I once spent a couple of years seeking out all the Oscar winning movies for Best Picture and Best Director and tried to watch them all. I think that most of those movies are still powerful today. I wonder if the same is true of books?
Does every bestseller in fiction still have what it takes? I’m not talking about the powerhouse classics that will forever own their status, I’m talking about books like the ones on the list below, which I have to admit don’t all ring a bell.
Granted, movies are easier to consume, so it wasn’t a stretch to actually watch all the big winners of all time. And we’re only dealing with about 90 years of Oscar so far. I’ll never forget the day my husband rented Citizen Kane. I think I lost interest in the project after that. : /
Anyway… I was hanging out over at my twitter and saw a flurry of people talking about their discoveries over at BibliOz.com. They have a nifty little tool that shows you the list of bestsellers for the week you were born. Who am I to resist?
Fiction 1 THE PASSIONS OF THE MIND Irving Stone
Fiction 2 THE NEW CENTURIONS Joseph Wambaugh
Fiction 3 THE EXORCIST William Peter Blatty
Fiction 4 QB VII Leon Uris
Fiction 5 PENMARRIC Susan Howatch
Fiction 6 THE BELL JAR Sylvia Plath
Fiction 7 THE OTHER Thomas Tryon
Fiction 8 THE THRONE OF SATURN Allen Drury
Fiction 9 THE UNDERGROUND MAN Ross Macdonald
Fiction 10 LOVE IN THE RUINS Walker Percy
Non-Fiction 1 BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE Dee Brown
Non-Fiction 2 THE SENSUOUS MAN “M”
Non-Fiction 3 THE GREENING OF AMERICA Charles Reich
Non-Fiction 4 THE FEMALE EUNUCH Germaine Greer
Non-Fiction 5 BOSS Mike Royko
Non-Fiction 6 FUTURE SHOCK Alvin Toffler
Non-Fiction 7 THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF AMERICA Samuel Eliot Morison
Non-Fiction 8 STILWELL AND THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN CHINA 1911-1945, Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
Non-Fiction 9 MR. CUB Ernie Banks and Jim Enright
Non-Fiction 10 CAPONE John Kobler
It’s interesting to look back at “this day in history” kind of stuff, don’t you think? I love history. I’m sure my personal week in publishing is more interesting to me – just as yours will be to you – but there is something to be said about looking back. I confess I have only read THE EXORCIST on this list, but a few of these will be added to my TBR pile.
TRINITY by Leon Uris is one of my favorite books, which I think I love on a deeper level than most stories because it ties into my own history being full-blooded Irish. I am a dabbler in genealogy and find so much about the Irish and their history speaks to something deep inside me. Trinity is enough to make me pick up #4 in Fiction: QB VII and check it out.
I have been aware of Sylvia Plath on my periphery through my travels, but have never read THE BELL JAR in its entirety. Writing that feels like some odd dirty secret. I’ll be digging into Paperback Swap for those I think. I have a ton of credits there. Do you paperback swap, btw?
Check out your bestseller list from your birthday (make sure you enter the day before the month, that took me a while to figure out, ha!) and let me know what you find. Maybe we can start up a retro-book club and review the oldies in a blog chain.