New Bestsellers Make Authors’ Previous Novels Most Wanted

Water for Elephants tops the 25 Most Wanted for a second week in a row.

The current popularity of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex seem to be spurring readers to rediscover their last novels, Franzen’s The Corrections (2001) and Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides (1993), which came in at 24 and 21, respectively, on this week’s 25 Most Wanted.

Publishers Weekly had this to say about The Virgin Suicides:

“Eugenides’s tantalizing, macabre first novel begins with a suicide, the first of the five bizarre deaths of the teenage daughters in the Lisbon family; the rest of the work, set in the author’s native Michigan in the early 1970s, is a backward-looking quest as the male narrator and his nosy, horny pals describe how they strove to understand the odd clan of this first chapter, which appeared in the Paris Review , where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for fiction. The sensationalism of the subject matter (based loosely on a factual account) may be off-putting to some readers, but Eugenides’s voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized. The title derives from a song by the fictional rock band Cruel Crux, a favorite of the Lisbon daughter Lux–who, unlike her sisters Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Cecilia, is anything but a virgin by the tale’s end. Her mother forces Lux to burn the album along with others she considers dangerously provocative. Mr. Lisbon, a mild-mannered high school math teacher, is driven to resign by parents who believe his control of their children may be as deficient as his control of his own brood. Eugenides risks sounding sophomoric in his attempt to convey the immaturity of high-school boys; while initially somewhat discomfiting, the narrator’s voice (representing the collective memories of the group) acquires the ring of authenticity. The author is equally convincing when he describes the older locals’ reactions to the suicide attempts. Under the narrator’s goofy, posturing banter are some hard truths: mortality is a fact of life; teenage girls are more attracted to brawn than to brains (contrary to the testimony of the narrator’s male relatives). This is an auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer.”

The New Yorker review of The Corrections called it:

A sprawling novel about the diaspora of the modern American family: Enid and Alfred have carved their lives out of the suburban Midwest bedrock—hard work, shrimp cocktail, and silent sex—but their children live in New York and Philadelphia, eat wild Norwegian salmon, experiment with bisexuality, and study Foucault. Franzen gives us a tragicomic portrait of a flawed nation with the equally flawed notion of perfectibility at its heart. 25 Most Wanted

February 21, 2011

1. Water for Elephants: A Novel, by Sara Gruen

2. The Hangman’s Daughter, by Oliver Pötzsch

3. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

4. Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1), by Amanda Hocking

5. Wicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich

6. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games), by Suzanne Collins

7. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

8. Freedom: A Novel (Oprah’s Book Club), by Jonathan Franzen

9. Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games), by Suzanne Collins

10. Torn (Trylle Trilogy, #2), by Amanda Hocking

11. Beck And Call, by Abby Gordon [NSFW]

12. Middlesex: A Novel, by Jeffrey Eugenides

13. He Loves Lucy, by Susan Donovan

14. Trojan Horse, by David Lender

15. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

16. Sizzling Sixteen, by Janet Evanovich

17. The Red Tent: A Novel, by Anita Diamant

18. Office Threesome, by Madison Madison [NSFW]

19. Where’s My F*cking Latte? (and Other Stories About Being an Assistant in Hollywood), by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff

20. Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom, by Dayna Macy

21. The Virgin Suicides: A Novel, by Jeffrey Eugenides

22. Full Bloom, by Janet Evanovich, Charlotte Hughes

23. The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life, by Francine Jay

24. The Corrections: A Novel, by Jonathan Franzen

25. My Horizontal Life, by Chelsea Handler

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