Bestsellers – March, 2009

ReadingI thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the bestselling books in the United States now to give you an idea of what Americans are reading.  The New York Times has a bestseller (most books sold) list for both fiction (novels, stories) and nonfiction books.  Here are some of the current most popular books in nonfiction (books about things that are real, that actually happened):

*The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.  This is a memoir, a book that talks about one’s own life history and the things that happened to you.  Joe Torre was the coach (leader) of the New York Yankees baseball team for many years, and this book is about his experiences there.  (Torre is now coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, my favorite baseball team.)  Like a lot of books “written” by famous people, Torre has a ghostwriter (someone who knows how to write who helps another person “write” his or her book).  Torre is a very well-known baseball coach, and people are always interested in sports and sport celebrities (famous people).

*Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell is a popular writer for the magazine, The New Yorker, who became famous a few years ago for a book called The Tipping Point.  In Outliers, Gladwell discusses why some people are successful in life and others are not, focusing on things like luck as well as skill.  I read this book last year and really enjoyed it.  I’ve read all three of Gladwell’s books and never miss his articles in The New Yorker.  He’s a great writer – clear, logical, and interesting to read.

*A Slobbering Love Affair by Bernard Goldberg.  Goldberg is a former reporter who is now a political commentator (see ESL Podcast 459 for more about commentators).  To slobber means to give someone big, wet kisses.  The adjective slobbering here really describes the act of saying nice things about another person, but too much, excessively, almost to the point of being embarrassing.   A love affair is a situation where you are in love with another person.  Goldberg is a political conservative who in this book is criticizing the U.S. news media (newspapers, magazines, television) for being “too nice” to President Obama and not being critical enough of his mistakes.  Political books are often in the top 10 bestseller lists, and this is an example of that.  Sometimes they are liberal books, sometimes they are conservative books.  In the current top 10, there are three conservative books.

*Multiple Blessings by John Gosselin, Kate Gosselin, and Beth Carson.   This is another ghostwritten book (Beth Carson is the ghostwriter).  It is about a married couple (John and Kate Gosselin) who have eight children.  (No, this is not the same as the woman who had octuplets that Lucy described a few weeks ago.)  This couple had two children and then had sextuplets – six babies.  There is a popular television show about this family and the difficulties they have in raising so many children called “Jon and Kate Plus Eight.”  A blessing is a good thing that happens to you, so multiple blessings would be many good things that happen to you.


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13 Responses to Bestsellers – March, 2009

  1. inma says:

    Thanks Jeff for the list, knowing which books people read in a country is a part of knowing the culture a little bit better. I would like to ask you for a list of novels, I am a big fan of nonfictional books. No only bestselllers, also novels that usually students have to read while they are in high school. I think that it could be a good topic to talk about.

  2. Elisângelo says:

    So, that’s a good topic to talk about it when it cames from to learn english, isn’t it? Since we got to read more and more to get ourselves even better day after day… of course that reading good books it’s a good kick off! Though when you have the chance to read a good book written at current days, it became much better cause you’re able to have access a good story narrated or described into the day to day speeches or accent.

    Well, one more time… thanks a lot for provide us with so useful and useble information jeff;

    to all of the esl team…

    my best regards,

  3. Ariel says:

    In today’s ESL Podcast, I confuse commentator with pundit. Could somebody else kindly tell me what’s the difference between them? Thanks.

  4. Julio says:

    I am reading now, apart from professional books, the Ken Follet’s bestseller “World without end”. It seems a very interesting one, in the line of the previous book from this author “The pillars of the Earth”. I am going to try to read it in English, although I have available the Spanish version too. The bad thing is it’s a very large book, and I plan to be able to wind up it by the end of three months. Once I do it, I’ll try one of such bestsellers. Thank you, Jeff,
    Best regards from Spain,

  5. Peter says:

    You know what ,the latest presidential election seems to be the most controversial ones ; some body should tell them:Jeez,stop teeth-gnashing it is a thing of past already.

  6. fred says:

    t h a n k y o u v e r y m u c h
    Very useful, could you prepare science fiction list ? next time ?

  7. emiliano says:

    Thanks a lot Jeff, your opinion about books is always high appreciate and I have it always in mind when you have told us some books in the pod cast. I have remember some of them in which you told us about your long cousin relative F. Scott Fitzgerald, born in Saint Paul as you, when I have seen the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (short story) written by him.

    It was a pleasure listen again the english cafe where you mentioned the author and could talk with Cuca about your information.

    I know also that in the New York Times alert about books, everybody may receive it if ask for and are free register in the Times, you may read a chapter of some of the books the paper tells about or did a critic. I fact I did it some times to have an idea of some I have read already…..Twilight for instance.

    Thank you so much Jeff and Lucy, and sure it should be a good topic to talk and learn about in future.

    A chap that likes science fiction? that´s great……….and I can mention you Fred just a lot of them, old ones of course because I read them many years ago.

