Gratitude, and thoughts on Bestsellers

It would appear that the world will not be ending on May 21st after all.  It is beyond me why these supposed men and women of learning seem so determined to determine the exact date of Judgement day.  The outcome is still going to be the same either way, and considering that God and God alone is supposed to have the knowledge of this day, the reaction of said deity would not necessarily be positive...

Before I begin, let me point out that I do not for one minute intend for the beginning of this blog entry to be a slight against any fellow christians, just against the notion of marking the day of oblivion on our calendars.

Now, with the dawn of a new day (although it is currently tea-time as I type) I thought I would begin with a little thanks and reflection. 

Since December my group of followers has gone from none to eight - all within the space of five months.  Each time that I see that my blog has gained yet another follower I feel both excited and humbled in the knowledge that I must be doing something right.  Thanks to all of you for continuing to follow and support me in my haphazard little Odyssey: Sam, Ryan Taylor, Vic, Chloe Banks, John Cowton, Dr.Blood (<--- I love this name!), Nari, and most recently Penelope Fletcher - a recently discovered authoress who already has several volumes avaliable on Kindle.  A special thanks to those followers and other readers who have taken the additional time to comment upo my blog entries - even some of the sillier ones - and offering encouragement.  I enjoy reading every one and will continue to try and respond to each one as soon as I can. 

I have an important question to ask, after the idea came to me during a break from writing. 

Do the words "Number 1 Bestseller" have any effect on your purchase of a new book?

By this I don't mean the latest offering from a beloved author who you've been singing the praises of for years, of course.  If you pick up an anticipated book like that, nothing on this earth could be printed on the cover that could stop you buying it.  It is the books of undiscovered authors that interest me - the books where we pay more attention to the covers.

The term "Bestseller" is one that usually fills me with caution, having encountered certain books that have gained international acclaim that I personally found boring and disappointing.  I don't want to mention names of books or Authors that I feel fall into this category, because I'm sure every reader feels the same about at least one author of their own.  Often much better books can be found that haven't earned the title of Bestseller, and the reader can pore through their pages with the feeling that this author is a a private little secret known only to them.  Most sci-fi and fantasy authors - with exceptions that include Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett - can usually offer their fans something of this secrecy.  For example, who has heard of Maggie Furey's excellent Shadowleague novels?  Not many, I'd wager, but I would recommend her work to anyone in search of a good read.

Of course, not all Bestsellers are a disappointment.  Anyone who has read "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak seems to have nothing but praise for it - myself included.  As I have mentioned before, C.J. Sansom is an author of incredible talent, but I was very nearly put off buying the first of his books.

I first spotted Revelation in the supermarket two years ago, and was immediately attracted by the unusual title and pretty cover.  But when I picked it up the first thing I saw were the words "No 1 Bestseller" printed in white on the bottom...

It made me pause for a minute, but the title had interested me enough to keep the book in my hand so I could read the "blurb."  Upon the disovery that the book was based during the reign of Henry VIII - one of my favourite periods of history - the book had caught enough of my interest to find its way into my shopping basket.  At £4, I felt it was a fair gamble to give Revelation a fair chance.

Having read all six of his books (one of which was a nightmare to find) I can safely say the gamble paid off.  Revelation turned out to be one of the most captivating books I have ever read, and remains so even now.  Hoever, if I'd started with Winter In Madrid, or Sovereign,  I might not have been so enthusiastic. 

However, there have been other occasions where I have bought a book on the basis of it being hailed as a bestseller and been utterly disappointed.  A certain controversial book that has enjoyed recent praise and seen itself and other books in the series become very successful films falls into this category.  It found itself in a charity shop within three weeks of trying and failing to try and retain interest in its plot, because I couldn't bring myself to throw even that book away. 

I waffle again. I'm very old fashioned and set in my ways when it comes to my books and I will be the first to admit that I can be very unforgiving to "new" authors if their book did not impress me.  I've been very distracted thanks to a disasterous hospital visit this week that found me in A&E...but that is definitely a story for a day when I've calmed down.

~*HC x*~


  1. I don't think being a bestseller has much influence on me, other than if they are bestsellers then I am more likely to have read a review of them and decided whether or not I want to read them. My reading choices are based on what we have on our bookshelves that I haven't read yet, or occasionally a sequel or book that's been personally reccommended. Since it was published in 2003, I have also been wading my way through the BBC Big Read Top 100 Books as voted for by the public. It's meant I've read a lot of great books (and some trash) that I might not have read otherwise, in lots of different genres.

    Trips to A&E don't sound good. Hope you have indeed calmed down now!


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