Times Talk (10th May 2014)

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Sorry for not doing Times Talk last week. There wasn’t really much to talk about and I didn’t think it’d be worth your time to just write a couple of lines and then post pictures of attractive actors and actresses to pad out the space. Anyways, onwards and upwards.

Combined Print & E-Book Fiction: David Baldacci makes it two weeks at the top with his latest novel, The Target, the most recent book in the Will Robie series. This is an interesting contrast to the past few weeks of lists where a hotly anticipated book by a popular author takes the number one spot then slides down quickly in the following weeks. Either it’s been a weak week for sales or Baldacci just has the right kind of staying power (he is one of the few authors in the UK who has his work advertised on TV). Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning takes the number 2 place while Nora Roberts hangs on to the top 5 with The Collector. All hail the queen. It’s debut frenzy this week in the top 15, with over half of the list taken up by new releases, including the latest self-published effort by Jasinda Wilder (Alpha at number 7), Jay Crownover’s Nash (number 9), Gena Showalter’s Burning Dawn (number 11) and a collection of 14 contemporary romances published on Smashwords (A Sweet Life at number 12). But romance is silly and doesn’t make money and should be laughed at, right?

Combined Print & E-Book Non-Fiction: Heaven Is (Still) For Real at number 1 for another week, so there’s something to keep Greg Kinnear smiling after the cancellation of his TV show. Diane Keaton’s memoir Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty (insert your comment about Woody Allen here) debuts at number 7, one place below Look Me In The Eye, the 2007 memoir of John Elder Robison detailing his life with Aspergers syndrome. Memoirs run in the family – Robison’s brother is Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors, among many other records of his eccentric life.

Young Adult: (Skipping over Middle Grade because I can’t take another week of acknowledging Rush Limbaugh’s existence). Not gonna lie: when I saw Suzanne Young’s The Treatment, the sequel to last year’s The Program, sitting at number 10, I wondered if the book’s price had been dramatically lowered to encourage sales. Apparently not so here it is. The series has been criticised for its misjudged and offensive portrayal of mental health but that hasn’t hurt sales. The rest of the list remains as samey as ever. Bring on the release of The One so we can see Kiera Cass moved to series and possibly a bit of variety to the top 15. Having said that, I’m sure it’s going to be replaced by Fangirl and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Children’s Series: Surprisingly, there are two new series on the list! Wendy Higgins’s Sweet trilogy, centred on fallen angels, sits at number 6 (still some steam in the paranormal romance genre) while old favourite Sarah Mlynowski’s middle grade series Whatever After takes number 10. The mixture of YA and middle grade on the series list does open up the question as to how varied the lists would be if they were split by age groups like the other lists. As it is now, it’s pretty evenly split between MG and YA. Would Laini Taylor or Marie Lu make it back into the top ten if there was a separate YA series list? Who knows.

Oh go on then, have a pretty person. Let’s go with Hettienne Park.

Image from Tumblr. She's so pretty.
Image from Tumblr. She’s so pretty.

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