So, I was flipping through this coming Sunday's New York Times Book Review , and I noticed two things on interest.
One: a ginormous color ad for Nicholas Spark's new book, The Choice (Grand Central Publishing/September). Why is this interesting you may ask? Because I freaking love The Notebook, that's why. Not the book. Fuck that. THE MOVIE . Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams…the scene in the rain…"It wasn't over. It still isn't!"…sigh. Amazing. And I want another movie that I can love and rewatch as much as that. A Walk to Remember sucked - although Shane West was quite the hottie in it. What was the other one? That bottle one with the Princess Bride (aka Sean Penn's wife) and Kevin Costner? I think that was based on a Sparks book. Whatever. It sucked too. So, I will pin my hopes on The Choice. I have no idea what it's about, I haven't read it, I won't read it, but I will cross my little fingers that some wonderful screen writer will be able to transform it into another The Notebook. And if Ryan Gosling could star too, that would help.
Two: the new bestseller format is in effect. I don't know why, but I find the switch fascinating. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea - trade paperbacks are kind of the middle ground between hardcover and mass market (price and kind of quality wise too), and if you're going to separate hardcover and paperback, you might as well separate trade and mass. Fair enough. Good idea, Mr. Tanenhaus. Also, there are more books on the paperback and advice/how-to lists now. Awesome for all those writers who could never quite get up off the extended list (which really doesn't have the same ring). But here's what cracks me up - no one's actually buying that the Times cares about having "a list that corresponds closely to what we review in the section and what we gauge our readers are interested in." Nope, everyone in the biz knows it's about the money. As one insider put it "It's completely ad driven. People want to buy a position next to the list." And, as Crain's points out (you may have noticed that I'm basically stealing their article), people are going to be more likely to buy ads in the New York Times if they can actually say their books are bestsellers. Pure genius. Those book reviewers are so friggin' clever. No wonder they look down on bloggers so much. I mean, no one's scrambling to buy ads here. Hmm, maybe we should start a Slunch Bestseller list. Time for a meeting with my editor...