Archive for the ‘Lists, Lists and More Lists’ Category

from EarlyWord.com:

Most-Ordered Summer Fiction — Edelweiss

The top 30 most-ordered fiction titles, with a pub date before Aug 1, through Edelweiss in the past 60 days, as of 4/20/11.

Edelweiss creates electronic catalogs used by publishers sales reps primarily with independent booksellers. it does not represent all publishers; those that are represented are listed on the Edelweiss home page.

The next list will be available in the next two to three months.

1. State of Wonder by Patchett, Ann (HarperCollins/Harper) PubDate: Jun 7 2011
– HarperCollins

2.  Ghost Story by Butcher, Jim (Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Roc Hardcover) PubDate: Jul 26 2011

3.  Smokin’ Seventeen by Evanovich, Janet (Random House/Bantam) PubDate: Jun 21 2011

4. Dreams of Joy by See, Lisa (Random House/Random House) PubDate: May 31 2011

5. Portrait of a Spy by Silva, Daniel (HarperCollins/Harper) PubDate: Jul 19 2011

6. The Last Werewolf by Duncan, Glen (Random House/Knopf) PubDate: Jul 12 2011

7. Maine by Sullivan, J. Courtney (Random House/Knopf) PubDate: Jun 14 2011; Large Type, Thorndike, 9781410438379 7/6/2011 $33.99

8. ” target=”_blank”>Silver Girl by Hilderbrand, Elin (Hachette/Reagan Arthur Books) PubDate: Jun 21 2011

9. Caleb’s Crossing by Brooks, Geraldine (Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Viking Adult) PubDate: May 3 2011; Large Type, Thorndike, 9781410437341 5/4/2011 $35.99

10.  The Snowman by Nesbo, Jo (Random House/Knopf) PubDate: May 10 2011

11.  Against All Enemies by Clancy, Tom (Penguin/Putnam Adult) PubDate: Jun 14 2011; Large Type, Thorndike, 9781410440112 7/6/2011 $35.99

12.  Dead Reckoning by Harris, Charlaine (Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Ace Hardcover) PubDate: May 3 2011; Large Type, Thorndike, 9781410435088 5/4/2011 $33.99

13. Once Upon a River by Campbell, Bonnie Jo (W.W. Norton/W. W. Norton & Company) PubDate: Jul 5 2011; ; Large Type, Thorndike; 9781410440792 9/7/2011 $30.99

14. Robopocalypse by Wilson, Daniel H. (Random House/Doubleday) PubDate: Jun 7 2011

15. 10th Anniversary by Patterson, James and Paetro, Maxine (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company) PubDate: May 2 2011

16. One Summer by Baldacci, David (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing) PubDate: Jun 14 2011

17. The Devil All the Time by Pollock, Donald Ray (Random House/Doubleday) PubDate: Jul 12 2011

18. The Dog Who Came in from the Cold by Mccall Smith, Alexander (Random House/Pantheon) PubDate: Jun 21 2011

19. Faith by Haigh, Jennifer (HarperCollins/Harper) PubDate: May 10 2011

20. Sisterhood Everlasting by Brashares, Ann (Random House/Random House) PubDate: Jun 14 2011

21. Heat Wave by Thayer, Nancy (Random House/Ballantine Books) PubDate: Jun 21 2011

22. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Benjamin, Melanie (Random House/Delacorte Press) PubDate: Jul 26 2011

23. Iron House by Hart, John (Macmillan/Thomas Dunne Books) PubDate: Jul 12 2011; Large Type, Thorndike; 9781410438485 7/12/2011 $35.99

24. Vaclav & Lena by Tanner, Haley (Random House/The Dial Press) PubDate: May 17 2011

25. Before I Go To Sleep by Watson, S. J. (HarperCollins/Harper) PubDate: Jun 14 2011

26.  ” target=”_blank”>Tabloid City by Hamill, Pete (Hachette/Little, Brown and Company) PubDate: May 5 2011

27. The Hypnotist by Kepler, Lars (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) PubDate: Jun 21 2011

28.  The Final Storm by Shaara, Jeff (Random House/Ballantine Books) PubDate: May 17 2011

29. Conquistadora by Santiago, Esmeralda (Random House/Knopf) PubDate: Jul 12 2011

30. The Kid by Sapphire (Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Penguin Press HC, The) PubDate: Jul 5 2011

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First the NBCCs, then the Orange Prize Longlist, now the American Academy of Arts & Letters literary awards. I am in list heaven!

And no, I’m not going to try and read all these books and authors, too, alongside my Orange Prize Longlist reads and selected NBCC winning books. I’m nuts, but not quite that nuts.

