By instinct the world looks at two places to see what are "best sellers".... meaning the books that have sold the most copies- NY Times and unfortunately the EvilRiverEmpire ( I swear there are times I dream that Jeff Bezos goes "Sam, I am your father" then I hurl myself to death at the thought!) For us a "best seller" is more than just numbers, it also is about THE BOOK, the author, and the pleasure we get introducing that book to customers one by one and not by some computer algorithm. As we have now passed the half-way mark of 2010 here are OUR bestsellers for the year thus far.... each a book that is not only well-written, but enjoyed... and honestly brings people back into the store for more of our suggestions!
Diamond Ruby- a book that eclipses all others in cross-over genres. It has sports, it has strong females, it has family drama, it has historical accuracy, but most important of all, it has heart and a lot of it!
School of Essential Ingredients- this is a beautifully written book that Sam has been talking about since reading the advance copy in 2008. There is no "plot" per se, there are just characters who envelope you with their stories, mixed in with wonderful foods. It's a world you want to live in, full of hope, beauty, and the love of others. It's one of only 3 books Sam has re-read in the past 15 years.
Booktown Mysteries- Author Lorna Barrett brings alive her love of books and reading in this mystery series set in a town of indie bookstores ( I KNOW, heaven!) Sam is very eagerly anticipating the arrival of the 4th book in the series in 2 weeks... and will put everything on hold to read it the minute it arrives....
Frankie Pickle- One of the first books Aaron ever read completely on his own, and one he continues to pick up to read today! Frankie is your typical elementary age boy with a very vivid imagination, and that imagination comes alive on the page in comic book form. A fun series for boys, girls, and parents to read together.
Teashop Girls- a delightful book that is "clean" (no moping vampires or sexy werewolves) that tells the wonderful tale of 13 year old Annie and her quest to save her grandmother's tea shop from the evil behemoth personality free chain that opens across the street.
The Lion &The Mouse- winner of this year's Caldecott for some of the most exquisite illustrations ever seen. Todd loves sharing this one with grandparents and aunt/uncles looking for the perfect gift for the littlest readers in their lives. A book with no words that tells a traditional story that the "reader" can say aloud to whomever is with them just from the illustrations. Perfect for pre-reading youngsters that already love the feel of a book in their hands.
As you can see from our partial list, not many are on those other two "go to" best selling lists. In fact most from our list are not considered new releases any more... and THAT is why indies are so valuable. We find the gems that computer algorithms miss. We can put a book like "Tea Shop Girls" into the hands of the mother of a ten year old begging to read Twilight and say "have her read this one, not only is it fun, it is well written and won't turn her off good books". I triple dog dare a certain computer site to do that!