Statistics About the “Girl” Book Title Trend
Over at FiveThirtyEight (take a break from election stats, y’all!), novelist Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven) takes a deep dive into the numbers–courtesy of Goodreads–to find out what, exactly, is going on with all these books with “girl” in the title. You’re not imagining it; they really are proliferating. Up from about 0.4% in 2008, when Lisbeth kicked off the trend with the US publication of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, nearly 1% (that’s a lot!) of all book titles this year will contain “girl.” Mandel presents several interesting findings, most notable among them the fact that the titular girl is three times more likely to be dead at the end of the book if the author is a man.
New Pricing Structure in Amazon’s Physical Bookstores
When Amazon first opened bricks-and-mortar bookstores last year, book prices in-store matched the discounts available at amazon.com. Now, though, Amazon’s discounts are available in-store only to Prime members, while non-members are charged the book’s full list price. It’s clear that Amazon wants to sell more Prime memberships, but any increase this in-store change yields will be a barely detectable drop in the bucket for the behemoth company. So what remains unclear is: what larger strategy are they trying to clarify with this small experiment?
Voting Opens for Goodreads Choice Awards
The first of three rounds of voting in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards launched November 1. Each of the twenty categories includes fifteen books identified by Goodreads’ undisclosed statistical analysis method, and the results are indicative of not only trends in reading but ongoing systemic problems in publishing. At Book Riot, Jamie Canaves examines why not a single title in the Best Mystery & Thriller category is by a person of color.
A Party Game for the “Rude and Well-Read”
Electric Literature has launched a Kickstarter to fund Papercuts, a Cards Against Humanity-style party game for the bookish set. The deck contains prompt and answer cards, and when the Editor reveals a prompt, each player selects an answer from the eight cards in their hand. A random draw from the deck we received at Riot HQ revealed references to literary characters and events, industry trends, jokes about authors’ bad behavior (“incendiary Facebook post from Anne Rice,” LOL forever), and some deep cuts from the world of MFAs and writers’ colonies. Get your book club to chip in for a shared deck.
Thanks to Swoon Reads for sponsoring This Week in Books.
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