Bestselling Books Of | HuffPostChoosing our 10 Best Books of the Year was not an arbitrary process, but neither was it a scientific one. How could it be, when the editors here, like all readers, respond subjectively to any work of fiction or nonfiction? The one guideline for the 10 was that they had to have been reviewed in our pages sometime in the past 12 months. By Chad Harbach. At a small college on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan, the baseball team sees its fortunes rise and then rise some more with the arrival of a supremely gifted shortstop.
What 20 years of best sellers say about what we read
Partners in a small law firm take on a big case after a fast-track burnout joins them. A man and woman who have gone their separate ways return to their Southern town for the funeral of a friend. In s Tokyo, a woman who punishes perpetrators of domestic violence has ties to an aspiring novelist who takes on an unusual ghostwriting project. A young white woman and two black maids in s Mississippi. A widow keeps the identity of the new man she is about to marry a secret as her children gather for Christmas.
Rowling was a struggling unknown writer teaching English in Portugal. Driven by Amazon. And Rowling and Collins?
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Glance at 's chart, and you could be forgiven for wondering if 12 months have really passed. For this was a year when old books saw off new ones, and paperbacks sent hardbacks packing. The same seven titles merely change places, with Larsson's musty trio and David Nicholls's and Kathryn Stockett's two-year-old novels all given renewed sales muscle by movie versions. Joining them are two titles representing the class of — the nearest thing to new books that the list's elite group has to offer: a novel by Dawn French 3 that was last year's bestselling debut, and Emma Donoghue's Room 4 , Booker-shortlisted and a double bookclub choice. What sets the seal on the triumph of the old is that in this chart — of sales up to 10 December — Jamie Oliver's effort is well ahead 2 of his latest, Jamie's Great Britain 12 , although the timing of the linked TV series will have helped the latter to close the gap in the run-up to Christmas.
We all love numbers, rankings, and lists; herald the best of anything, and we're seduced. At PW, we get to pick the books published this year that stayed with us, that we talked up, handed around, and of course argued about among ourselves. The reviews staff was generally crazy for Eugenides's The Marriage Plot , and Ann Patchett's bestselling State of Wonder got on for being just terrific, while Tina Fey Bossypants is our celebrity who can write. We paid tribute to the big guns taking on the big guns: Robert Massie's Catherine the Great , Paul Hendrickson's Hemingway's Boat , and Christopher Hitchens being himself in Arguably , his collected essays. Like many of the heroines of the Victorian novels she favors, Madeline Hanna, Brown University class of English major, must choose between men: the hungry wanderer Mitchell Grammaticus or the brilliant but troubled Leonard Bankhead. Madeline goes with the latter, sidelining her own intellectual pursuits in favor of riding a manic depressive's roller-coaster through the dawn of semiotics, post-structuralism, identity politics, and psychopharmacology. A coming-of-age novel that's as unapologetically erudite as it is funny, fun, and profound.