Wednesday, August 25, 2010

James Patterson Rules the Universe

1. According to Forbes, one in every 17 novels purchased in the United States lists James Patterson as its author.

(Note, I did not say he wrote them.)

That’s an incredible statistic. I won’t bother saying if I think Patterson saturation is a good or a bad thing. However, I do want to know if this is unprecedented.

When Michael Crichton, Nora Roberts or Stephen King were at the zenith of their popularity, did they ever dominate the market as Patterson has?

J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown may write more popular books, but I don’t think they are prolific enough to keep up with Patterson’s numbers. Rowling wrote seven books. Patterson (with his posse) writes about eight a year. One can only buy so many copies of The Deathly Hallows. Patterson has grabbed an astonishing market share by constantly feeding his fans new fodder.

There aren’t many surprises in Forbeshighest-paid authors’ list. All the expected faces appear. Stephenie Meyer, King, Danielle Steel and Ken Follett finish the top five.

2. One of Langston Hughes’s Cleveland homes has been condemned, but that does not mean it will be demolished.

Hughes stayed in five different homes while he lived in Cleveland. Three have been destroyed. Two have been condemned.

3. “It is overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian. To the public, it will be revolting. It will not sell, and will do immeasurable harm to a growing reputation ... I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.”

The Library of America looks back on the history or Lolita. Vladimir Nabokov’s best known work has a success story fit for this century. It didn’t become popular until critics complained it was smut.

4. @GrammarHulk and @EditorHulk have clarified. They are different Hulks. As are @FeministHulk, @LonelyHulk, @DrunkHulk and the legion of other gamma-powered superheroes who invaded Twitter.

5. Jimmy Carter is scheduled to appear at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Legacy Village on Sept. 28 to sign his new book, White House Diary. Line tickets are required, limited and available by purchasing a copy of White House Diary at Joseph-Beth.
Carter, in addition to being a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president, is a prolific author. He has written more than 20 books.

-Jason Lea,

P.S. Tricia, if you're looking for a detective story, I'd recommend The Man Who Was Thursday. I think that would qualify. The main character is a detective who's pursuing what he thinks is a dangerous anarchist. Yes, the novel has fantastic and metaphysical trappings, but it still counts, right?

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