Hey, I heard that!

One thing I’m confused about, there’s an award for a talented young playwright named Karen Russell. The only Karen Russell I know, and/or can find, is the writer who wrote the Orange Prize Longlisted book Swamplandia!, which I’m currently reading. I couldn’t find another Karen Russell who’s a playwright.

So, did they make a mistake or is this other Karen Russell just really obscure? The world may never know.

Anyway, enjoy:

Arts and Letters Awards in Literature

Eight Academy Awards in Literature of $7500 each are given annually to honor exceptional accomplishment in any genre.
Mark Doty, Alice Fulton, John Koethe, Colum McCann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Alex Ross, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Joseph Stroud

Award of Merit Medal for Drama

$10,000 and a medal to an outstanding playwright.   John Patrick Shanley

Benjamin H. Danks Award

$20,000 to recognize a talented, young playwright.   Karen Russell

E. M. Forster Award

$20,000 to a young writer from the United Kingdom or Ireland for a stay in the United States. Award jury: Anita Desai, Margaret Drabble, Paul Muldoon.   Rachel Seiffert

Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction

$5000 for the best work of first fiction (novel or short stories) published in 2010.   Brando Skyhorse, The Madonnas of Echo Park

Addison M. Metcalf Award

$10,000 to a young writer of fiction, nonfiction, drama, or poetry.   Matthea Harvey

Arthur Rense Poetry Prize

Triennial award of $20,000 to an exceptional poet.   David Wagoner

Rome Fellowships in Literature

A one-year residency (2011²2012) at the American Academy in Rome.   Matt Donovan and Suzanne Rivecca

Rosenthal Family Foundation Award

$10,000 to a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2010.   Monique Truong, Bitter in the Mouth

John Updike Award

A biennial award of $20,000 to a writer in mid-career who has demonstrated consistent excellence.   Tom Sleigh

Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award

$10,000 to a writer whose work merits recognition for the quality of its prose style.   Thomas Mallon

The top 25 book group discussion books of 2010, based on reports by book clubs, according to ReadingGroupGuides.com.

I highlighted the titles I’ve read in a lovely shade of maroon:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

4. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

6. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

7. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

8. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

9. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

10. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

11. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

12. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

13. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

14. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

14. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

16. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin

17. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

18. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

19. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

19. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

21. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

22. South of Broad by Pat Conroy

23. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

24. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

25. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

“The Help has been a mainstay on many bestseller lists for over a year now, and its appeal made it a must-read for book groups even in hardcover,” Carol Fitzgerald, president of TheBookReportNetwork.com, commented. “Also, it was nice to see To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010 on the list. We are certain that this was a re-read for many of the members of reporting book groups.”

I wait for this all year…

From Orange Prize website:

ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION ANNOUNCES 2011 LONGLIST

Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist announcement: 12 April

Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist readings: 6 June

Awards ceremony: 8 June

London, 16 March 2011: The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2011 longlist. Celebrating its sixteenth anniversary this year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.

  • Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Sudanese; 3rd Novel
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch (Canongate) – British; 10th Novel
  • Room by Emma Donoghue (Picador) – Irish; 7th Novel
  • The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi (Bloomsbury) – Indian; 1st Novel
  • Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber) – British; 6th Novel
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Corsair) – American; 4th Novel
  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury) – British/Sierra Leonean; 2nd Novel
  • The London Train by Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape) – British; 4th Novel
  • Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson (Sceptre) – British; 1st Novel
  • The Seas by Samantha Hunt (Corsair) – American; 1st Novel
  • The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (Faber and Faber) – British; 2nd Novel
  • Great House by Nicole Krauss (Viking) – American; 3rd Novel
  • The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone (Chatto & Windus) – American; 3rd Novel
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Serbian/American; 1st Novel
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Viking) – American; 1st Novel
  • Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile (Serpent’s Tail) – British; 1st Novel
  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Chatto & Windus) – American; 1st Novel
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Serpent’s Tail) – British/Nigerian; 1st Novel
  • The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (Harper Press) – British; 4th Novel
  • Annabel by Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape) – Canadian; 1st Novel

The judges for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction are:

  • Bettany Hughes, (Chair), Broadcaster, Historian and Author
  • Liz Calder, founder-director of Bloomsbury Publishing and Full Circle Editions
  • Tracy Chevalier, Novelist
  • Helen Lederer, Actress and Writer
  • Susanna Reid, Journalist and Broadcaster

“What proved a genuine delight this year was the power of observation and sympathy on the page,” commented Bettany Hughes, Chair of Judges. “As a panel we had works of searing originality and epic scale in front of us – plus books that were intimate and sometimes magical”.

