The first New York Times Bestseller List was published on October 12, 1931. It only contained five fiction and four non-fiction books for New York City only. Over time it was expanded and lists for multiple cities were included. A national list was finally compiled in 1942 and published in the New York Times Book Review supplement as it is today. This list is compiled from “reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities,” although the exact data compilation process is a trade secret.
There is much controversy among authors, publishers, and others as to whether the list really represents best-seller status. Some believe the list can be manipulated by authors, sellers, retailers and wholesalers. The New York Times has been sued for excluding books from the list, accused of allowing authors to buy their way onto the list, and been criticized for favoring liberal authors over conservative ones (a claim the New York Times denies.) Whether it is fair or not, this list remains prestigious and well known, and according to a Stanford Business School analysis, the “majority of book buyers seem to use the Times‘ list as a signal of what’s worth reading”. Here are a few books from NYT Bestseller List for the week of July 29th. Click, call or stop in today to put a hold on one!
1 THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. (Little, Brown and Knopf.) President Jonathan Duncan takes on adversaries at home and abroad.
2 THE GOOD FIGHT, by Danielle Steel. (Delacorte.) Meredith McKenzie embraces and eschews the values of her family of lawyers during the tumultuous 1960s.
3 CLOCK DANCE, by Anne Tyler. (Knopf.) A window into Willa Drake’s life over 50 years and how she adjusts to some of life’s surprises.
4 THE OUTSIDER, by Stephen King. (Scribner.) A detective investigates aseemingly wholesome member of the community when an 11-year-old boy’s body is found.
5 ALL WE EVER WANTED, by Emily Giffin. (Ballantine.) A scandal sends members of two Nashville families into chaos.
1 CALYPSO, by David Sedaris. (Little, Brown.) A collection of comedic stories on mortality, middle age and a beach house dubbed the Sea Section.
2 EDUCATED, by Tara Westover. (Random House.) The daughter of survivalists leaves home for university.
3 THE SOUL OF AMERICA, by Jon Meacham. (Random House.) The present political climate is contextualized through the lens of difficult moments in American history.
4 HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, by Michael Pollan. (Penguin Press.) A personal account of how psychedelics might help the mentally ill and people dealing with everyday challenges.
5 INDIANAPOLIS, by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. (Simon & Schuster.) A newly researched look into the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the story of the survivors and the fight to exonerate the court-martialed skipper.