Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Stephenie Meyer (11-14 of 14)

'The Lost Symbol' and 'Going Rogue' top 2009 best-seller list

Though it didn’t sell as strongly as The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol moved more than 5.5 million copies to dominate Publishers Weekly‘s just-unveiled list of the best-selling hardcover books of 2009. A few other expected author names populate the Top 15, including John Grisham (No. 2 and No. 6), James Patterson (No. 5), and Patricia Cornwell (No. 12 and No. 14). Stephenie Meyer landed in the ninth spot with her 2008 sci-fi novel The Host, but the lack of a Twilight book was evident, particularly in the ascendancy of two entries from P.C. Cast’s Twi-lite House of Night series, which rose up to fill a vampire-shaped hole. The real surprise, though, is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which itself was helped by tremendous word of mouth to become the fourth best-selling fiction book of the year with 1.1 million copies sold. On the nonfiction side, it was politics, mainly conservative, that got the cash register ringing. Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue capped the list, but books by Glenn Beck, conservative radio host Mark Levin, and the late Edward Kennedy all made it into the top five.

Whereas sales of albums and movie tickets are tallied virtually in real-time, the figures for the publishing industry are often as closely guarded as the Colonel’s secret recipe, so PW’s yearly ranking offers one of the best snapshots of the literary marketplace. And while the top contenders on both the fiction and nonfiction lists sold millions of copies, the overall list reveals a far less rosy picture of book sales. The number of titles that sold at least 100,000 copies is down by significant double-digit percentages from 2008 in both fiction and nonfiction.

E-book sales figures weren’t included this year (they will be for 2010), but since digital editions rarely exceed 5 percent of a book’s total sales it’s unlikely that the 2009 sales list would have received a big boost from their inclusion. Here are the top selling books of 2009 (since some publishers did not provide PW exact sales figures, several titles’ rankings are based on estimates or sales figures provided in confidence for the purposes of ranking):

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Lost Symbol: A Novel, Dan Brown (5,543,643 copies)
2. The Associate: A Novel, John Grisham
3. Tempted, P.C. Cast (1,141,818)
4. The Help, Kathryn Stockett (1,104,617)
5. I, Alex Cross, James Patterson (1,040,976)
6. Ford County, John Grisham
7. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Janet Evanovich (977,178)
8. Hunted, P.C. Cast (931,219)
9. The Host: A Novel, Stephenie Meyer (912,165)
10. Under the Dome, Stephen King
11. Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton (855,638)
12. Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell (800,00)
13. U Is for Undertow, Sue Grafton (706,154)
14. The Scarpetta Factor, Patricia Cornwell (705,000)
15. Shadowland, Alyson Noel (609,355)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin (2,674,684 copies)
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, Steve Harvey (1,735,219)
3. Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, Glenn Beck
4. Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, Mark R. Levin
5. True Compass: A Memoir, Edward M. Kennedy (870,402)
6. Have a Little Faith: A True Story, Mitch Albom (855,843)
7. It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor, Joel Osteen
8. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (610,033)
9. Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books Not Bombs, Greg Mortenson (515,566)
10. Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (487,977).
11. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child (487,228)
12. Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! Jillian Michaels (486,154)
13. The Yankee Years, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci (397,954)
14. Open, Andre Agassi (383,722)
15. Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niem

Daughter, 15, finally bored with 'Twilight' — and into 'Wuthering Heights'

My daughter began devouring, and then re-devouring, the Twilight novels back when she was 12. Stephenie Meyer had yet to finish the series and, at that point, the only people who had heard of the books were a million obsessive fans, plus a nation’s worth of grateful bookstore owners. (Entertainment Weekly actually began covering the Twilight phenom so early because my daughter’s enthusiasm suggested there was a big audience out there that the national media was ignoring. By the way, she thinks the movies are lame, so please don’t blame her for EW’s admittedly thorough coverage.) Anyway, my daughter — I’ll refer to her here as Llama, because she thinks llamas are hilarious for some reason — waited for each successive Twilight book in the same ecstatic agony that Bella waited for Edward. Like the Harry Potter books, Meyer’s novels became comfort objects as much as anything else: There was always one in her possession.

