We Love to Read Psychopathic Works

Cooking, dining, and book review magazine The New York Times has kindly allowed us to play around with their best sellers list.  What a gracious old gray lady?  Today we cover the hardcover nonfiction list that will be published this coming Sunday.  Someone is trying to cheat their way to the top.  The authors this week include a couple of Bill O'Reillys, a respected poet, a somewhat convicted murderer, an obnoxious tennis player, a war monger, and a Supreme Court Justice.  Way to go America!

Harper leads the number of titles in the nonfiction category with three.  Crown Archetype, Holt, Howard Books, Knopf, Penguin Press, and Random House each have two.  All other publishers on the list only managed to get one book on the top twenty.  All authors had one book on the list.

The titles of the books on the list had the following characteristics:

  • Total number of letters in titles: 247
  • Total number of numbers in titles: 0
  • Correlation between length of title and rank on list: -0.10 (weak correlation)
  • Longest title length: 27 letters, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
  • Shortest title length: 6 letters, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell, Cooked by Michael Pollan
  • Ratio of consonants to vowels (excluding the letter "Y"): 1.82:1
  • Number of times the letter "Y" appears: 7
  • Correlation between consonant to vowel ratio and rank on list: 0.03 (weak correlation)
  • Mean number of words in titles: 2.75
  • Maximum number of words in titles: 5
  • Minimum number of words in titles: 1
  • Correlation between number of words and rank on the list: 0.03 (weak correlation)
  • Most frequently used letter: E; 32 times
  • Least frequently used letter: J, Q; 0 times
  • Number of authors whose first name starts with a vowel (excluding the letter "Y"): 1
  • Number of authors whose last name ends in a vowel (excluding the letter "Y"): 1
  • Number of books with multiple authors: 5
  • Number of authors with middle name: 0
  • Number of authors with two middle names: 0
  • Selfishness Index - Number of titles with the words me, my, mine, or I in them: 3
  • Correlation between selfish titles and rank on the list: 0.28 (moderately weak correlation)
  • Number of books with an article in the title: 3
  • Biggest move up since last week (from books that were in the top twenty both weeks): 3 positions; 1 book
  • Biggest drop since last week (from books that were in the top twenty both weeks): 6 positions; 1 book
  • Number of books that stayed in the same position: 4
  • Number of books that rose from last week (from books that were in the top twenty both weeks): 2
  • Number of books that dropped from last week (from books that were in the top twenty both weeks): 6
  • Number of cheaters (bulk buyers): 1
  • New entries or reentries: 8
  • Longest time on chart: 130 weeks
  • Negative Index - Number of books with the words murder, kill, assassin, die, dark secret, destroy, riot, sinister, prison, crime, permission, restriction, obesity, steal, covert, torture, war, fail, conspiracy, suffer, sad, or loser in The New York Times description: 4
  • Positive Index - Number of books with the words family, love, health, sharp mind, dream, flower, welcome, romance, vacation, hero, success, humor, survive, allegory, treasure, perfect, happy or winner in The New York Times description: 6
  • Number of books with both positive and negative words: 1
  • Most frequently used words in titles: the and happy - 3; in, my, mom, and & - 2
  • Number of titles employing alliteration: 4
  • ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

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    4 comments



    Avatar of cardstandcardstand
    June 4th, 2013  9:17 PM

    What about the duck people. The fact that they have two books on the list is almost as bad as O’Reilly being there. I will just assume Henry is not low brow enough to know who they even are.



    Avatar of Sin AmenSin Amen
    June 4th, 2013  10:41 PM

    I don’t mean to be a snob or anything, but wow. I guess we should be glad people are reading anything.