Published on 01/12/2013 by Kathy Allen
One of the most critically acclaimed but, ‘unofficial’ prizes in the book world, is to be the Christmas number one and it’s just one of many factors that can potentially add clout to a title. The Christmas number one is traditionally decided, as in the music industry, by the amount of sales in the UK in either the week leading up to Christmas or, if Christmas falls towards the end of the week, during that week.
For three years in a row Jamie Oliver has won the coveted title with his cookbooks and in 2012 beat the 2nd placed Guinness World Records 2013 by double the number of copies sold; approximately 110,000 copies. This year the tables have certainly turned. For the first time in three years, Jamie Oliver is not in the top 10, according to data collected by Nielsen BookScan UK; in fact not one cookery book is in the top 10 at present. The current leader of the pack is the autobiography of the man you all know as the gum-chewing Scotsman who heckles from the side line but to most fans of the ‘beautiful game’ is simply known as Sir Alex. In May this year, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from the football which sent a cold silence around the sport. The number one could also be any of the other three autobiographies in the current top 10 which include those of Harry Redknapp, Morrissey’s controversially placed Penguin Classic title and David Jason’s ‘My Life’ which had a mix-up with Helen Fielding’s latest Bridget Jones book, which is also in the top 10.
Personally, I feel that the dark horse of the current top 10 is Demon Dentist by David Walliams. As an author, David Walliams has been dubbed the next Roald Dahl, not only due to the illustrations in his books being done by Quentin Blake but, in the way he writes his children’s fiction with an underlying tone. The tone is often comedic, drawing similarities to Walliams’ own life and providing honest humour, such as the camp humour of cross-dressing and effeminacy. His debut novel, The Boy in the Dress, covers topics like a 12 year-old boy searching for a female role model, his friendship with the popular girl in school, and the ways in which relationships develop around gender lines. His latest book, much like those before it, has plenty of twists and turns to keep readers interested from front to back cover. Walliams has created vibrant and imaginative worlds that children and even adults will love reading a book and it is for this reason that I feel Walliams has the potential to reach the top of the chart.
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