She continues, “All of the longlist authors have done us a favour by writing what they have, and with such elan. A number have opened up worlds either just around the corner or half way across the earth thanks to their imagination and simple interest in what it is to be human. It was a huge tussle to get the list down to twenty, but what we have is a gorgeous, widely varied longlist – we’ll certainly enjoy re-reading each and every one as we make tough choices to select the Orange Prize shortlist for 2011.”

The Prize was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible and is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman in the English language.

Stuart Jackson, Brand Communications Director at Orange said, “The judges have selected a remarkable and rich list which reflects the exceptional range and diversity of women’s fiction. We’re very proud to be announcing such an exciting and international list and invite readers to share their thoughts on this year’s books via the new Orange Prize Facebook page.”

This year’s longlist honours both new and well-established writers and features nine first novels. Three authors appearing on this year’s list have previously been longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and a further two authors have been previously shortlisted. The list also includes a former winner of the Orange Award for New Writers and features twelve different publishing imprints.

Any woman writing in English, whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter, is eligible. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held in The Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on 8 June 2011.

Previous winners are Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

CJ Stanley, Orange
Tel: 07989 333 308
Email: cj.stanley@orange-ftgroup.com

According to a columnist for the Guardian U.K., these are the ten most boring books ever written:

1. Robert Burton: The Anatomy of Melancholy

2. Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities

3. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled

4. Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano

5. Virginia Woolf: The Waves

6. James Joyce: Finnegans Wake

7. Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel

8. William Thackeray: Pendennis

9. Karl Marx: Capital

10. James Woodforde: The Diary of A Country Parson

The only two I’ve read from this list are Woolf’s The Waves and Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel. While I’ll admit The Waves pushed me to my intellectual reading limit, I blamed myself more than the book. After all, This is Virginia Woolf! She was smart! She’s one of my most adored writers! She committed suicide on my birth date (the month/day, not the year, to clarify)! Surely it must be me, and not her.

The Waves is extraordinarily confusing. I had no idea what was going on 3/4 of the time. Then again, I felt the same way the first time I read Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury, but after two subsequent reads I ultimately saw its beauty. And, Faulkner’s another of my triad of worshipped writers, Dickens being the other.

Both books are written in stream-of-consciousness style, that is, the writer basically spews forth whatever they’re thinking with no thought as to a coherent plot. So, yeah, what’s in one person’s head will never be the same as what’s in another’s. However, I doubt either wrote with the thought, “HAHA, suckers! Just try to figure this one out!”

Then again, I can’t rule that out completely. Write a few brilliant books, establish a reputation for superior intellect, then throw in something in that’s incomprehensible just to see what critics say, if they continue falling all over themselves praising you or muse whether you’ve had a head injury lately. Now that’s entertainment!

Then, Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel. I read this in high school, on my own time since I was just that much a nerd. It never occurred to me it could be boring. I thought it was lovely. Of all the books on the list, this is the one I feel most compelled to challenge. I’ll let The Waves slide, since it was about 80 % incomprehensible the whole way through. But no way will I agree about Thomas Wolfe.

Maybe it’s because it’s such a southern U.S. book the average British reader can’t quite get a handle on it? I dunno. I only know I thought it was wonderful. The last scene left me weepy, it was so beautiful. Boring my @$$!

Which books would I consider the most boring in publishing history? Hmm. That’s a tough one.

Maybe:

1. Ulysses: James Joyce

2. The Old Man and the Sea: Hemingway

3. Pamela: Samuel Richardson

 4. The Golden Notebook : Doris Lessing

5. Portnoy’s Complaint: Philip Roth

6.  Pilgrim’s Progress: John Bunyan

7. The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione

8. Lives: Plutarch

9. The Vicar of Wakefied: Oliver Goldsmith

10.  Sentimental Education: Flaubert

I’ve attempted or actually read all of these, and in most cases have been unable to due to extreme boredom. I’m willing to allow I could have read them at the wrong times, though. Could be I was too busy to fully concentrate, or I just wasn’t in the mood for the subject matter. But most of these were impossible for me to get through.

In one case, Richardson’s Pamela, familiarity bred contempt. I’ve read it at least three times, with different online book groups, and I’m so sick of it I can’t stand the thought of ever reading it again. Ditto The Vicar of Wakefield. Both are 18th century novels, and so over-wrought it takes extreme patience getting through them. Patience I’ve since lost.

