Somehow there are even more books on the best selling History chart this week about United States History than there was last week. Which is impressive, considering it was not exactly a subject ignored by readers then either. The History of Science has also proved popular this week, as have books linked to the Second World War.
But first, books on the History of the United States of America have never been exactly unpopular. They regularly take up slots in the History chart. But this week there are so many present that it is possible to find numerous niches and trends within them, as if they were a genre unto themselves. One of the most prevalent niches this week are books about Cowboys and the Wild West. Many of these are novels rather reference texts, and they do appear to be rather romanticised. Another niche seems to be biographies and books about the Founding Fathers, some flattering, others about their mistakes and scandals. A third niche appears to be deeply focused on America’s industrial past, most of these books seems to be fighting back against the nostalgic idea of the life of the people, instead looking at the difficulties and hardships.
A second trend this week seems to be for books on the History of Science, such as David Bodanis’, Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World, and Hugh Aldersey-Williams’, Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc. One example which ties this trend to the next one on this post is The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, by Denise Kiernan. This continues a trend of books about inspiring women living through hardships and excelling.
Finally, the last trend is one has consistently been popular, books studying the lives of those living during World War Two. This era is a strong source of books, there are books focusing on the lives of those victimised by the Nazis, books on the Nazis themselves, and books on those who fought them. For once this week has seen an uptick in the number of books about those who fought them on the battlefield, not as spies or as members of Resistance forces. This is an interesting change in the trend and shows that the people reading these books may be changing, not just the trends themselves. This seems especially likely, since many of the books that were popular in earlier weeks are still selling well. These books are popular in addition, not instead.
Overall there has been a lot of change in the books being picked, even while the genres and niches themselves have not appeared to change overly much.
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