I've been noticing, since late 1999, a proliferation of books that deal with spirituality/inner self/emotions being put on store-fronts more and more.
The number of shelves devoted to self-help and spirituality have also grown, from the second hand book stores to the glossy large retail giant superstores.
Over that, are books dedicated to current affairs.... you know, serious kind of books.
A quick look at Amazon USA's top sellers showed this... though Amazon refreshes its bestselling list every few minutes, here were the results on Apr 1 at 9.15am
1. Home with God - a life that never ends (Neale Donald Walsh... and I would never read CwG)
2. The Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox (this looks kinda promising, if you don't mind the spitting, cussin, inclined to violence, piggish habits, hairy armpit sweating, ball-scratching type of book)
3. The world is Flat: A brief history of the 21st century by Thomas L Friedman,Oliver Nyman
4. American Theocracy: The peril politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century (oh no, not another conspiracy theory... another indication - weakened American economy, increasingly cynical American reading public?)
5. Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroid Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (face it, if you don't watch baseball, you don't know Barry Bonds. If you don't understand or like the sport, you wouldn't care)
6. Giada's Family Dinners by Giada de Laurentiis (Italian babe-looking TV chef in her second book. Lots of glossy eye candy to maybe lure in sales from males? Though I've read this is not a bad option, Giada knows her stuff)
7. Marley and Me : Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan. Now, this one I'm kind of interested in buying, for the sole reason of being a cute picker upper.
8. Manhunt: the 12-day chase for Lincoln's Killer by JL Swanson (comes highly rated, though not my thing)
9. The Covenant with Black America, ed. Tavis Smiley (again, not my thing)
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (presumably, while it has always enjoyed good sales, is going through a revival in interest with the movie coming up around the corner)
Such a serious set of books! Btw, movie books formed 20% of the top 15 list, with Da Vinci Code, V for Vendetta and In Cold Blood.
On the homefront:
My best friend plugs Dalai Lama's book to me a lot of the times we meet.
I'm rereading, for what seems to be the eighth time, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. (it's about as intense a debate and study on religion and the spiritual condition as I pretty much want to read these days)
MrP, (henceforth, MrP refers to the significant other, much like MrBig got his moniker, only he's not as tall, wealthy or that much of an asshole that still makes thousands of Sex in the City fans go 'Why this man? Why not Aidan')...by a helluva long shot, is thankfully doing something different... he is going through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, the workbook! Quick plug for DoRSB here ... it's a fantastic book that teaches you to reshape your artist's perception, get it if you want to learn how to draw well!
I think my brother is reading a Raymond E Feist... maybe that's worth borrowing for a read... hmm.