New York Times Best Sellers: 18 July 2008

New York Times Best Sellers

Welcome to the New York Times Best Sellers list for July 18th, 2008.

Each week we go through the top sellers on the list and give you our top 3 picks so to give you can get an idea of what to download for your Kindle. You can browse through The New York Times best sellers list on

Here are our top 3 books of the week followed by the top 5 best-selling books by category;

Our Picks

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum, No. 13) (by Janet Evanovich) – Number 3 in Mass Market Paperback

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum, No. 13) by Janet Evanovich - Mass Market PaperbackIf I had a dollar for every time I laughed out loud listening to Janet Evanovich’s Lean Mean 13, I could have treated myself to dinner, and not fast food either. In fact, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum mystery on a long car trip and it kept us entertained for hours. Evanovich could have called this one Lucky 13 as this book finds her on top of her game.

Ranger asks Stephanie to plant a bug in the office of lawyer Dickie Orr, Stephanie’s ex-husband. Some of his law firm partners are up to no good. Stephanie grabs Lula and they pretend they’re asking Orr for legal advice. But as only Stephanie and Lula can do, fireworks erupt, the police are called and they’re thrown out of the office. When Orr disappears the next day and foul play is apparent, Stephanie becomes the number one suspect. So she sets out to find Orr to clear her name. But unsavory characters follow Stephanie around, figuring that she’ll lead them to Orr. All the while, bodies are turning up that are burnt like crispy-critters.

Most of the old gang is back in Mean Lean 13. There’s the crazy Lula (a former hooker and now office filer for Plum Bail Bonds) and the equally crazy Grandma Mazur (who always packs heat). Joyce Barnhardt is Stephanie’s rival (in both love and bounty hunting) and she’s also determined to find Orr. There’s the usual love triangle between Stephanie, the ever hunky cop Joe Morelli and the dark, sensual but dangerous Ranger. And this book even includes a taxidermist who booby-traps his specimens. It makes for a wild time. There’s also a great side-story that deals with the ineptitude of a cable television service. For those of us who live in New Jersey, that can only mean The Big C.

If you’re looking for mystery that is great literature, look somewhere else. But if you want to read a mystery that is side-splitting funny, Evanovich and Plum are your girls. – reviewed by Cynthia K. Robertson

kindle version of book is available4 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 342 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available!
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine (by Benjamin Wallace) – Number 10 in Hardcover Nonfiction

The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace - Hardcover NonfictionIt’s not right to fool people, especially to make money from them. It’s still fun, however, to learn about how suckers have gotten swindled, if the suckers aren’t you or someone close to you. It’s especially fun if the suckers are successful tycoons who are used to having the world and its denizens bow to their wills. It’s fun, too, if the suckers are partaking in some particular form of snobbery, like the prestige that comes from buying hugely expensive bottles of wine. When a bottle went in 1985 for $156,000, the world swooned at the presumptuousness, and the press went wild calculating just how many hundreds of dollars each little sip would cost. Twenty years later, the fun is that the bottle was a phony, and the buyers of that particular bottle and of who knows how many others had been taken in by a very smart wine expert who eventually got caught. This is a fun story, told with verve and detail in _The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine_ (Crown) by Benjamin Wallace. Wallace has researched different facets of wine history, so there is a good deal of science and social history in his book, and he has the eye for detail of a good mystery writer (it isn’t surprising that this nonfiction book has recently been optioned to be turned into a movie). You don’t have to be interested in wine to find this story of human foibles funny and instructive.

The bottle in question was auctioned by Christie’s in 1985. It was a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux, and was presented as having been part of the cellar of the wine enthusiast Thomas Jefferson. It was engraved “1787 Lafitte” (the way they spelled it then) and had the initials “Th.J.” Christie’s was the most prestigious of auctioneers in the department of fine and historic wines, and it vouched for the authenticity of the bottle. The wine had been found and placed on the market by a German wine dealer named Hardy Rodenstock, who had previously been a pop-band manager. Rodenstock refused to say who sold the wine to him, nor how many other bottles there were. But he was doing a great business in very rare, very old wines, and customers were in those days eager to buy his finds, whether he would reveal their provenance or not. Neither Christie’s nor potential buyers took the simple step of checking with the museum staff at Monticello, Jefferson’s home, to see if there were any record of such a purchase by him. Jefferson was meticulous, even obsessive, about documenting his purchases of wine and everything else, so there should have been a record. There was none. Rodenstock’s silence on where his fine old wines were coming from should not have taken two decades to foster suspicion in some of those who were buying from him, but such suspicions eventually started up. Wallace is exactly right about how the con game was played: “As with all successful cons, the marks and the grifter had been collaborators. One sold the illusion that the others were desperate to buy.” Rodenstock made the mistake of selling Jefferson bottles to a litigious Florida tycoon who spent a fortune on investigators and laboratory tests to demonstrate fraud. Wallace cannot end his book with Rodenstock being convicted and sent to jail, but the arguments included in the book seem conclusive. Readers will be eager to hear about further legal news in the case.

