Thursday, November 1, 2007

Of lasting interest?

Julie Garwood and Jeffery Deaver, featured recently in Select Editions, are no strangers to national best-seller lists, as are many authors who appear in Select Editions. Of course, best-seller status doesn’t mean that every single book on such a list is a great book. It just means that lots of people are buying them--especially book buyers for Walmart of Costco or Borders. Such success could be a one-time, special-interest phenomenon or just the new book (which may not be very good) by a big-name author with a big following.

This is where Select Editions comes in. Think: Select. We pick only the best, regardless of hype or fame. And sometimes we agree with the bulk buyers at big chain stores. And sometimes, not. All of this has got me thinking about bestsellerness and those books that have stood the test of time. If you look through a history of annual top-selling novels over the past 100 years, you’re bound to come on some surprises. Going back exactly 100 years, for instance, you find that 1907 did not produce one best seller that anyone has ever heard of since. Naturally I recognize Frances Hodgson Burnett’s name. She’s the amazingly prolific and gifted author of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), A Little Princess (1905) and The Secret Garden (1909). But as for The Shuttle and the other titles, I confess complete ignorance. Of course, I’m being a little unfair. I haven’t read any of these. And perhaps I should. Anyway, here’s the list from 1907. If anyone has read any one of these novels, please let us know and give us a review!

The Lady of the Decoration by Frances Little
The Weavers by Gilbert Parker
The Port of Missing Men by Meredith Nicholson
The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Brass Bowl by Louis J. Vance
Satan Sanderson by Hallie Erminie Rives
The Daughter of Anderson Crow by George Barr McCutcheon
The Younger Set by Robert W. Chambers
The Doctor by Ralph Connor
Half a Rogue by Harold MacGrath


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