    There is a book “Encyclopedia of Science Fiction” writen by John Clute that is one of the best references, edited by Dorling Kindersley Limited. London in 1995
    I have it and is a treasure for Science Fiction Lovers……

  8. elcomandant says:

    One of the books that I have more liked so far is “The pillars of the Earth” written by Ken Follet. I want also to read the sequel of The Pillars, entitled “World without end” of the same writer, but I can’t because I have decided to learn English and I’m totally devoted to it until march 2010. If I was able to read it in English, you can be sure that I would read it.

    Although, there is here in Spain a book recently published and written by César Vidal and Federico Jiménez Losantos entitled “Historia de España” that I’m very interested to read it. This book is inspired in a Radio’s program very interesting where both of them tell to us true stories of the history of Spain.

    In this book, (as the publisher say) the authors have reviewed the history of Spain since its origine, giving to us the History of Spain free of prejudices and distorsions. This History of Spain is for all of who want to know the truth about past of Spain.

    I would like to have free time to read it, but as I said before, my first priority is to learn English. I’m afraid that I can’t read it in one year’s time. It’s up to me.


  9. Bruce Lee says:

    One month ago I & my wife went the theatre to see the movie “The curious case of Benjamin Button”.
    After we saw this movie, I figure out that it’s originated from famous novel.

    The good movie can be created from good scenario that is sometimes adopted from the novel like this case.

  10. Elisângelo says:

    response to ARIEL’s post:

    Hi Ariel, I was reading the recent posts at this blog and so I decided to check it out the latest eslpodcast (episode #459) to find out what the douts are you`ve been got into;

    So I listened to it twice and I`ll be giving you an easier example for try to make it clearer, so let`s go!?

    Well, let`s pretend that you are watching a sport debate TV Show after a finished soccer game ( those sport tv shows usually do debates to discuss whether it was a good game or not or either something else); Then the host of that Show has invited some people to talk about the game. Let`s supose 2 people (of those which ones were invited) are in favor of the winner time(team) and others 3 people are in favor of the loser time.

    Okay! let`s consider that in this debate there is also an person whom frequently participate of this TV Show. So, let`s say that this person doesn`t support anyone of those times , although he could be in favor of either of them…. but let`s take him by non-supporter.

    Well, the host kicks off the Show by making some questions to one group following by the reply of the other group about the game, so since their times are rivals; I mean they are competitors they might start to speak loudly and talk over each other by defending their views about their times… right!!? So, those people are the pundits arguing their thoughts over the debate.

    Then the host turns the turn to the non-supporter guest, so he can point it out about the game which it `s over. Probably he must give his opinion about the development of each team in the game. Maybe he`s going to say a lots of good things as well as bad things upon the game; this good things might be in favor of the winner team even though he`s not a supporter of it. He`s simply commenting about the game cause the host asked him to speak out it.

    In my own understand this non-suppoter is a commentator. He`s not defending any time or whatever it is, he is just giving his opinion upon that case (the game).

    Well, that`s what I understood about it. If there is some else whom got a different point of view, please! share you thoughts and help us to comprehend it better.

    thanks a lot and I hope that explanation has been due to your doubts Ariel!

    best regards,

  11. tania says:

    Hi ! Your short literature lesson is very useful. You and Doctor Lucy are coaches for us in many fields .
    Can you imagine ? In a small town from Roumania we can find “Audacity of Hope ” in any bookshop .
    As the unit price is high (and with the bad economy) we have to know if a book is interesting or not or at least to be trendy .
    And of course , it is difficult to know the exact sense of the title .
    I keep in my mind the writers’name , so , I know what to look for in a bookshop, or how to interpret the Roumanian news media .
    I appreciate very much your coaching in literature .

    All the best for you all .

  12. orlando nunez says:

    As always, a very interesting topic.

  13. Kobe.Su says:

    interesting topic~“`maybe in future blog you could also recomend us about movies and music? THX

    i agree what Tania siad that it would be a great help knowing a bit about the book,(especially with 2nd language) that we are going to buy before we pay for it. you have to know that purchasing an original edition book in China would sometimes cost us 10 times than the one in home language. it’s expensive enough to think wise for your choices.

    I’m recently reading a book “THE ECONOMIC NATURALIST” writen by Robert H.Frank. there are some interesting questions such as why is milk sold in rectangular containers, while soft drinks are sold in round ones? why do many bars charge patrons for water but give them peanuts for free? explain econimic knowledge through examples from everyday life.

    i’ve attracted to twilight when i read it,in Chinese, and looked forward watching the movie after the book. movie is not as good as the book though.

    there are some “old” bestseller’s romance novle that i love so much, writen by Nicholas Sparks, i started his books from “A walk to remember”, and i’ve also red “a message in bottle” and “the note book”… m glad i still have more books to keep enjoying.

    and the dilbert, the cartoon““

    thx to Elisângelo for your example~“`

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