Ulysses is the one I’ve vowed I will read one day, when I work up the nerve. I think it would best be read alone, with no other books going simultaneously, but that’s just not how I read. I would get far too impatient having no variety to console me in my misery. What I can give it is undivided attention when I am reading it, extreme concentration, plus having a notebook handy to jot down things to look up in various volumes explaining obscure references, etc.

The time I tried to read it I also bought a sort of guidebook to get the reader through, chapter by chapter. What alarmed me was that book was longer than Ulysses itself!

The Old Man and the Sea I read in high school. We also watched the film, which consists largely of a man in a boat pulling on a fishing line. Dear God.

Portnoy wasn’t challenging from a literary standpoint, it was just disgusting to me. It’s supposed to be funny, but if that’s the case I didn’t get it. A young man dealing with rampaging hormones isn’t my thing. Neither do I want to read about his methods of “relieving” his sexual frustrations. Yuck. It’s the one gross out on the list.

I am game to give almost any book a try, and in many cases more than once. I firmly believe there’s a time and place for reading every specific book. Some books need to be read when you’re young (The Catcher in the Rye), and some when you have more years behind you (Death Comes for the Archbishop). Some are seasonal, and some depend on what else is going on in your life, and I’m willing to allow for that. But after two or three attempts that’s usually it.

At mid-life, I’ve also thrown in the towel as far as reading classical literature, i.e., the Greeks and Romans. If I feel so inclined, in old age I’ll turn back to them, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. More likely I’ll want to revisit favorite books one more time, reliving fond memories.

Right now I’m still reading very widely, tossing out that drag-net in most every genre. Nonfiction has become an unexpected favorite, so now that wide world is open before me. My reading list is so full when I finish one book I immediately pick up another. Though I hardly watched before, I’ve cut out 95 % of TV viewing in favor of reading. I even schedule my housework to alternate with reading a set number of pages in between tasks. That helps alleviate the guilt, so I don’t let the house completely slide while I indulge my passion.

It’s safe to say I’m a pretty big reader, and unwilling to suffer badly written books that waste precious reading time. With so much out there I can never hope to get through it’s necessary to be discriminating in my tastes.

Do you have a list of “boring” or simply impossible-to-read books? If so, send them to me! I’d love to see what you think.

Here’s the next section of best-selling books to mull over. Part One of the list can be found here.

These have sold between 30 and 50 million since their publication:

The Hite Report by Shere Hite – 48 million

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – 45 million

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – 45 million

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – 44 million

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach – 40 million

A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard – 40 million

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown – 39 million

How the Steel Was Tempered by Nikolai Ostrovsky – 36.4 million in USSR

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy –  36 million in USSR

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – 35 million

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – 35 million

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer – 34 million

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 30 million

In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles M. Sheldon – 30 million

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 30 million

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann – 30 million

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 30 million

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 30 million

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – 30 million

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – 30 million

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – 30 million

The Revolt of Mamie Stover by William Bradford Huie – 30 million

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – 30 million

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – 30 million

My reactions to these? I’ve read:

Charlotte’s Web (The first book I ever checked out of a library!)

Harry Potter (I’ve read all of them, actually)

Angels & Demons (Weak moment, what can I say?)

One Hundred Years of Solitude (One of the greatest books EVER, one I need to re-read)

The Thorn Birds (Teenage fantasy! A priest hot for a woman? SCANDAL.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (To my kids, of course…)

The Diary of a Young Girl (I’ve been to her hiding place in Amsterdam, as well – haunting)

War and Peace

To Kill a Mockingbird (Over and over and over)

Surprises? Valley of the Dolls was interesting. Then again, sex sells. As do drugs and Hollywood celebrity stories. Could Peyton Place be far behind? I have a feeling that’s more my speed.

I’m a little surprised The Very Hungry Caterpillar beat out Goodnight Moon, though I guess my own kids liked the former better. There are holes in the pages you can stick  your fingers through! Bright colors! And lots of foods!

I’m disappointed The Purpose Driven Life sold so well. I was given a copy, decided to be game and give it a try, and I found it one of the most hateful, insufferably sanctimonious books I’d ever read. I think I threw it in our recycle bin, actually. The deciding factor was the reference to Bertrand Russell as being simply an “atheist.” Well, that he was, but first and foremost he was a philosopher, and a great one. Let’s give him credit where it’s due, without the judgmental label.

As for those I’d never heard of:

The Hite Report is a study of sexuality, one volume for men, one for women. Sounds like one I should have heard of, but haven’t. Not that I’m planning to bolt out and buy a copy.

Message to Garcia is about achieving success. It’s a very short book. Maybe I’ve been going about this life stuff the wrong way, because I have volumes and volumes of journals but still haven’t figured out how to be anything but a bum.

