Amazon’s Top 100
No surprise to see Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol topping the list of Amazon.co.uk’s 100 Bestselling New Releases for 2009, but what’s this? Grow Your Own Drugs at number three? Not the recreational kind, mind, but still, it’s a turn-up for the books (shocking pun intended) to find an ethnobotanist on the list, just pipping Antony Beevor no less for the bronze. According to the site, they’re the bestselling new releases based on shipments up to October 28th, and they’re quite an eclectic bunch, all told. It’s a fascinating snap shot of – well, of what exactly? Can anything be deduced from these examples (and remember, Irish Amazon shoppers get redirected to the .co.uk site too) about the state of reading in Britain and Ireland, particularly given the heartening presence of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Beever’s D-Day: The Battle for Normandy in the top ten? Or are we to deduce that the demographic that buys online is of a Beever-buying disposition? Stieg Larsson features twice in the top ten, with this baking book coming in at number ten. Which reminds me: Can we stop calling them cupcakes over here? They’re BUNS for crying out loud! And what I want to know is: has anybody out there read this James Wong book? What’s so great about it, or better-stated, why are so many people buying it? As for the Irish contribution to the top 100, we’ve got Coleen Nolan’s autobiography and the Guinness Book of World Records. Who says we aren’t a literary nation, then?