Wednesday, June 5, 2013

San Francisco Boosterism!

This post is an unashamed (and slightly tongue-in-cheek) instance of regional pride in the area where I live: The San Francisco Bay Area. Perhaps readers will consider this pride provincial, and it may be, but here goes! Looking at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday book section every week, I often notice that the Bay Area and National best-seller lists -- especially the fiction lists -- are significantly different. For example, on 5/26/13, only two books appear on both hardcover fiction lists of 10 books each; the rest were different titles. The Bay Area lists, in general, include more “literary” books than do the national lists. On that same 5/26/13 list, for example, the Bay Area list includes Claire Messud’s “The Woman Upstairs,” Isabel Allende’s “Maya’s Notebook” (OK, Allende lives in the Bay Area, which may be a factor, but still…), Kate Atkinson’s “Life after Life,” and Therese Anne Fowler’s “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald,” none of which appears on the national list. The national list, in contrast, includes books by perennial bestselling authors such as James Patterson, Nora Roberts, and Mary Higgins Clark, none of which appears on the Bay Area list. Granted, the Bay Area list often also includes such less “literary” books as well, but the overall distribution of titles on the two lists is fairly different. Readers may draw their own conclusions. And to my readers in other areas around the United States and the world: please forgive my San Francisco-centeredness in this post!

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