Our financial year finished at the end of June and I always look at our bestselling titles of the year around about now.
The top 5 fiction titles were:
1. David Nicholls ‘One Day’ This was helped by a fantastic event at the Oxford Literary Festival
2. Philip Atkins ‘A Dodo at Oxford’ But is it fact or fiction..?
3. Barbara Kingsolver ‘The Lacuna’ An instant classic? Book Groups seem to think so
4. Sebastian Faulks ‘A Week in December’ In fact it was the four weeks in December that this absolutely flew out of the shop
5. Hilary Mantel ‘Wolf Hall’ The 2009 Booker winner is still a powerhouse seller
Top 5 non-fiction titles were:
1. John Farndon ‘Do You Think You’re Clever?’ Questions and answers from Oxbridge entrance exams that has been a real hit with students and tourists alike. It outsold all fiction titles as well last year.
2. Neil MacGregor ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ Our runaway bestseller at Christmas…
3. James Hannam ‘God’s Philosophers’ Shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize, a book about medieval science
4. Edmund de Waal ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ Another star performance at the Oxford Literary Festival, the history of a family told through a collection of ‘netsuke’ – minature Japanese wood and ivory carvings
5. Ben Goldacre ‘Bad Science’ The de-bunker of scientific myth reamins one of our bestselling books two years after publication
A pretty eclectic list I hope you agree, and other titles worthy of mention include Seamus Heaney ‘Human Chain’ (now out in paperback but we always sell more hardback than paper), the Collectors Library edition of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (if we added up sales of all editions of Alice it would be comfortably in our top 5), Stieg Larsson (obviously), Amartya Sen ‘Idea of Justice’ (just a brilliantly sane book), Kate Tiller ‘An Historical Atlas of Oxfordshire’ (published by the Oxfordshire Record Society essential reading for any local historian), David Palfreyman ‘The Oxford Tutorial’ (personal reminiscences on why the one-to-one tutorial makes Oxford University so special) and Archie Brown ‘The Rise and Fall of Communism’ (winner of the WJM MacKenzie prize for