Now I wonder if CBS News and President Obama are going to have the same impact with CBS's decision to publicize Obama's recent New York Times interview in which the president mentions the book he is currently reading. The three have teamed up to give Joseph O'Neil's Netherland a shot at the big bucks. This is not a new book, already having sold some 90,000 copies, so it will be interesting to see what, or if anything, happens.
When he gets tired of trying to solve the country’s problems, it seems President Obama likes to kick back with a novel: In an interview with the New York Times, the president said he is "sick of briefing books" and is reading "Netherland" by the Irish author Joseph O'Neill....
"Netherland," as one of New York Times's best books of the year, has already sold over 90,000 copies but that number might surge on the news. Mr. Obama has a way of making books wildly popular – when Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave him a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America," that book shot up to from about 50,000 in total sales to the become the second bestselling book on Amazon.com.What is it? Do people feel closer to celebrities if they can imagine that they are experiencing the same book that the celebrities have read? Is this really a good thing? Is it fair or is there room for under-the-table dealing to corrupt the whole process? It's a mystery to me, but I'm always happy for the authors and publishers who benefit because what's good for them generally is good for me as a reader.
As I write this, Netherland is number 790 on Amazon's list of bestselling fiction. Will it move?