Thursday, November 13, 2003

New York Times Bestseller List, November 23 

And let's get right into things. At #1 is...well, it's that book again. You know what it is. #2 is much more interesting as it's Stephen King's DARK TOWER Omnibus. But how curious, as the NYT chooses to lump all five books into one listing! Naughty, naughty, NYT, 5 different books shouldn't just occupy one spot. But I suppose creating a list for Mr. King all by himself just wouldn't do, now would it?

Next debut, at #5, is...huh? Is it me, or does Danielle Steel release a new book every other week? I could have sworn she had a new one in the charts really recently. Anyway, Steel's new entry drops the Jan Karon Juggernaut down a couple of notches to number six. Oh, those Mitfords! Facing sex, lies, scandal, videotape....wait, I guess I'm talking about the Steel book again. My mistake.

At #9 and #10 respectively are Linda Howard's new rom/susp novel CRY NO MORE (which, incidentally, has garnered rave reviews from the romance world; seems Linda "has her groove back" or something.) and a new Star Wars novel. Why are these books necessary? Oh, I know why. Because the new movies suck eggs and people need Jedi Revisionist History, where George Lucas is only a shadowy man behind the curtain and not front-and-center, demonstrating just how awful a director he is.

Dropping like a rock to the bottom of the main list is Babylon Rising, the latest from the Tim Lahaye Doom n' Gloom Factory. I still haven't gotten a straight answer on what "The Greatest Evil of All" is. What could it be? That there's no end to Paris Hilton cavorting on camera? And that she can't pick someone a little less on the sleazy side yet again? Although I guess if you're going to videotape yourself having sex and it ends up all over the Internet, it's assumed the guy in question would not necessarily be a kind and decent sort...

But where were we? Oh yeah, books. And Christmas books, too. They are everywhere this week, as SKIPPING CHRISTMAS leads up the Extended list, with Jude Deveraux's new book following right at Grisham's heels. Eric Jerome Dickey's entry is at #20, and two more pop up before the NYT list is done. Now I realize that Christmas Season starts the week before Halloween and we're well into November, but come on. Where are the Very Special Kwanzaa books? The story of a man struggling with Ramadan who finds enlightenment and happiness? Hell, you won't see any publishers doing special releases for Lent, that's for sure. I won't even bring up Chanukah because really, it's a minor holiday. I mean, it's barely in the "kh" part of the Tanakh after all, which makes it practically bogus. But try telling people that and you get some rather strange looks....

Anyway, it's also very nice to see the new Don Quixote translation make the Extended at #34. High literature can crack the bestseller lists after all! Besides, why shouldn't it--QUIXOTE is a great story, first and foremost.

So that's it for this week. Will the list separate the DARK TOWER novels next week to try to distribute the weight, or will they resist, and risk having the entire weight of the series create a huge strain on the list, making it collapse completely? And what new interlopers will show up to muck things up for all the other staples? Stay tuned....it's always intrigue and hijinks at the NYT List.

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