Bookfinder.com, an online price comparison tool for books, has released an annual list of its most searched for out-of-print books for the past 14 years. The 2017 list was just unveiled, and this year's winner for "most sought after book" was... Arranged Marriage by Chita Banerjee Divakaruni. (Notably, for the first time since I've been covering the annual Bookfinder report, Sex by Madonna was knocked out of the top ten).
Arranged Marriage by Divakaruni is a collection of short stories about arranged marriage that was first published in 1996. Divakaruni, an Indian-American author and poet, is probably best known to American readers for her novel The Mistress of Spices (1997). The stories may have found a new readership owing to the current debates over women's rights in India as well as immigration to the United States (some stories in the collection deal with the cultural impact of Indian arranged marriages coupled with American immigration). Divakaruni wasn't the only Indian-American author on the top ten list; in spot number 6 was The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was a surprise to me to find that title out of print owing to the continued popularity of its Pulitzer Prize winning author.
A few other personal surprises from the list included Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (number 2), You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers (number 3), and Gun with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem (number 7).
The number 10 spot went to a beloved book for some Fine Books & Collections readers: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman, about Fadiman's love of books and reading, along with reminiscences of her familial literary petigree.