Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Independents Day: The Indie Bestseller Lists

Many book lovers are familiar with the New York Times Bestseller lists and the Publishers Weekly Bestseller lists, the latter of which you can find at the public service desks at the library. But if you want a different perspective, check out the Indie Bestseller lists, formerly known as the Book Sense Bestseller lists.

As the the graphic above indicates, these lists are based on book sales at independent bookstores nationwide. While the Indie Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list has some titles in common with the Publishers Weekly Hardcover Bestseller list, including the latest titles by Janet Evanovich and James Patterson, the Indie list generally features additional offbeat and/or literary fiction titles.

The July 22nd Indie fiction list includes British author David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which The Washington Post characterizes as "a rich historical romance set in feudal Japan, an epic in sacrificial love, clashing civilizations and enemies who won't rest until whole families have been snuffed out. Yes, the novelist who has been showing us the future of fiction has published a classic, old-fashioned tale. It's not too early to suggest that Mitchell can triumph in whatever genre he chooses."

Another title on the Indie list is Mr Peanut by Adam Ross, the recipient of rave reviews as well as high praise from authors including Richard Russo, Stephen King and Scott Turow. Joanne Wilkinson of Booklist describes it as: "Powerful . . . delivers one scorching scene after another. Ross is interested in all the soul-killing ways men and women try and fail to achieve intimacy. And [with] noirish sensibility and elegant prose, he wraps his age-old theme in a confounding yet mesmerizing format."

I also really like the Specialty Indie Bestseller lists on subjects including personal finance, baseball, poetry, music, and politics and current events.

Check them out for ideas about what to read next, or, as always, feel free to stop by the Readers' Services desk for suggestions.

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