I 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.