The Preternatural Post is launching a new series: Books! Movies and films are great, and we love them, but there is nothing like a book to really feed a person’s imagination. So today, 3 July, we are introducing the first of several weekly lists identifying the top-selling books in a variety of categories. We’re starting with hardcovers because, let’s face it, a hard bound book is what a book is. There’s a sense of permanence and timelessness to a hardback book that other forms just don’t have (although we will be listing those over the course of the week, too). The Preternatural Post’s book lists are compiled from the best-seller lists published by The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. Now, let’s get this party started!
The Kingdom was the bestselling preternatural book (hardcover fiction) for the week ending 25 June, 2011. The Kingdom, by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood, tells the tale of treasure-hunting husband and wife Sam and Remi Fargo. This time, however, the Fargos (who also starred in Cussler’s Spartan Gold and Lost Empire) are looking for people, not treasure in a hunt that will take them to Tibet, Nepal, China, Bulgaria and other mysterious locales as they uncover secrets that could turn human history upside down. Oh, and there’s plenty of treasure to be found along the way. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin. (Ranked Number 11 overall on both NYT and PW bestseller lists.)
Dead Reckoning, the 11th book in the popular Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris, takes the Number 2 spot among preternatural hardcovers this week. This time, Sookie, Eric, Pam and the whole Bon Temps/Shreveport crew discover that sometimes you don’t always get what you want and even when you do things don’t always work out the way you planned. Published by Ace Books, a division of Penguin, Dead Reckoning, takes readers deeper into a southern fried world were vampires (and shape shifters) have come out of the coffin that is both similar to and vastly different from that of the HBO original series True Blood which take their inspiration from the books. Read our review of Dead Reckoning. (Ranked Number 12 on the PW list and Number 13 on the NYT list overall.)
At Number 3 for the week is Hit List, the 20th book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s ground-breaking Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Hit List finds U.S. Marshals Anita Blake (The Executioner) and Edward (Death) on the trail of a serial killer in the Pacific Northwest (hopefully, they aren’t after sparkly vampires or Native American werewolves). Published by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin. (Ranked Number 17 by PW and Number 18 by NYT among bestsellers overall.)
The oral history of Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson lands in the Number 4 spot for the week. This is a surprisingly fun read exploring what happens when cutting edge technology meets murder in the not so distant future. Fans may remark on Robopocalypse’ similarities to Max Brooks‘ World War Z but this time the characters are literally harder. Published by Doubleday Publishing, legendary preternatural director Steven Spielberg is already reportedly in preproduction on the film adaptation tentatively scheduled for 2013 release. (Ranked 26th overall by the NYT.)
Rounding out the top five fictional tomes in hardcover with preternatural themes is The Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz (author of the Blue Bloods series). The Witches of East End is the story of three women living on Long Island with a family secret they have been hiding for generations. You see, Joanna, Freya and Ingrid are the latest in a long line of witches. A great read for this weekend, since one of the plot twists is the disappearance of a young girl…on the Fourth of July weekend. Published by Hyperion Books last month, The Witches of East End is a novel on the rise. (Number 34 overall among NYT bestsellers.)
Ok, we admit, we were a bit surprised to discover there were actually more nonfiction books with potential preternatural tie-ins that there were fiction books this week. We’ve chosen the five we believe have the strongest preternatural connections, but please feel free to disagree and let us know your choices!
Topping the list is Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen. This is an compelling and at times revealing account of the most famous military installation that doesn’t exist. Once considered science fiction, Area 51 is full of myths and conspiracy theories that captivated imaginations for much of the last half of the 2oth century. Based on interviews from those who have lived and worked there, this is the first non fiction book chronicling the history of Area 51 in a fascinating eye-witness narrative demonstrating that fact can be as gripping as fiction and sometimes even more incredible. Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Books Group. (Ranked Number 15 by NYT and Number 24 by PW among overall non-fiction bestsellers.)
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman explores the mysteries of the brain beyond (beneath, behind?) the conscious mind. Eagleman, a renowned neuroscientist, reveals the truths, or at least parts of the truth, to many surprising mysteries in what turns out to be a very engaging and oddly easy read. Incognito is published by Pantheon Books, a division of Knopf Doubleday. (Ranked 24th overall on the NYT bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.)
Anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw becomes the spokesperson (barksperson?) for human-canine interactions in his book Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. Brandshaw provides readers with extraordinary insight into how we should treat our canine (and really any animal) companions using the latest scientific research. Dog Sense is must read for anyone with a pet or in a relationship with a shape shifter! Published by Basic Books. (Number 30 overall on the NYT list of bestselling nonfiction hardcovers.)
Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid, the autobiography of Simon Pegg, will delight Trekkies and zombie fans around the world. From his childhood obsession with science fiction to his first visit to Comic Con to the cult-classic film hit, Shaun of the Dead, Pegg takes readers on the hilarious roller-coaster ride that is his life to date. Nerd Do Well is a light-hearted look in the mirror for all preternatural fans. Published by Gotham Books, a division of Penguin. (Ranked 32nd overall among hardcover nonfiction books according to the New York Times.)
The Compass of Pleasure: How our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning and Gambling Feel So Good by David J. Linden (a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins) completes this weeks list and has a place on any preternatural fan’s journey to self-discovery. The Compass of Pleasure is an entertaining and enlightening look at the relationship between pleasure and addiction (can you say…Twitter?) published by Viking Press, a division of Penguin. (Number 35 overall on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best seller list.)
That’s it in hardcover fiction and nonfiction for this week. Which ones have you invested in? We’d love to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment below (since we aren’t Sookie and can’t read your mind)!