I came across article or rather a list of books that were mostly talked about in social media in November 2012 (via Publishers Weekly). It's a proof that readers do set up social reading trends, it is them (us) commenting the books after all. But is there some kind of pattern why some books are more trending than others?
My first conclusion was that book adaptations are definitely on the spotlight. The Hobbit appears as the first one, meaning most trending on social media, in this summary, Life of Pi is third, Cloud Atlas sixth on the list what is quite justified since movies are on the go (just see the book covers) and pre-watching reading is normal reaction. In fact many books go through second life and book sale boost thanks to their big-screen versions. In this respect those two biz branches aren’t competing but rather complementing each other.
2. & 7.
Second and seventh on the list are second and third part of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games Trilogy series Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The movie syndrome could be an explanation or rather pre-movie making pre-reading as the adaptation is still being adapted and not screened. But recent research showed that majority of YA books (around 55%) are bought, read and discussed by adults so maybe here’s a catch. I even came across with opinion that these books enhance parent-children relationship since they build up content to talk about. Parents and their kids talking about books? I say: Yes!
Fifty Shades of Grey holds spot right after the podium. The book gained fame thanks to simple but how desirable qualities: sex and money. This duet rule the world from ancient times and there’s nothing special about it, especially when we realize that erotic scenes and sex filled plots and “poor me-bossy him” scheme have already existed in fiction, mainly in romantic novels! But “Mummy Porn” (new literary genre) gained recognition not only among housewives but also women over 55 and even some men. Although I doubt whether those last ones would admit to that. Nor my granny.
This is big, like romantic affair on high political level. Oh, did I hit the nail on the head? Scandals are always widely commented, like here: CIA Director David Petraeus had an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell (the book author) and so the story is still on and the book out. The love uplifts, right? But there’s no win-win situation here. Only the author and her book All In: The Education of General David Petraeus gained grounds.
I must admit I had a crush on this book from the very beginning, it’s on my wishlist and I’m impatiently waiting for the Santa. Gone Girl received very positive reviews, readers like her writing style and dark territory scenes. The author has already stroked enthusiasm with inforamation that she’s planning to write next book for adults and first in her career novel for Young Adult readers (watching her trend it will be probably some darkish scenario). Many can't wait.
New traditions are made with this books and some tabu are broken, for example how Santa knows who is good and who is naughty. We all know that elves do the list ;-) I came across instruction on the web that parents after reading the book with a kid should leave an elf doll on the shelf to spy on their child! The parent can hide the elf for the day and bring it back during night so the kid believes he’s really moving and coming back. For me it’s little schizophrenic and scary! If I were the child I would be really terrified to fall asleep. I'm afraid that social media is full of psychological hints rather than book reviews when it comes to this one ...
Is there a pattern? Not really. There are as many reading tastes as readers and books. But in era of social reading, readers aren't anonymous any more. Nor are they (we) only readers. We became active participants of bookish sphere in wide spectrum, some of us want to be reviewers and others only spotters. But at some point we all point to a given book, for different reasons. And when we do that it is heard, the above summary proves that it is happening.