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Jamie Oliver rallies nation against meerkat threat to take Christmas number one

Despite the earlier reported best efforts of 16 separate publishers, this year’s Christmas bestsellers list has not, in fact, been dominated by the cute and furry. Well, depending on your tastes and his level of hirsuteness, maybe it has, but that’s not the point.

The point is that, for the second year in a row and his fourth overall, Jamie Oliver has demonstrated that were he to use his power for evil rather than good he could destroy us all with a click of his fingers. Which is to say, he sold almost 60,000 copies of Jamie’s Great Britain in the last week alone, with cumulative sales of almost 320,000 since September. ALL HAIL OLIVER THE BENEVOLENT. MAY HIS REIGN PROVE LESS TERRIFYING THAN SOME.

In a textbook example of hubris, Guinness World Records 2012 failed to live up to its title yet again, ending up in second place with around 5,000 fewer copies sold than Fearless Leader Oliver. Out of the meerkat colony clogging the market this Christmas, one in particular proved to be particularly vicious when cornered, with Where’s The Meerkat? suckering almost 40,000 stressed parents and people who won’t read anything else this year out of their money for third.

The top five is rounded out by Lorraine Pascale’s Home Cooking Made Easy at four and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help at five, which The Guardian notes is the only piece of adult fiction in the top ten but which, ironically, most likely owes its position to the childlike simplicity of its hugely popular film adaptation. And not ‘childlike simplicity’ in the ‘oh, there’s such truth in their innocence!’ sense, ‘childlike simplicity’ in the ‘you know, Timmy really hasn’t been quite the same since he fell off the climbing frame’ sense.

Anyway, he says in a seamless segue that demonstrates why they pay him the big bucks, that’s about it for BookMachine in 2011. We’re taking the holidays off, by which I mean continuing to work our real jobs but taking it slightly easier on the posting front, mainly because there’s not likely to be much publishing news forthcoming over the next couple of weeks. Cheers for reading throughout 2011, and, pending the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House, we’ll see you back here in 2012.


Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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