Friday January 7th, 2011

What Was Hot the Week I Dropped

burrThis search engine is advertised as a way to discover the New York Times bestsellers the week you were born.

The week I was born (a January week in the mid-’70s), the five top-selling novels were Burr, Gore Vidal’s fictional treatment of the life of Aaron Burr, which had a profound effect on the views of at least one American politician; The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene; Come Nineveh, Come Tyre by Allen Drury, a right-wing fantasy about a liberal president caving to the Soviets, a copy of which is probably somewhere in Glenn Beck’s library; Mary Stewart’s The Hollow Hills, part of a series of novels about the King Arthur legend; and Theophilus North, a fictionalized memoir by Thornton Wilder.

The top two nonfiction books the week I was born are both classics in their fields: Alistair Cooke’s America and The Joy of Sex.

Of course, you can enter any date, so feel free to be less narcissistic and use it for broader research.