


Sam said...

The only two I've read are on the paperback nonfiction part of the list and both by Gladwell: "Blink" and "The Tipping Point."

Bestseller lists are as depressing as ever to me - dominated by junk when so many great and talented writers struggle to sell 1000 copies of their work.

Kate said...

I've read a bunch, though not as many as usual...

The Winter Vault (in progress); The Shack (though a paperback copy???); Angels and Demons; The Book of Negroes (definitely make this one a priority!); The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Careless in Red; Three Cups of Tea; In Defense of Food; The Glass Castle.

Which would I like to read? I have to confess that I haven't heard of a bunch of them. Cross off any by Stephanie Meyer - I'm not interested in vampires. I might be convinced to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - mostly for the Austen connection. And I have a copy of The Brain that Changes Itself on my bookcase, a Christmas present from my father - I will probably read it over the summer - yes, I'm a neurology geek.

barefootheart said...

I don't usually pay much attention to the bestseller list. Looking at this one, in the fiction I've read Eliz George's disappointing followup to What Came Before He Shot Her, Careless in Red. And I gave The Guernsey Literary.... to my daughter who liked it ok. I've read more of the nonfiction, The Tipping Point, In Defense of Food, The Brain that Changes Itself. Loved Three Cups of Tea, highly recommended. Couldn't get into Eat, Pray, Love and gave up on it. Would like to read Slow Death by Rubber Duck. Why does the author show as Sarah Dopp instead of Rick Smith?

Remi said...

I look at the lists very rarely even though I read G&M's book section religiously. Most of the stuff I like has a hard time making it far up those lists so I just don't bother.

For instance, the only book I've read of all those is the Wayson Choy book (which was excellent).

Most of the other stuff doesn't interest me much. In a season when we had a wonderful Canuck book like Come, Thou Tortoise come out, it's disheartening to see that names like Meyer and Roberts still dominate.

Chrisbookarama said...

The Bro Code? Seriously? I can't believe that's for real. I haven't read anything on those lists.

claire said...

I do tend to look at the bestseller lists for the very same reason as you. On here I've only read The Book of Negroes. The Guernsey is on my TBR pile. The Winter Vault is on my wishlist. That's about it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't know whether to be ashamed or proud to say that I have read none of these, although I do want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Pygmy, and Slow Death by Rubber Duck.

I am not sure what this says about me or my Canadianity, but I suspect it's not good.

John Mutford said...

Sam: But I guess some readers must be happy with the list.

Kate: Yeah, the Brain That Changes Itself, does sound interesting.

Barefootheart: I'll give them that the Rubber Duck book has a great title. As for why it's listed as Sarah Dopp, I'm not entirely sure. While her name isn't on the cover, she is listed as one of the three authors (with Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie) on the RandomHouse website.

Remi: I so badly want to make fun of the fact that Nora Roberts is number one, but in all honesty, I haven't read her. There's a very small chance that I'd be pleasantly surprised.

Chris: Bro Code has Neil Patrick Harris on the cover.

Claire: It's insane how much I've heard about the potato peel book lately. There's no way that's not going to number one.

Barbara: I really didn't like Pride and Prejudice, finding it too boring. Zombies should be thrown in to all boring books. Watch out Munro, it's brain-munchin' time!

nancy (aka money coach) said...

I've read The Shack, Tipping Point and have Outliers on my desk. I'm currently reading Through Black Sprouce, by Joseph Boyden (.com), which just won the Giller prize. It's a great read, and gives me insight into aboriginal culture.

Sam said...

John, when you said, "But I guess some readers must be happy with the list" it reminded me of another pet peeve I have about bestseller lists. That's the way that some people do all their book shopping off those lists - if it's not a bestseller they don't want it. I really think that's why some really awful writers are consistently represented on the lists.

John Mutford said...

Nancy: Actually, the Canadian only list is quite good. I'd be eager to read any number of those, especially, as you mentioned, Boyden's Through Black Spruce. The only one on that list that I have already read is Boyden's other novel, Three Day Road. Wow, he must be on top of the world with 2 books in the top 10 best sellers-- and he's headed here in a couple weeks for the Northwords Writers Festival!

Sam: I guess it works somewhat exponentially. It becomes a bestseller because of book sales, then stays there longer because a 2nd round of people buy it for it being a bestseller.