There wasn’t anything vintners could do in the seventeenth century to make sure that counterfeits didn’t show up two centuries later, but Wallace explains that steps are being taken these days to make sure no future Rodenstock can pull the same tricks. Laser-etching of bottles or embossing them with particular marks is one step, as is using watermarked and ultraviolet-tagged labels. Another step is using particularly adhesive glue to affix the label, but this will irritate collectors who like putting labels in their scrapbooks. There will be future wine counterfeiters, but they will have to work harder. And that bottle sold at Christie’s in 1985? It was bought by Kip Forbes, under orders from his father Malcolm Forbes. The father was furious that the son had paid so much, but he always had a yen for publicity, and realized that having such a headline-making bottle was just what he needed. He put it on display in a case specially highlighted, and the heat from the light made for just the opposite of a wine cellar. It shrank the cork, which fell in, and even if the wine was fake, it wasn’t even wine after that, just the vinegar of this book’s title. You couldn’t ask for a more fittingly symbolic end to all the selfishness and self-importance that Wallace has illustrated in this fascinating tale. – reviewed by R. Hardy “Rob Hardy”

kindle version of book is available4 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 23 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available!
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

The Last Patriot: A Thriller (by Brad Thor) – Number 1 in Hardcover Fiction

The Last Patriot: A Thriller by Brad Thor - Hardcover FictionThe character of Scot Harvath has been one of my recent favorites in the last 3-4 years since discovering Thor’s books, and ‘The Last Patriot’ virtually cements this bold character into (at least MY version) of great leading Action/Adventure Hero’s.

Controversy is nothing new to Brad Thor by any means…however, with that said, I believe he is courting a whole new set of problems, or seriously potential problems with the storyline here. Religion in general is a very touchy subject, but as we have seen over the last decade or so, even fictionalizing specific events in Muslim History can be viewed as MAJOR Blasphemy–the kind that involves life-threatening retaliation. Don’t believe me? Anybody remember Salmon Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’? ‘Nuff said. I heard an interview done with Thor on Glenn Beck and I’m not the only one concerned here. I honestly feel that if somewhere, sometime soon if I read about Brad Thor being the target of Terrorists, well, let’s just say it won’t surprise me (read the book and you’ll understand).

The book, though is a hum-dinger of a story. Easily Thor’s best-to-date. Like other reviewers, I like when events in history are tied in with current storylines, and I REALLY like it when its done right…and I am happy to say Thor really nails it with this latest installment. Action on top of intrigue firmly attached to a healthy dose of adrenaline mixed with a Titanic-sized load of action and you have an idea of how well constructed ‘The Last Patriot’ truly is. I have enjoyed these books a lot since I first began them, but this one seriously places the bar at a level that is amazingly high compared to the previous Tales of Scot Harvath–and THEY were great, if that tells you anything.

One thing I enjoy in particular about Harvath is that no matter how death-defying his exploits end up being, I always find myself thinking that were I under similar circumstances, and I had Scot’s talent, what Thor describes is pretty much dead-on with how I feel I would act and say–or at least what I’d like to THINK I would act and feel if our roles were reversed–which I am glad they aren’t.

For those who are fans of how Cussler takes historical events and weaves a seamless tale of adventure into a modern tale of action, you honestly owe it to yourself to give Brad Thor a try–and while you don’t HAVE to start at the beginning to appreciate each book, I personally feel that by starting with ‘The Lions of Lucerne’ you will get a much better appreciation not only for the character of Scot Harvath, but you will get a ringside seat to Thor’s growing talent for storytelling that just gets better with each book…no REALLY.

Kudos to Thor for not just a good addition to this series, but EASILY the best to date by a country mile…and that’s saying a LOT. – reviewed by Jeff Edwards “RadioJeff”

kindle version of book is available4.5 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 39 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available!
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

* These reviews are taken from customer/editor reviews and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions

Top 5 Books by Category

Hardcover Fiction
1. THE LAST PATRIOT, by Brad Thor
2. FEARLESS FOURTEEN, by Janet Evanovich
3. SAIL, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
4. TAILSPIN, by Catherine Coulter
5. THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, by David Wroblewski

Hardcover Nonfiction
2. FLEECED, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
3. WHAT HAPPENED, by Scott McClellan
4. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler
5. THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE, by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

Paperback Trade Fiction
1. THE SHACK, by William P. Young
3. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
4. THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
1. DOUBLE TAKE, by Catherine Coulter
2. SOMEDAY SOON, by Debbie Macomber
3. LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN, by Janet Evanovich
4. INTO THE SHADOW, by Christina Dodd
5. THE NAVIGATOR, by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos

Paperback Nonfiction
1. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
2. WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS, by Tim Russert
3. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
4. BIG RUSS AND ME, by Tim Russert
5. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama

Hardcover Advice
1. THE LAST LECTURE, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
2. THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne
3. WHEN MARKETS COLLIDE, by Mohamed A. El-Erian
4. THE SOUTH BEACH DIET SUPERCHARGED, by Arthur Agatston with Joseph Signorile
5. WOMEN AND MONEY, by Suze Orman

Paperback Advice
1. SOUL WISDOM, by Dr. Zhi Gang Sha
2. A NEW EARTH, by Eckhart Tolle
3. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
4. YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, by Louise L. Hay
5. THE POWER OF NOW, by Eckhart Tolle

Children’ Books
1. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
2. ALPHABET, by Matthew Van Fleet
4. SMASH! CRASH!, by Jon Scieszka
5. ZEN TIES, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth