The details about what books have been selling in Austin in 1999.

In 1999, the Chronicle began publishing lists of bestsellers from a variety of Austin bookstores. One of the great things, if not the great thing, about those lists is that they provide us a glimpse into what Austinites are reading. I asked participating bookstores to produce a bestsellers list for 1999 and then spoke to them about what those lists say about their clientele. The remaining stores' lists will be printed next week:

Adventures in Crime & Space

1. Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven; 2. Essential Saltes by Don Webb; 3. A Good Old-Fashioned Future by Bruce Sterling; 4. A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold; 5. Change of Command by Elizabeth Moon; 6. Bonita Faye by Margaret Moseley; 7. The Eternal Footman by James Morrow; 8. The Rift by Walter J. Williams; 9. Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess; 10. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Sara Felix, manager: "Eight of the 10 books were people that we had in the store so ... [the customers] really respected the opinions of the store employees, they tend to be very loyal as a clientele. ... We do have a largely male, [aged] 20-40 clientele, and that's kind of what they like is the more science-oriented or more literary science fiction instead of high fantasy."


1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden; 2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (hard); 3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (paper) 4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells; 5. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom; 6. Naked by David Sedaris; 7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling; 8. The Testament by John Grisham; 9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling; 10. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (paper)

Peggy Hailey, head book buyer: "I think that probably every large independent has something that is just a quirk of their store; they can bring that in and people will buy it. It's usually in the fictions with us ... we get the discontinueds to sell."

Book Woman

1. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio; 2. Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Making of Women's Altars by Kay Turner; 3. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen; 4. Baby Precious Always Shines: Selected Love Notes Between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas edited by Kay Turner; 5. The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction by Rachel P. Maines; 6. the bull-jean stories by Sharon Bridgforth; 7. Set Up by Claire McNab; 8. Peel My Love Like an Onion by Ana Castillo; 9. Split Level Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel; 10. Tree of Red Stars by Tessa Bridal

Susan Post, owner: In Austin, we seem to be blessed with more local authors -- three of our bestsellers have local ties, whether they live here now or not. You know, Inga came and she spent about a month here, and Rachel does have ties and did several events ... so that seems to kind of drive our bestsellers."


Last week, I wrote about the restoration of the Katherine Anne Porter house in Kyle. I wrote about Curt Englehorn, a pharmeceutical magnate from Germany whose mother grew up with KAP, but he has pledged, not contributed (as I thought) $600,000 to the project. The Burdine Johnson Foundation in Buda has raised the majority of the funds.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002


Katherine Anne Porter, Burdine Johnson Foundation, local bestsellers

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