Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Thingers...and what is it with me and lists?

This week, I will try to answer the Tuuesday Thinger, via The Boston Bibliophile on Tuesday, for a change.
Popular this month on LT: Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it?
Have you read any of the books on the list right now? Feel free to link to any reviews you've done as well.

Here's the list and my answer:
1.The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2.Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
3.Nation by Terry Pratchett
4.Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
5.Anathem by Neal Stephenson
6.American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
7.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
8.The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
9.Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
10.Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer

Another list I have read nothing on!! You might be beginning to wonder what I do read. Ok, well actually...I have read one book on this one, Nation, reviewed here. Didn't love it..
And I do own The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...a book that I actually purchased. With real money. But I have not read it yet because I have that continuing rotation of ARCs and such to read. But I have heard such great things about it that I look forward to putting my feet up with that one. I can see it in the TBR pile from here.
And then there is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. If you remember, my dear readers, that was the one book on both the top ten books rated by the Amazon editors and the top ten most popular with Amazon readers. So I do hope to get to that one at some point. Anyone read it and have a review? I will have to go look...

Do I use the LT most popular list? No, not really. First of all, I am never really looking for book ideas. I just sit here and the books come to me. Actually, I seem to happen upon interesting sounding ideas all over the place, mostly from other reviews out here in the World Wide Web. I would much rather get a suggestion for books that might be interesting from a review or a discussion, where I might get the thumbs up from someone's whose opinion I respect.

Second, I am not terrible swayed by what is most popular. In fact, I often find I don't like what it the 'Big Thing', in books or movies...or music ..or just about anything. I am just a contrary sort. ;-)
But seriously (ok, seriously, I am a contrary sort) the whole issue of most popular or best sellers, in the book world is interesting. I did not even realize it was an issue until I read this post 'Is the New York Times Biased' by Allison Brennan on Murderati. It had never really occurred to me to wonder how the Time's or any of the Big Best Seller Lists are compiled. Or actually that they do not explain how the list is complied, which I find more disturbing personally. Now they are even more meaningless to me than they were before.

Bottom line, however they compose that list, I find that I often don't like them. The books, not the lists. In my opinion, being a best seller is no guarantee of being good. Shall I just mention The DaVinci Code again?
Once again, it seems I am comfortably enconsed in my minority opinion. Remember folks, you can not decide right and wrong, good and bad, by popular vote!


  1. I only have one of the books on the list - and I also sometimes get all contrary and don't even want to read what's popular (hence my not having read more than one chapter of Harry Potter).

  2. I've read Dewey and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. But, my own TBR pile is enormous.

    Caite, I awarded you a Bookworm Award on my blog this morning. I understand that some people don't like memes or have time for them, though, so don't worry about it if you don't want to do it.

  3. I'm not swayed but what's popular, either, even though I do realize that some books are popular because they're good. I've read 2 of the books on the list and don't plan to read any of the others.

  4. I'm a little bit that way, too - usually don't really care for the current "big thing" in books. That's why I was so surprised when the "Guernsey" book turned out to be such a sensation in the publishing world. I loved it, so I figured most people would ignore it!

  5. Read that article about the best sellers lists and it makes you wonder how 'popular' some of these books are. I would be curious to find some objective list of books that actually sold the most copies. I guess the way the book trade works, with returns and all, it is not so easy.

  6. You make an interesting point that some bestseller lists are a bit unclear about how books end up on them. I can only speak for the big box bookstores, but for us, bestseller = most seller. Then again, we only list 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books each week, so it's easy to keep track of what's currently a bestseller. With the New York Times, it seems like just about everything has been a bestseller at one point or another.

  7. Makes sense! best seller = most sold.
    One thing about the best selling lists was whether they include the sales at Walmart (and I assume the related Sam's Club).

    Now true, they both have a limited selection but if they have what you want, you can't beat the price. So their sales must be huge...and someone would not count them because...?

  8. I like your opinion on this one!! I like being able to read different and new books - they will have most likely not been out long enough to make a most popular list!

    :) Wendi

  9. I have heard of all of these books (many from reviews on these blogs), have a few on my TBR stack, but have read NONE of them yet!

    Read what I had to say here

  10. Lol - good call on DaVinci Code! Often I avoid bestseller lists, I much prefer to choose a book based on personal recommendations from friends, family and of course bloggers. And sometimes huge hype on a book will change my mind, such was the case with American Wife, which I was going to pick up but lost interest in quickly after hearing about it everywhere.

  11. I am really opposite. I like to see various top seller lists to get ideas. I guess I figure if it's that popular then there is something going on. However I readily admit that it doesn't always work out :D. I have picked up some real clunkers.

  12. I agree something is going on...I am just not sure what. ;-)

  13. I think you're my new best friend!

    I never read the "Bestsellers" either. There are too many other books far more worth my time.

    I didn't hit the link to the NY Times bias thing but I assume it's revealing the fact that the "Bestseller" spots are purchased. This started happening about 15yrs ago. It sucks! LA Times works the same way BTW and probably many others.

    Oh, and I, too, have often been referred to as "contrary". But I disagree!

  14. I would far sooner buy a book based on the review of someone whose opinion I trust than a bestseller list.

    And it is totally beyond me why how a publication determines their list is a 'secret'. what is the secret?


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!