Harry Potter and the Dark Lord of Arrested Adolescence

Here’s a gem from Sunday’s NY Times “Inside the List” piece in the Book Review:
HARRY POTTER, YEAR ZERO: Speaking of Harry, here are the 10 titles grown-ups were reading when “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in the series, made its debut (at No. 16) on the adult hardcover fiction best-seller list, on Dec. 27, 1998. Note that there is only one vampire novel on the list.
1) “A Man in Full,” by Tom Wolfe.
2) “Bag of Bones,” by Stephen King.
3) “The Simple Truth,” by David Baldacci.
4) “Mirror Image,” by Danielle Steel.
5) “Rainbow Six,” by Tom Clancy.
6) “The Poisonwood Bible,” by Barbara Kingsolver.
7) “When the Wind Blows,” by James Patterson.
8) “All Through the Night,” by Mary Higgins Clark.
9) “The Vampire Armand,” by Anne Rice.
10) “Memoirs of a Geisha,” by Arthur Golden.
On this Sunday’s list, four titles fit the fantasy-genre category. I think. I’m not really sure what a “werepanther” is (DEAD AND GONE, by Charlaine Harris. (Ace, $25.95.) “Sookie Stackhouse searches for the killer of a werepanther”), but it sounds like you don’t want to stand in your yard and try to coax it to a bowl of milk, calling, “Kitty kitty kitty.” Also, three titles in ’98 would (loosely) fit the ‘literary’ category (Golden, Kingsolver, Woolf); today that number appears to be one (Russo). I’m not sure. With many of these writers, I’m only working with the brief description, which can be deceptive. Memoirs of a Geisha, by the way, is a terrific read. The movie was pretty, but missed the power of the book.

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