The Non Fiction gracing the charts this week is of a very mixed set of genres and trends. There is plenty of History, Self Help, Biography and Memoir, and many other topics. Plus many of the books move from one genre to another with little separation between them. This makes trying to sort them into distinct genres even more of a muddle.
First off it is clear that American Politics and Political History are both popular topics for readers. There are a never ending supply of biographies and memoirs for this, both from recent politicians, and those from further back. The periods of most interest seem to be those of political uncertainty and unrest, especially those that have a strong civil rights theme running through them. As such, World War 2 is a popular era for people to learn about. As is the American Civil War and the American Revolution. However there is also an interest in histories from other parts of the world. France has gotten a fair amount of interest, French History in general, but also the history of the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, unlike previous weeks when the focus of books tended to be on the survivors and civilians, there is a lot more interest in Military History this week. As well as History, modern politics is drawing a lot of attention. There seems to be a lot of interest in books about other government styles and what other countries do well and do not do so well. There are several books by Presidential Nominees, past and present, on the chart this week.
Books dealing with mental health, both in a Self Help style and in a academic style are proving popular. Many of these books are also targeted at people who feel that they are less than they would like to be. Those who wish to improve themselves are given any number of opportunities to do so through these books. There are also books on concrete skills which are doing well, such as art or nutrition. Which leads us to the next part of this post.
Cooking is a popular topic this week, some recipe books focus on healthy eating, others on using a particular style or diet or tool, others celebrate taste and attempt to teach the reader how to make the most delicious things possible. A lot of these are written by those recognised as experts, whether nutritionists or famous chefs, authors with no name recognition or official accreditation tend not to do well here.
There is also a clear interest in books about grieving and recovering from loss. This implies any number of things, but is most likely down to word of mouth. Someone found one of the books on the chart this week helpful, and so through their recommendations the idea of reading about grief has spread, along with the specific recommendation. This is a good reminder to everyone that sometimes the best way to get the advertising you need is to make certain the most gossipy person you know has read your book.
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