Bestselling Books of 2013

hard luck wimpy kid It’s heartening to discover that topping the list of the bestselling books across all genres and age ranges including fiction and non-fiction last year was the 8th installment in Jeff Kinney’s middle school saga Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Hard Luck. Selling almost 2 million copies  in hardback, this heavily illustrated children’s novel outsold Dan Brown, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald and even Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James.

As is so often the case forthcoming or newly released film adaptations helped spur interest and ultimately sales in both recent novels like Kinney’s as well as old chestnuts such as Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Read the full Publisher’s Weekly article here.

Stephen King to Publish Shining Sequel after 35 Years

   doctor sleepIt has been announced that master story-teller Stephen King will publish a sequel to his 1977 horror classic The Shining in September 2013. The new novel, Doctor Sleep will feature the adult Danny Torrance (the psychically gifted little boy from the first book). King’s 1977 novel, his third published book and the first to be come a hardback bestseller was subsequently made into the iconic film of the same Latest Stephen King Newsname by Stanley Kubrick in 1980.

Debate Rages Over Authenticity of “The Hunger Games” Novels


A furious debate has ensued between fans and detractors of Suzanne Collins’ teen dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games. An excellent article entitled, ‘A Battle Royale online over origin of The Hunger Games’ by Arthur Bright from The Christian Science Monitor explores how similarities to a bestselling Japanese novel and subsequent film has tarnished the cinema release of Suzanne Collins’ young adult story. Read the full article to find out just what all the fuss is about. There can be no doubting Koushun Takami‘s Battle Royale came well before  The Hunger Games, but did you know they were both preceded by master storyteller Stephen King’s The Running Man decades earlier? Writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King describes a shattered future world where televised fights to the death rule the TV ratings.

So is there nothing new under the sun, perhaps not? Stephen King follows George Orwell and Aldous Huxley in portraying a sinister totalitarian regime intent on crushing the individual. As Arthur Bright’s article reveals the concept of a fight to the death cheered on by vocal crowds goes way back to the Romans and probably well before.

So what does a school librarian make of all this? I tend to side with the authors in question in not caring too much one way or the other. The critical thing for me and other librarians is that all this publicity and controversy serves one important and valuable purpose; that is to encourage reading and debate over books, ideas and the overwhelming power of a good story, no matter whose it may have been in the beginning.

So if you loved The Hunger Games Trilogy (or perhaps if you didn’t but like the ideas) take a look at the following novels for a few like-minded suggestions.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

The Running Man, by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

1984 by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Farhenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick