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David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
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    The Bone Clocks

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Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Contemporary Bestsellers

Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Contemporary Bestsellers Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What do weight loss, evil emperors and tales of redemption have in common?

We readers have many dirty little secrets-and our bestselling books are spilling them all. We can?t resist conspiratorial crooks or the number 7. We have bought millions of books about cheese. And over a million of us read more than 50 nearly identical books every single year.

In Why We Read What We Read, Lisa Adams and John Heath take an insightful and often hilarious tour through nearly 200 bestselling books, ferreting out their persistent themes and determining what those say about what we believe and how we relate to one another.

Some of our favorite (and revealing) topics include:

* Repeating the Obvious:

Diet, Wealth, and Inspiration

* Black and White and Read All Over:

Good and Evil in Bestselling Adventure Novels and Political Nonfiction

* Soul Train:

Religion and Spirituality

* Hopefully Ever After:

Love, Romance and Relationships

* Reading for Redemption:

Trials and Triumphs in Literary Fiction and Nonfiction

* Controversy and Conspiracy in The Da Vinci Code

Explore the nature of what and how we read-and what it means for our psyches, our society and our future.

Review:

"'What does an analysis of PW's and USA Today's bestsellers lists tell us about the values, desires and fears of the American reading public? '[R]eaders are increasingly attracted to simple, univocal reinforcements of hunches rather than complex... answers,' say the authors. Heath (coauthor, Who Killed Homer?) and first-time author Adams go on to analyze book after book to show its superficiality and failure to challenge readers' assumptions; they pick in particular on Dan Brown. The low-carb craze was about simplistic answers to psychological and physiological issues. J.K. Rowling and John Grisham reduce the world to good vs. evil, eliminating the need to understand conflicting points of view; Laura Schlessinger's and John Gray's success reveal an American public longing for traditional male-female roles. Disaster books, even literary titles like Into Thin Air, demonstrate an American appetite for redemptive stories of survival in the face of tragedy, and the red-hot Da Vinci Code scored by manipulating our lust for controversy and conspiracy and our need to feel (without actually being) educated. This effort is larded with data that will be obvious to publishing professionals and of little interest to general readers. (Sept.) ' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Heath and Adams explore the nature of what we read and what it means for our current state of conversation in society. For every book lover, the authors uncover hidden gems that highlight the best of what books mean and how they inspire.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781402210549
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Subject:
American - General
Manufactured:
Sourcebooks Inc
Author:
Heath, John
Author:
Adams, Lisa
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Books and reading
Subject:
Popular literature
Subject:
Popular literature -- United States.
Subject:
Books and reading -- United States.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
340
Dimensions:
8.90x6.10x.75 in. 1.04 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Books on Books
Reference » Reading

Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Contemporary Bestsellers Used Trade Paper
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 340 pages Sourcebooks - English 9781402210549 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'What does an analysis of PW's and USA Today's bestsellers lists tell us about the values, desires and fears of the American reading public? '[R]eaders are increasingly attracted to simple, univocal reinforcements of hunches rather than complex... answers,' say the authors. Heath (coauthor, Who Killed Homer?) and first-time author Adams go on to analyze book after book to show its superficiality and failure to challenge readers' assumptions; they pick in particular on Dan Brown. The low-carb craze was about simplistic answers to psychological and physiological issues. J.K. Rowling and John Grisham reduce the world to good vs. evil, eliminating the need to understand conflicting points of view; Laura Schlessinger's and John Gray's success reveal an American public longing for traditional male-female roles. Disaster books, even literary titles like Into Thin Air, demonstrate an American appetite for redemptive stories of survival in the face of tragedy, and the red-hot Da Vinci Code scored by manipulating our lust for controversy and conspiracy and our need to feel (without actually being) educated. This effort is larded with data that will be obvious to publishing professionals and of little interest to general readers. (Sept.) ' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Heath and Adams explore the nature of what we read and what it means for our current state of conversation in society. For every book lover, the authors uncover hidden gems that highlight the best of what books mean and how they inspire.
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