As someone who always has to contain my urge to snoop through other people’s bookshelves when I’m left unattended, one of the things that always fascinates me while on the Boomerang site is the “what’s happening?” bar on the right of the screen. This little column tells you what other browsers are looking up and it’s frequently a diverting read. I find myself wandering away from the books I planned to look at to check out complete stranger’s selections. I’ve ended up browsing – and buying – everything from cookery books to financial planning to heady period romances.
It’s the internet equivalent of going out to get milk and coming back with three pounds of seafood, a lampshade, four bath bombs and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
The thing is, while it’s a lot of fun, this is just a snap-shot of what a few other browsers are looking at. Some of you may remember my delight when Nielsen Bookscan, the world’s largest book tracking service, released data on their book-sales over the last ten years allowing spreadsheet-loving bibliophiles the chance to compare their reading with the rest of the worlds.
I got more than a little excited about this (you can find my delighted frothing here) but this information related to book sales in the UK only and I found myself lamenting the lack of Australian data. Would we be similar or vastly different? Would we read more or less non-fiction? Could anyone explain the enduring popularity of Gillian McKeith? What were other Boomerang readers are reading overall?
Well, wonder no more, because I have in my overexcited little hands (well, my hard drive) the Boomerang data for 2010. It’s going to take more than one blog – so much spreadsheet! so much graph! – but here’s a quick and dirty look at what the average Boomerang reader was browsing through in 2010.
It was the year of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Steig Larsson’s trilogy taking up spaces 1, 2 and 4. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner pipped in at number 3, preventing Lisbeth Salander from making off with the gold, silver and bronze.
And, unlike the UK where the first non-fiction showed up at number 20, Aussies had non-fiction come in strong in the top 10. Eat, Pray, Love took fifth place and Julie Goodwin’s Our Family Table came in just after it (this was also the most sold Australian book of the year – you can read our interview with Julie on the process of writing it here).
Wimpy kids proved popular, as did Jodi Picoult. Proving that there is no end to the surprises that peaking on other people’s reading can bring you, in eight place was a book I have never heard of; Master Player by Emma Darcy, where handsome tycoon and television baron Maximilian Hart whisks innocent beauty Chloe away from the paparazzi with the aim of getting her into his (probably emperor sized, possibly throbbing) bed.
This is sadly no longer in print – romance novels turn over faster than celeb perfumes – but you can get a copy of her latest book, the intriguingly titled Ruthless Billionaire, Forbidden Baby. Please, please do send me a review if you have read them, I’m now fascinated and Boomerang doesn’t provide a blurb – perhaps it couldn’t take all those handsome billionaires throbbing and pulsating all over the place.
Anyway, without further ado, or further musings on how exactly one would throb a billionaire, here’s the list.
Boomerang Books Top 10 in 2010
- Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,The: Millennium Trilogy – Larsson, Stieg
- Girl Who Played with Fire,The: Millennium Trilogy – Larsson, Stieg
- Short Second Life of Bree Tanner,The: An Eclipse Novella – Meyer, Stephenie
- Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest,The: Millennium Trilogy – Larsson, Stieg
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything – Gilbert, Elizabeth
- Our Family Table – Goodwin, Julie
- House Rules – Picoult, Jodi
- Master Player,The: Sexy S. – Darcy, Emma
- Ugly Truth,The: Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Kinney, Jeff
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Kinney, Jeff.