Today in publishing and literature: 50 Shades is read in the North but loved in the South; Bob Woodward's new book is about the Obama economy; authors are not reading their elders.
The 50 Shades frenzy continues! Expect this to go on for a while, regardless of what you have to say about the so-called sexiness of the book. After all, there have been more than 10 million copies sold in the series. This is pretty major. But who are the people buying them? Thank Goodreads for breaking that down in a handy infographic that alerts us to two key things:
The states with the highest readers per capita are located primarily in the Tri-State and New England area: New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New York.
If you define "Grey States" by their average rating of the book, the landscape changes. The regions with readers who give Fifty Shades of Grey the highest average ratings are the Southern and Plains states—Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
Bob Woodward's upcoming book Politico's Dylan Byers has more about the next collection of tales from Washington's inner sanctums that's set for a September release. It's about how Obama has handled the economy, "the issue that is all but certain to matter most to voters when they head to the polls less than two months later," writes Byers. Woodward's last book was Obama's Wars which covered the President's decisions on the war in Afghanistan and the secret war in Pakistan. [Politico]
Out with the old; in with the new? A study by professors from Dartmouth and the University of Wisconsin finds that contemporary writers feel less and less of a need to honor "literary tradition." People, including authors, are reading less of the old and more of the new. As Peter Enzinna writes, the study authors "found that as time has gone by, writers have learned fewer lessons from aging 'classics,' and have taken instruction from an ever-expanding pool of more recent works." [Pageviews]
There's a whole new surge of "liberal books" to contend with, spurred on by the economy. "'It's the story of the moment right now,' says Patricia Bostelman, vice president of marketing for Barnes & Noble Inc. 'We have a real disparity-of-wealth issue and that tends to be a subject for books from the left, especially after Occupy Wall Street.'" Among them: Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence; Joseph Stiglitz's The Price of Inequality; Paul Krugman's End This Depression Now!; former Obama adviser Van Jones' Rebuild the Dream; James Carville's It's the Middle Class, Stupid; and an upcoming book on the Occupy Wall Street movement by organizer David Graeber. Theses are probably not beach reads. [Business Week]
Have you read The Hunger Games yet? For those, check out this handy slideshow of the best-selling book series of all time. [Daily Beast]