How the Steel Was Tempered appears to be a great Russian novel, a fictional autobiography (SEE: Frey, James). Apparently it created more of a splash “over there” than here. I think I’ll stick with War and Peace, thanks.

You Can Heal Your Life, a major self-help book. I already corner the market on those. Think I’ll pass.

In His Steps, obviously religious. Pass!

Think and Grow Rich Hasn’t worked so far. Or maybe for me it’s more “fantasize you are rich.” Subtle difference.

The Revolt of Mamie Stover is a history of Hawaii, and according to at least one Amazon reviewer a “great American story.” Unjustifiably neglected it may be, but nothing about it really blows up my skirt.

Aside from pushing me toward a re-read of One Hundred Years of Solitude this portion of the list didn’t inspire me all that much. Also, it reinforced that I should get around to Stieg Larsson already! Sheesh.

See you next time with another list as we work our way down the ladder.

I can’t resist a good book list. Surprised? This one’s courtesy of Wikipedia, but let’s pretend it has  no reputation for potential unreliability, because I want to have some fun with this without any associated guilt. I don’t get out often, so this is pretty much the highlight of my life. Don’t take that away from me.

First, let’s look at the books that have sold over 100,000,000 since their publication:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – over 200 million

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – 150 million

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – over 100 million

Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xuequin (Chinese) – over 100 million

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – 100 million

I’ve read the top three, never heard of the fourth, and may or may not have read the last during my Christie phase in high school.

These top sellers of all time surprise me, aside from The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings.  For Dickens, why this particular novel? I don’t think it’s his best. In fact, it’s difficult to get into, and in my experience a very big percentage of readers have little patience with getting through the first 100 pages of a book before the “good stuff” starts.

Were people just that interested in the French Revolution? Guess so. It is a great book, but definitely not Dickens’s masterpiece. My opinion is that honor goes to either Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend.

Here’s what The Red Chamber is about:

(From Amazon.com)

“For more than a century and a half, Dream of the Red Chamber has been recognized in China as the greatest of its novels, a Chinese Romeo-and-Juliet love story and a portrait of one of the world’s great civilizations. Chi-chen Wang’s translation is skillful, accurate and fascinating.”

Sounds pretty good, and at 352 pages not too daunting. Onto the reading list it goes! Maybe I’ll throw the Christie on there, too. I’m curious to see what’s so special about this title, since she wrote so many.

Now, books between 50 million and 100 million sales:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – 85 million

She by H. Rider Haggard – 80 million

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (French) – 80 million

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – 80 million

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – 65 million

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Portuguese) – 65 million

Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White – 60 million

Heidi’s Years of Wandering and Learning by Joanna Spyri – 50 million

The Common Sense Guide to Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock – 50 million

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – 50 million

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – 50 million

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Italian) – 50 million

All but She and The Name of the Rose don’t really strike me as surprising, though the article at Wikipedia states religious books – specifically the Bible, Koran, etc.) aren’t included. So I’m not sure why Steps to Christ is on there. Seems a little like cheating to me, but what do I know? 

From this group I’ve read:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Le Petit Prince

The Catcher in the Rye

Heidi

Anne of Green Gables

Black Beauty

The Name of the Rose

And onto my TBR list goes She by H. Rider Haggard. I may even have a copy floating around at home.

To be honest, I have no idea what I own, which has resulted in an embarrassing number of multiple purchases. Nothing is organized, not everything is catalogued, and since I did my big Library Thing sweep I haven’t deleted a thing I’ve gotten rid of.

Being a librarian you’d think I’d have everything organized by Dewey and author classification. Unfortunately, being disorganized and incredibly busy trumps that by about a thousand miles.

I wonder what percentage of librarians are organized enough to put their own books in even reasonable order? That may depend on whether they have kids or not, how frantic life is. Maybe once my kids move out I’ll find that magical period when I suddenly have all the time in the world. Hey, it could happen…

I’ve already told them the minute they’re out the garage door, packed up to move to school, I’ll have their rooms turned into my library annex. I have just over a year until my oldest is off to college, and another five years for my youngest. Is it too early to buy Billy bookcases from Ikea and set them outside my daughter’s door? You think?

I’ll split out the rest of these bestsellers of all time into several posts. There are too many titles to cram them all into one or two. In the meantime, I welcome any thoughts on the lists, if anything strikes you as odd or unsurprising. Also, opinions on how soon is too soon to take over my kids’ rooms would be very helpful. Should I let the car leave the driveway before I make my first move, or is that waiting too long?

Back soon with the next set of lists.