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Back Briefly to Bestselling Fiction

October 23, 2021

Even though I write a book blog, I’ve been staying away from the bestselling fiction lists for a while because I’d gotten tired of seeing the same authors write the same books repeatedly. After a couple years away from the bestselling fiction lists, though, I’ve checked back and have seen… that nothing much has changed.

First of all, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has co-written a top-selling book. When I saw that Hillary Clinton’s book was called State of Terror, I thought it would be a memoir about her frame of mind during the Trump years. No, instead it’s a spy novel.

It makes sense that Hillary Clinton would co-write a spy novel. Her husband Bill has co-written a couple political thrillers with James Patterson over the last few years. There was no reason for her not to get in on some of that co-writing, money laundering action. If every FOX News contributor can get a book deal, then so should the politicians who actually make the news.

And from a sleazy, cynical publishing point-of-view, it could be worse. At least Hillary Clinton isn’t writing a children’s book. Ugh, children’s books. Those are the worst. At least Hillary Clinton hasn’t written a… oh yeah… It Takes a Village. Never mind.

To be fair, if Hillary Clinton called me and told me that she wanted me to write a book for her and that she’d share the credit with me, I’d gladly agree. For one, I don’t want to get murdered for saying no. Secondly, there would be decent money involved. I mean, I know she and her friends would get most of it, but a little bit of money for them is a lot for me, so I wouldn’t get greedy. And I’d keep my mouth shut if I accidentally overheard anything I wasn’t supposed to hear.

Hey, I try to stick to books and writing and stay out of politics; it’s not my fault when politicians wander into my territory.

Next, I saw that John LeCarre had a new book out, Silverview. At first, I was kind of disappointed. I had known that LeCarre has been dead for a while, and I thought maybe his estate was putting out books with another author using LeCarre’s characters. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. LeCarre was working on Silverview when he died (supposedly), so the book is being promoted as LeCarre’s last one.

I’m not sure that I’ll read Silverview. I liked The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, but I’ve tried a couple of LeCarre’s latter novels, and sometimes I didn’t understand what was going on. I like to understand what’s going on when I read books. I’d feel disappointed if I didn’t understand what was going on in a dead author’s final book.

Speaking of dead authors, Danielle Steele has another book out, The Butler. I mean, I know that Danielle Steele isn’t dead yet, but I’m surprised that Danielle Steele isn’t dead yet. That old chick has been writing books since I was a kid. I don’t want her to be dead or anything like that. I’m just mildly surprised that she’s still churning out books.

I hope it’s actually the real Danielle Steele writing these books too. There’s no way for me to know, though, because I’ve never read a Danielle Steele book so I can’t compare her old stuff with her new stuff. I could, I guess, but I don’t care enough to do it.

Anthony Doerr’s new book Cloud Cuckoo Land is doing pretty well on the bestsellers list. I was initially worried about Cloud Cuckoo Land. I liked Doerr’s previous novel All the Light We Cannot See, and I respected Doerr for taking seven years to write another book, but that title Cloud Cuckoo Land… well… it sucks. Still, I’m glad Club Cuckoo Land is still selling copies, even if the title sucks.

There were a couple other familiar names with books on the list. Nicholas Sparks has a book on the list, The Wish. So do Amor Towles with The Lincoln Highway, Lianne Moriarty with Apples Never Fall (I’m suspicious of books with lies in the title; I’ve seen apples fall before), and James Patterson and some co-author with Jailhouse Lawyer.

There was one author I’d never hear of, Laura Dave with The Last Thing He Told Me. I hope I’m not the only book blogger who’s never heard of Laura Dave. It would be another astonishing gap in my knowledge.

Lastly, Stephen King has a book out called Billy Summers. I don’t know who Billy Summers is, so I probably won’t read the book. I think authors are lazy when they title their books after a character’s name and I don’t know who the character is. Now if Stephen King had written a horror novel called Hillary Clinton, I might read it. I’d at least know who the title is referring to.

I’m probably not going to read any of the above books, but if I have the chance I might read Cloud Cuckoo Land (despite the title) or Silverview (if I think I’ll understand what’s going on).

  1. Marilyn Kriete permalink

    Yup, the same old names keep hogging those spots! As someone who cleans homes–and scans my clients’ bookshelves–I’m amazed at how many readers stick to the bestsellers lists and keep buying books by the same authors. And I’m equally amazed at how these perennial authors keep cranking out new titles…I’m also a recently published author, so of course I also dream of getting onto that list—dream on!

    • “I’m amazed at how many readers stick to the bestsellers lists and keep buying books by the same authors.”-

      Yeah, especially when there are already a lot of great old books that are worth reading instead. Maybe people just like reading new books, kind of like how people watch movies just because they’re new. I’d rather good books than new books.

  2. I too had never heard of Laura Dave, but i just finished reading her book, The Last Thing He Told Me, last night at midnight. It is well written and has an interesting premise. The cover and jacket are inviting. Now I will look up her other books. See what you think, but i think worth a read.

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