Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #69 -- Just in time for summer reading! 13 REALLY popular authors


I love statistics. You can slice them and dice them a million ways until you come up with something new.

Take, for example, the New York Times Best-Seller List.

It exists to tell us which books are being purchased in the biggest numbers. But it can give us more than that. Which book sold the most? Which book sold a lot the longest? Or, as in today's TT, which is …

Authors who have had the most titles on
the New York Times Best-Seller List/Fiction

1. Stephen King (29 different books)

2. Danielle Steel (27)

3. James Patterson (23)

4. John Grishan (17)

5. Mary Higgins Clark (14)
5. Patricia Cornwell (14)

6. Tom Clancy (12)

7. Janet Evanovich (11)

8. Dean R. Koontz (10)

9. James Michener (9)

10. Sue Grafton (8)
10. Sidney Sheldon (8)
10. James Patterson (8)

11. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (7)
11. Robert Ludlum (7)
11. Daphne du Maurier (7)
11. John LeCarre (7)
11. J. K. Rowling (7)

12. Nora Roberts (6)

13. Michael Crichton (5)
13. Nicholas Sparks (5)

Thanks to Hawes for doing most of the heavy lifting for me.

Include your link in comments and I'll add you here:
1. Tink has a slideshow of the beautiful figurines in her home
2. Lost Hemisphere shares broken cards that nobody has broken yet
3. Hootin' Ani gives her topical take on the Domino Effect
4. Anthony North explains reality. Really!
5. Malcolm looks at books, too, but the non-fiction variety
6. Sue answers 13 questions
7. Michelle's TT includes a picture of David Cassidy looking dreamy
8. Chelle takes us back to the 1980s
9. Fishingaround has quite the TBR pile!
10. Gypsy Princess has a thrifty TT
11. Sandy shares a prayer
12. Janet's TT has a certain "flair"
13. Shaunesay talks books, too
14. Journeywoman has a movie TT, and I love movie TTs
15. Susan Helene Gottfried anticipates summer
16. Lori helps kickstart our social lives
17. Faith takes us around Fort Worth
18. Claudia's TT is delicious, and smells good, too
19. SJ Reidhead manages our expectations for her TT
20. Alice Audrey tempts us to read Suzie's House
21. Winter confronts evil
22. Gray Matters has done a LOT of work around the house!
23. Maribeth's TT has a decidedly orange cast to it this week
24. B Boys Mom has an ambitious to-do list
25. Adelle gives Canadians their props
26. Marcia's TT is outdoorsy
27. Mo's TT is devoted to "the hounds"
28. Debbie shares 13 quotes

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Kathy (see entry below) DID call the animal shelter after all, and they will board her cats for as long as need be … all in exchange for volunteer work.

Ok, I can be an ass. I admit it. But the important thing is that her cats will be safe and well cared for, and Kathy has the time to think rationally and make the right decision for them long-term.

I'm downright giddy about this happy ending! I have a very difficult time NOT diving in and running the show when critters and kids are involved. We adults choose our paths, but critters and kids are like corks on the water, just bouncing wherever the waves take them. It's up to us to make sure they fare well. Kathy's inaction about her cats' safety and well-being was making me NUTS!

But it was temporary. She did call the shelter using my vet's name, and now all is right in the world.

When life imitates art ... or a classic sitcom rerun

I watched M*A*S*H last night. It was an episode where best friends Hawkeye and BJ got into a fight, said terrible things to and about each other, and ended up just as close as ever before the half hour came to a close. It hit home because it helped me confront and work through my guilt over my anger at my friend Kathy.

I heard from her a great deal this past weekend as I helped her (tried to help her) find a new home for her cats. My frustration mounted and mounted because she asked my advice and then didn't follow it. Her refrain as she works through this awful situation is, "through no fault of my own" and "I know it's not my fault."

Dammit! If it's not her fault, whose fault is it?

This is the fourth career she's tried, and failed at, in the 25 years we've known each other. She's cruising toward her second bankruptcy. She's simply not a businesswoman. My heart goes out to her -- at 61, she must know the rest of her life is not going to be as easy as she'd envisioned. I know the worry and regret must be eating away at her. I understand that it's to be expected that she will become increasingly undone as we approach June 6, the day she loses her apartment and has to move in with her daughter. (A daughter whose home is being foreclosed upon, as well.)

On the other hand, it's normal for me to get angry at her. She hands me a situation, asks me to fix it, and then refuses to listen to me. I spoke my vet, who told me that there's a local animal shelter that helps with hardship cases like Kathy's, providing "foster care" for her cats until she knows for sure where she'll be living. Her cats will be safe and together and in exchange, Kathy has to pay whatever she can -- presumably to reimburse the shelter for food, litter and any necessary medical care, but really to make sure she's serious about wanting them back. My vet even gave Kathy permission to use her name when contacting the animal shelter, even though they've never met. I thought this was very kind of my vet. I told Kathy about this and offered to pay up $300 for her cats myself.

She never called the shelter. Her notes are "scribbles" and hard to read … she keeps hoping her daughter's dog will get used to the cats … Etc., etc., etc. I have warned Kathy that as the weather gets warmer, shelter space becomes more and more precious because puppy/kitten season will be upon us, and she must call the shelter and see if they'll reserve a space. To no avail. And I bet that, around the 4th of July, "through no fault of her own," she will end up giving those cats away to complete strangers because her new apartment won't allow pets and all the shelters will be full up. It feels as though, once again, she's setting herself up for victimhood.

I know pointing this out to her would be cruel, and so I won't. But there's no harm in sharing my anger with my blog. Venting here helps me stay supportive to her when the situation calls for it. And, just like the soldiers of the 4077, my friends and I can clash but still care about each other.