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Old 1st Oct 2007, 14:14   #1
gil
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Default A Scrap of History

Found this cutting in an old folder:
The Best Sellers
BOOKS
General
1 Life on Earth, Attenborough
2 James Herriot's Yorkshire, Brabbs
3 Monty Python's Life of Brian
4 'I was there', Boyce
5 Banjaxed, Wogan
6 Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Holden
7 Book of Heroic Failures, Pile
8 Countryside Companion, Vaughan-Thomas
9 Mountbatten - 80 Years in Pictures
10 Climate of Treason, Boyle
11 Class, Cooper
12 Charles, Princeof Wales, Holden
13 Robert Morley's Book of Worries
14 Whitaker's Almanack
15 In Pleasant Places, Grenfell
Fiction
1 Devil's Alternative, Forsyth
2 Whip Hand, Francis
3 Miss Marple's Final Cases, Christie
4 Memories of Another Day, Robbins
5 A Bend in the River, Naipaul
Paperbacks
1 Testament of Youth, Brittain
2 Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Adams
3 Star Trek, the Motion Picture, Roddenberry
4 Human Factor, Greene
5 Robert Morley's Book of Bricks
6 Delia Smith's Cookery Course Part 2
7 Penmarric, Howatch
8 A Little Zit on the Side, Carrott
9 Cinder Path, Cookson
10 Autobiography, James Galway

.... and we have the cheek to complain that there's no quality in best sellers these days...

Note, by the way, 4 out of 10 lady authors in the Paperbacks!
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Old 1st Oct 2007, 14:29   #2
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

A point well made. Each Saturday the Times book section includes a 'vintage' top 10, usually from the 60s, 70s or 80s. As above, it invariably contains at most one or two books that are halfway decent. The good news is that with the older charts, the rubbish-sounding ones have completely disappeared and are unheard of now.
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Old 1st Oct 2007, 14:36   #3
kirsty
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

...(with PR hat on)... there is an interesting book about this very point just about to publish from OUP.

Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction by John Sutherland.

Not that I'm doing the publicity for it or anything...
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Old 1st Oct 2007, 19:23   #4
Hekaterine
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

And some classic comedy in there Gil - I was a big Max Boyce fan in the late '70s
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 9:30   #5
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

Hi Gil - what a find. Any idea what year it came from?
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 10:00   #6
ono no komachi
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

I'll take a punt on 1979.
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 10:17   #7
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

1978 was the year H2G2 came out, I think, and also the year Life on Earth showed - so I would guess this was around Christmas 1978. I can confess to having read six of the titles.
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 10:28   #8
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

I think 1979 too, which was the year Life of Brian was released. H2G2 is well known for having been in the charts for over a year, so it could have stayed on from 1978.
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 10:38   #9
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

There was no date on the cutting, but the Whitaker's Almanack was the 1980 version (a detail I omitted to provoke guesswork), so it must have been mid- to late- 1979.

I have also read 6 of them and own two - Life on Earth and Heroic Failures - a sort of fore-runner to the Darwin Awards.
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Old 2nd Oct 2007, 10:47   #10
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Default Re: A Scrap of History

I think the book of Heroic Failures may have been where I first made the acquaintance of William McGonagall - in fact I see that it is given as a reference at the bottom of the Wikipedia page I just linked to.
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