Because Meyer loves Wuthering Heights, she made it Bella’s favorite book. My daughter, Llama, tried reading Emily Brontë’s novel when she was 13 or so, but couldn’t get into it. (Judging from Charlotte Brontë’s preface to her sister’s novel, Charlotte Brontë couldn’t even get into it.) For Christmas, I bought Llama one of the cool new editions of Wuthering Heights specifically marketed to the Twilight generation. I went for the cool, sort of Edward Gorey-ish cover, not the one with just the hokey red rose. Long story sped up: She loves it and has already decoded all Stephenie Meyer’s allusions and literary debts to Bronte. Wuthering Heights, in all its weird, gothic glory, has always been my favorite of the “great books,” and seeing Llama insist on carrying a copy around is something I can’t thank Meyer enough for. In reading, as in addiction, there are gateway drugs, and Meyer’s Edward Cullen has introduced my daughter to Heathcliffe.

Any of this ring any bells for you? What are the books you love to see your friends, or kids, fall in love with? Has one novel ever sent you on a mission to devour another?

Exclusive: Twilight, The Graphic Novel

I’m delighted to announce, exclusively, that Yen Press will publish Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 on March 16, with a first printing of 350,000 copies.  Here’s a first glimpse at the book’s cover, as well as an exclusive peek at one of its panels (for a full ten-page excerpt, and the entire Q&A with Stephenie Meyer, see the issue of EW that goes on sale this Friday).

What strikes me, looking at the book, is how faithfully, and how beautifully, artist Young Kim has translated Meyer’s original vision. Kim, who has a fine arts background—in fact, this is her first foray into graphic novels—didn’t just read the book; she absorbed it. Her Bella is the Bella I had in my mind’s eye the first time I read Twilight; her Edward is the Edward I always imagined. It took me back to reading Twilight pre-movie: Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson faded into the background.

Meyer talked to us about all this, and more. Here are a few snippets from our conversation:

The text of your original novel is boiled down so carefully that it doesn’t feel like anything is missing. Were you the one who did that?

I was definitely involved.  I didn’t do the original “script” for the book, so to speak.  But when I got the dialogue with the images, I did a lot of tinkering. In a couple of places, I asked for missing scenes to be inserted.  For example, the conversation in the car that Bella and Edward have after she faints in Biology.

How does the feeling of reading the graphic novel compare to that of reading the original? Does it bring something new to the experience for you?

For me, it takes me back to the days when I was writing Twilight.  It’s been a while since I was really able to read Twilight; there is so much baggage attached to that book for me now.  It seems like all I can see are the mistakes in the writing.  Reading Young’s version brought me back to the feeling I had when I was writing and it was just me and the characters again.  I love that.  I thank her for it.

When this project is done, are you done with Twilight?

I can’t say that I am done with Twilight forever.  I’m not working on anything new Twilight-related now, and probably not for a while.  But there’s still a possibility that I’ll go back and close some of the open doors.

What do you think, Twihards? Are you excited about this?

Are Edward and Bella in an abusive relationship?

I’m the first person who’ll tell you how important the Twilight series is — not from a literary standpoint, mind you, but more from a reading standpoint: These are books that get kids reading. And yet, as a feminist and the mom of teenage daughters, I’ve also got some problems with them — namely, their depiction of women and relationships. Why does Bella always need to be rescued by men? Can’t she rescue herself occasionally? Heck — can’t she even drive herself places? (In New Moon, whenever she’s in her truck with either Edward or Jacob, they’re the ones driving.) Why do all the male vampires have college degrees, medical degrees, and so forth, while — SPOILER ALERT FROM ECLIPSE AND BREAKING DAWN!!! — Bella gets married fresh out of high school, with nary a word breathed about higher education? And then, when she becomes pregnant, why does she emphatically refuse an abortion, even though the pregnancy is killing her? (Let me be clear: I’m not saying it’s wrong for a woman to choose marriage and motherhood, or wrong for her to decide against college. But Bella is still a kid, even in Breaking Dawn.)

So last week, in his excellent blog post, movie critic Owen Gleiberman compared Edward to a stalker. And yesterday, in “Is Team Edward Enabling Domestic Violence?”, GalleyCat’s Ron Hogan called my attention to a LiveJournal post describing how the Edward-Bella romance has all the earmarks of an abusive relationship as defined by a national domestic violence group: “Does your partner look at you or act in ways that scare you? Check. Make all the decisions? Check. Threaten to kill you? On their first date….”

Hmmm. what do you think?

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP