It's been a year since St. Louis's independent booksellers banded together to form the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance in order to fight the threat of Amazon. It worked: The only bookstores that closed in St. Louis this year were part of the Borders chain. The Alliance sponsored bookstore bus tours and speed dating nights and, every week, put out a list of the bestselling books in the St. Louis area.
In many ways, the St. Louis bestsellers don't differ much from the rest of the country: We scooped up copies of The Help and Go the Fuck to Sleep and The Hunger Games just like everybody else. But local readers also pushed several local titles into the top ten: The Light Bringer by local cops Chris DiGiuseppe and Mike Force; First Kill, the first volume in Heather Brewer's Slayer Chronicles series; Amanda Doyle's amazingly comprehensive Finally, A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis by and for St. Louisans, Neighborhood by Neighborhood; and, best of all, Noir at the Bar, a collection of crime stories edited by Jedidiah Ayres and Scott Phillips, who donated the profits to local indie Subterranean Books.
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 2. Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés 3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan 5. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson 6. Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo 7. Room by Emma Donoghue 8. Noir at the Bar edited by Jedidiah Ayres and Scott Phillips 9. The Light Bringer by Chris DiGiuseppe and Mike Force 10. Finally, A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis by and for St. Louisans, Neighborhood by Neighborhood by Amanda Doyle with Kerri Bonasch
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 4. Silverlicious by Victoria Kann 5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney 7. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens 8. First Kill (The Slayer Chronicles) by Heather Brewer 9. A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black 10. Floors by Patrick Carman
And here are the bestsellers for the week ending January 29. You will note that Finally, A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis by and for St. Louisans, Neighborhood by Neighborhood has been on the list for ten straight weeks now and that, on the kids' side, somebody has been celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens and the 203rd birthday of Abraham Lincoln, which are February 7 and February 12, respectively. Party on.
1. Finally, A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis by and for St. Louisans, Neighborhood by Neighborhood by Amanda Doyle with Kerri Bonasch 2. Bossypants by Tina Fey 3. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 4. A Bear in My Bed & A Jackal in My Oven by Avinoam Lourie and Cissy Shapiro 5. The Light Bringer by Chris DiGiuseppe and Mike Force 6. The Adjustment by Scott Phillips 7. Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel 8. How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews 9. Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens by Charlotte M. Frieze 10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Children/YA: 1. A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson and John Hendrix 2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 5. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer 6. The Berenstain Bears' Valentine's Day Party by Mike Berenstain and Jan Berenstain 7. Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson and John Hendrix 8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick 9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.