Times Talk (18th April 2014)

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Combined Print & E-Book Fiction: The first Stone Barrington novel by Stuart Woods was published in 1991. 23 years later, book number 29 Carnal Curiosity sees the continuing tales of the lawyer and private investigator top the chart on its first week. While the success of the Stone Barrington series (best name ever) prevails this week, one week after topping this exact chart, J.R. Ward’s latest Black Dagger Brotherhood book drops a staggering 16 places, suggesting pre-sales helped keep it afloat in those first seven days. Reviews for the latest book remain by and large positive on Amazon so the love is definitely still there for many fans. Will it continue? Laurelin Page’s bargain 99c Fixed Trilogy continues to hold out in the top 5. Another notable debut this week on the chat is the latest self-published novel by juggernaut of the romance field Kristen Ashley. Many of her fans have described her work as being crack-like in its addictiveness and that coupled with her prolific output has made her a true force in the field of self-publishing (she has traditionally published too but retains some loyalty to her roots). Game of Thrones sits comfortably in the top 15 in the aftermath of the 4th season premiere and an event that made a lot of fans very happy.

Combined Print & E-Book Non-Fiction: Rob Lowe has a memoir out. His second, in fact, and it sits at number 4 in its first week, one place behind the memoir of Kiss rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley. It’s a very strong week for non-fiction debuts, with the books of Pixar president Ed Catmull, journalist Matt Taibi, the late essayist Marina Keegan and a collection of essays by well-known conservatives all making the top 15. The longest reigning book in the top 15 remains Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the account of Olympian turned WW2 prisoner of war Louie Zamperini, which has made the list its home for 148 weeks. With the film adaptation coming this year courtesy of Angelina Jolie (yes, that one), I don’t see it giving up that place any time soon.

Children’s Middle Grade: Very little to write about here this week. The novelisation of Frozen just won’t let it go (see what I did there?) and the continuing knowing that both Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are bestselling authors for children confuses and depresses me. I know it’s probably tied to the fact that conservative publications tend to bulk buy these books for subscription offers and the like, but it offers little comfort. I’ve nothing new or interesting to add here so have a picture of Hugh Dancy with a cat.

Image from Tumblr. This is my design and it is fabulous.
Image from Tumblr. This is my design and it is fabulous.

Young Adult: This week on YA Lady Presence Bingo, we have a grand number of 3 women in the top 15, taking up 4 places (Keira Cass’s Selection series takes up 2 places, but with the final book in the trilogy coming out soon bringing the possibility of her moving to the other list, what will take its place?) For contrast, John Green takes up 5 places, thanks to the return of Will Grayson, Will Grayson to the list. Bye, Jane Fonda. Fortunately, Kelley Armstrong’s latest novel, Sea of Monsters, makes its debut at number 8. We should also take a moment to note the absence of Dorothy Must Die from the top 15 after only one week. Just saying.

Children’s Series: Yay, 60% of the list is women! Only 10% of it is people of colour though. Publishing, we should have a talk about diversity. It’s not political correctness gone mad to actively seek out more people of colour, LGBTQ authors, and so on: It’s reality. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy makes its debut on the list at number 7 with the release of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Will it hold onto its place on the list longer than a week? Here’s hoping. There’s a list that needs some serious shaking up.

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