Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top Five: Wendy's Problem Children

Some of you seemed to like my inaugural Top Five post, so I'm thinking I'll keep it up for a while. This time out I want to talk about my problem child books. These are the books that are currently in hot demand, and that, for the most part, blindsided me.

I'm not going to lie to you - adult fiction is generally pretty easy. But every once in a while a book comes out of nowhere and gob-smacks you. These are currently the ones where I'm beginning to think I'll never have enough copies to satisfy our waiting lists.

The Shack by William P. Young

Description: Four years after his daughter is abducted and evidence of her murder is found in an abandoned shack, Mackenzie Allen Philips returns to the shack in response to a note claiming to be from God, and has a life-changing experience.

Wendy Says: This originally came in as a patron request. I bought a few copies, as while inspirational fiction circulates nicely for us, I wouldn't call it a blockbuster genre. Then this book started showing up everywhere. Lots of media rounds, and a crap-load of word of mouth. Now everybody and their dead grandmother wants to read it.

Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

Description: Believing her marriage to Andy to be perfect in every way, Ellen runs into former flame Leo and wonders why she has been unable to forget him even though they brought out the worst in each other.

Wendy Says: OK, I've at least heard of Emily Giffin, but I foolishly thought this book would follow the same pattern as her other titles. It would be mildly popular and generate a modest holds list. How wrong I was. This book has been off the charts for us, again thanks to media attention and it being touted as a "summer read."

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Description: A member of a species that takes over the minds of human bodies, Wanderer is unable to disregard his host's love for a man in hiding, a situation that forces both possessor and host to become unwilling allies.

Wendy Says: OK people. I really am not a moron. I knew this book was going to be popular. But, I thought it was going to be popular with teen readers crossing over into the adult fiction stacks, and our library patrons who fit this mold? Generally do not place their names on a waiting list. They grab the book when they happen to see it on the shelf. Nope, not this time. Waiting list ahoy!

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

Description: Traveling to the wedding of his estranged daughter and left stranded in O'Hare Airport when his flight is cancelled, Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet and translator, begins writing a letter of complaint to the airline that evolves into a painful lament for a life that has gone badly awry.

Wendy Says: Like a lot of things in life, success in publishing is sometimes thanks to excellent timing. I truly believe this debut novel is doing so well because people are currently really pissed off at the airlines. Having The Book Club Stink doesn't hurt matters either.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Description: Evaluating his life on the eve of his death, atypical canine Enzo considers the sacrifices his master, Denny Swift, has made in his pursuit of becoming a professional race car driver; the painful custody battle between Denny and his in-laws, and the dog's own efforts to preserve the Swift family.

Wendy Says: I actually bought several copies of this out of the gate because of the dog gimmick. People seem to love dogs in fiction. Then Starbucks decided that this was going to be the latest book to be promoted and sold in their stores. That sealed the deal. Oh, and The Book Club Stink didn't hurt matters either.

And there you have it. The five books with super huge waiting lists driving me slightly insane. I'm going to be honest, none of these sounds remotely tantalizing to me - but I'm Little Miss Finicky Pants. What about you all? Read any of these? Plan to read any? Inquiring minds want to know.


ireadwhat said...

Only one of these appeals to me, Dear American Airlines. I think I would check that one out without an issue, but would I finish it? Not sure, it really depends on how the story unfolds.

~ames~ said...

Interesting. I think maybe things are slightly different in Canada - but Love the One You're With has a huge waiting list at my library. And yes, I'm on it. haha

Cathy said...

I read The Host, and I thought it was very good - but not really my type of book. I read on a blog somewhere that they could see it being taught in schools, and yes, I could see that. It is thought provoking as to what makes us human, ethics, what you would do to preserve humanity. Me, I read for fun and to take me away from reality for a little while - I prefer Meyer's Twilight series. Love them like I was a teenager again instead of pushing 40.

Jessica said...

I've read and enjoyed Emily Griffin in the past. This one is on my t.b.r. list, just not near the top.

Rosario said...

Yes, please, please, keep it up? I find this stuff fascinating! :-)

The only one I'm interested in is The Host, and in fact, I'm currently 6th in my library's waiting list.

azteclady said...

Huh. Not intrigued, haven't read, won't read.

My 15 year old daughter is a fan of the Twilight books--does that count?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

The Host was so, so good. My top pick of 2008, well behind Blue Eyed Devil. Meyer is an incredible writer!
I actually am putting The Host in my top 5 favorite books of all time.

Sarah said...

These are all equally popular at my library with the exception of The Shack which I had never heard of. It's amazing sometimes which books suddenly jump ship with these huge waiting lists.

Wendy said...

People keep telling me how great The Host is....but I just can't get into that plot description at all. I think my burn-out on all things paranormal, futuristic, and supernatural is worse than I feared.

The Lil' Sis keeps nagging me on the Twilight series, mostly because she's officially crossed over into the realm of Super Obsessed Fangirl. I really need to download the first book on my MP3 player. I'll get to the series quicker if I listen to it.....

JamiSings said...

The Shack and The Host sound interesting, but the rest sound like the typical pretenious dreck. Especially anything promoted by StarYUCKs.

Here most people seem interested in those teenage vampire books. One in the series is called Twilight. Don't know about the rest. Just know that it's on hold a lot. Plus those lame Christian romance novels. (How come I can never find any Jewish romance novels? Mysteries I find by the hundreds, but when I search for romance ones I just get the movie The Way We Were.) Those things circulate like wildfire.

Alie said...

I'm on the waiting list for the Host. I can't help it though, I'm a Twilight-aholic!

Caitlin said...

It might just be menopausal hormones with me, but when I picked up The Art Of Racing in the Rain up at the bookstore and read the first couple of pages, it brought tears to my eyes. Not sure why; perhaps it's because I've had my share of dogs in my lifetime, so perhaps it's just simply that I can relate. I haven't read more than few pages so far; other books need to be finished first, but leafing thru it, I can tell I will be needing a big box of tissues as I read. Hormones or not.

Cheryl St.John said...

I've heard a lot about The Shack. I might have to check out that one.

Cathy said...

Oh Wendy!! Definately download the audio version of Twilight - it's how I got hooked. You start out thinking eh - it's ok, then it sucks you in and turns you into a squeeing fangirl.