Tonawanda News

Features

January 7, 2013

'50 Shades,' J.K. Rowling top lists in 2012

Tonawanda News — 2012 was one of the most notable years for new book releases in recent memory, largely fueled by the release of one of the most controversial works to hit bookshelves in years.

“The 50 Shades Trilogy,” and specifically “50 Shades of Grey,” the first book in the series, blew away the competition for overall sales this year. While technically published by a small independent press in 2011, the first and second books in the trilogy sky rocketed up the sales charts with a mass publication earlier this year, taking both the No.1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, on Amazon.com’s sales charts.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” still ranks at No. 5 on The New York Times Best Sellers List, for the week ending Dec. 30.

Even if one wanted to disqualify the first two entries in the “50 Shades” series due to the original publication date technicality, “Fifty Shades Freed,” the third and final installment in the series, would take the cake for best seller of 2012. The three-volume boxed set ranked No. 6 in Amazon sales.

“The Hunger Games,” already immensely popular for years, also did tremendously well with the release of its movie adaptation this past spring.

Goodreads.com, a social media website revolving around books and the sharing of favorite titles with friends, held its annual “Goodreads Choice Awards” this year, with more than one million votes tallied from the site’s users.

Even amid mixed reviews, J.K Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy,” won the award for Best Fiction on the site, receiving more than 3,000 more votes than its closest competitor, Emily Griffin’s “Where We Belong.”

“The Casual Vacancy,” the author’s first work intended for adult readers, tells the tale of what happens to the seemingly quiet town of Pagford when councilman Barry Fairbrother passes away and leaves a vacant seat up for grabs. Dubbed a tragicomedy, “The Casual Vacancy” has been described as both thought-provoking and darkly comedic.

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