Hot new books? Here!
September 14, 2009 by ruediger

I admit that I would go a long way only to find a reason to put up this unique picture featuring comic legend Dennis Patrick in his hay day as a pop culture icon likened until today by his fans to Elvis Presley or Lucille Ball.

patrick_dennisBut I don’t need to be original myself. It is good enough to do my humble job as a chronicler of current international book bestseller lists.

To my great surprise, this month’s top Italian charts are headed by Patrick’s famous “Auntie Mame” (“Zia Mame”), an unlikely winner as the book was originally published in the 1950s in the US, reprinted in many languages and editions ever since, yet without much of a fuss.

But at once, it rings a bell with Italians at this moment. Of course one may point to the co-incidence with another juicy title, “Papi” – refering to Italy’s Prime Minister as a much admired hero of young girls and, once again, of political havoc recently – so perhaps one more time, those damned bestseller lists are more telling about what is going on than most of us would suspect.

Which is why, for more than four years now, we are analyzing them. And you can find our reading of those lists, and what they reveal, in many of the leading international book trade magazines, like the Bookseller, Publishers Weekly, Livres Hebdo, buchreport, Svensk Bokhandel, China Publishing Today or, speaking of Italy, in Informazioni Editoriali. And you find back issues of our insights here.

It is about tracking all the diversity in books across markets and languages. And one thrilling aspect is to identify possibly interesting new writer’s talent as it appears first in its original cultural environment. This is why from next month on, we will highlight a “title of the month” together with our analysis – in our partner magazines as well as here on this blog.

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