Your best drum roll please for the inaugural rundown of the UK’s bestselling books for the new blog. It’s Christmas, of course, so there is unsurprisingly a proliferation of celeb books and, gallingly, High School Musical.
01. The Tales of Beedle the Bard – JK Rowling (unsurprisingly)
02. Guinness World Records (a Christmas perennial)
03. At My Mother’s Knee and Other Low Joints – Paul O’Grady (celeb #1)
04. Dear Fatty – Dawn French (celeb #2)
05. That’s Another Story – Julie Walters (celeb #3 – actually, I bought this for my mum as she adores Julie Walters)
06. The Big Book of Top Gear – Richard Porter
07. Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella (sadly, yes)
08. Parky: The Autobiography – Michael Parkinson (celeb #4 – but Parky’s a National Treasure, so that’s OK)
09. For Crying Out Loud! – Jeremy Clarkson (celeb #5)
10. The Appeal – John Grisham (for dads everywhere this Christmas)
11. Jamie’s Ministry of Food – Jamie Oliver (the inevitable cookery book)
12. Dreams from my Father – Barack Obama (celeb #6, if he counts as a celeb. I’ll let him away with it)
13. Dead Man’s Footsteps – Peter James (now I can’t be sure, but do we this this is a crime novel?)
14. Scarpetta – Patricia Cornwell (who am I kidding, I know I’m going to end up reading this)
15. High School Musical: The Annual (MY EYES! AAAAAHHH!)
16. Look Who It Is! – Alan Carr (celeb #7)
17. Fern -Fern Britton (celeb #8)
18. The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama (sort of celeb #9)
19. The Beano Annual (want)
20. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer (also not surprising)
OK, so I’m pleased that people are reading Barack Obama’s books. It shows that people are at least taking an interest in the next leader of the free world. Also, I like Dawn French, Julie Walters, and Michael Parkinson. Parky is, at least, of proper autobiography age, and I think he would have written the book himself. That said, Private Eye, of all publications, raved over Paul O’Grady’s book recently, saying that it was a breath of fresh air compared to the normal celeb-ghost-written-woe-is-me fare. By all accounts he wrote the thing himself, and also the book stops before he becomes famous so there is none of the log-rolling and name-dropping that permeates so many celeb biogs (Billy Connolly, I’m looking at you). So, kudos to him. I also read this morning that AN Wilson said the following of Julie Walter’s autobiography: “a celebrity memoir which is actually worth reading as a work of literature”. My mum will be pleased.
Coming tomorrow: the books I shall be cramming in during Christmas week, none of which have anything to do with my MA. Hurrah!