Thursday, March 11, 2004

A decade of books and events

By Jacqueline Blais and Anthony DeBarros, USA TODAY

Book sales reflect the national conversation, a fact evident from the beginning of the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books in October 1993. Let's review ten years of events and books.

J.K. Rowling's books actually became events of their own accord, sparking midnight release parties at bookstores.
By Jill Connelly, AP


Jan. 6: Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan clubbed after a practice; fellow skater Tonya Harding implicated. One instant book: Kerrigan Courage; Nancy's Story by Randi Reisfeld.

Jan. 13: Chicken Soup for the Soul, first of 77 Chicken Soup books, makes the list.

April 22: Richard Nixon dies. Final book, Beyond Peace, makes list in May.

May 19: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies. Many books about her life make the list. Highest ranking is The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, edited by her daughter, Caroline, in 2001.

June 12: Football star O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman murdered in Brentwood, Calif.

Oct. 27: Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted by family friend Faye D. Resnick with Mike Walker is No. 1.

Book of the year: In the Kitchen with Rosie by Rosie Daley.


Feb. 2: O.J. speaks out in I Want to Tell You, No. 1.

April 19: Bombing at Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma kills 168; American Terrorist, on list in 2001, chronicles life of convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh.

July 15: sells its first book: Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought by Douglas R. Hofstadter.

Nov. 9: Calvin & Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson announces retirement. At Christmas, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book rises to No. 4.

Nov. 30: The Road Ahead by Microsoft's Bill Gates debuts, is a major holiday gift.

Book of the year: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray.


Jan. 11: Sign of the wired age: Internet for Dummies, 3rd Edition breaks into the 150 list.

Sept. 17: Oprah Winfrey launches Oprah's Book Club. First selection, The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, is No. 1 by Oct. 24.

Nov. 12: Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt enters the list, stays four years.

Book of the year: The Runaway Jury by John Grisham.


April 13: Tiger Woods, 21, becomes the youngest to win golf's Masters Tournament. In 2001, explains his craft in Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf.

Aug. 31: Princess Diana killed in auto crash in France. Kitty Kelley's new The Royals is an instant No. 1 in September.

Dec. 19: Titanic opens in theaters. It goes on to win 11 Academy Awards. Books abound, including the revival of Walter Lord's 1955 classic A Night to Remember.

Book of the year: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson — signals the start of a Don't Sweat franchise, with 32 variations on the title to come.


Jan. 19: President Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky becomes public. The political fallout will reach the list as writers examine all the players involved.

May 14: Last episode of Seinfeld draws 76 million viewers. Jerry Seinfeld's SeinLanguage makes a brief return to the list; four years later he reinvents himself as a children's author with Halloween.

Sept. 24: Three compilations of The Starr Report, documents from independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation into President Clinton, debut at Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Dec. 10: First in the series Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone quietly appears on the list, a year after being published in England. It eventually spends 31 weeks at No. 1.

Book of the year: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson is the top book for two years in a row.


Feb. 4:Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson debuts; slim volume about embracing change becomes darling of management.

March 4: First sign of approaching millennium: Survival guide Y2K breaks into the list at 150.

March 11: Monica's Story by Andrew Morton (Monica Lewinsky's version of the Clinton scandal) goes to No. 1.

June 10:Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, second in the series, debuts at No. 1.

July 16: John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette, killed in plane crash near Martha's Vineyard. One Kennedy book in circulation: 250 Ways to Make America Better by the editors of JFK Jr.'s George magazine.

Dec. 16: After 115 weeks on the list, Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie hits No. 1.

Book of the year:Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.


Feb. 12: Peanuts creator Charles Schulz dies. The following week, Peanuts: A Golden Celebration by Schulz comes on the top 50.

March 14: Stephen King publishes e-book Riding the Bullet. Says King: "I don't think anything will replace the printed word and the bound book. Not in my lifetime, at least."

July 8: Midnight mania when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, fourth in the series, goes on sale; 3 million sold the first weekend, fastest-selling book in history, says U.S. publisher Scholastic.

Book of the year: Wizards continue to reign: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.


Jan. 18: Bruce Wilkinson's The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life enters the book list, begins quick ascent to No. 1. It spends nine weeks in the top slot.

Sept. 11: Terrorist attacks on World Trade Center, Pentagon.

Sept. 27: A sign that many Americans want to see what the world looks like in greater detail after Sept. 11: The Rand McNally Quick Reference World Atlas lands on the buttom rung of the list — a first.

Oct. 11: Four weeks after the terrorist attacks on New York and D.C., books that give information about a scary world flood the list: Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky and Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid.

Dec. 19:The Fellowship of the Ring opens in theaters; sales are building all year for beloved fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Book of the year: Third year in a row for J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.


April 5: Oprah Winfrey announces that her 48th book club selection, Toni Morrison's 1974 novel, Sula, will be her last.

Dec. 5:The Two Towers, second in J.R.R. Tolkien's Rings series, opens in theaters. Tolkien is the third best-selling author of the year.

Book of the year:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.


March 20: U.S. and British troops invade Iraq.

June 18: Oprah Winfrey relaunches her book club with a classic twist. Her first pick, the 1952 East of Eden by John Steinbeck, jumps to No. 3 the next week.

June 19: Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History debuts at No. 1; she's reportedly paid $8 million.

Book of the year: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. - A decade of books and events

No comments:

Search This Blog