One of the revelations from the current New York Times list of non-fiction bestsellers is how many films–many in the late-year awards derby– have landed there. Solomon Northup’s “12 Years a Slave,” which was overshadowed upon its 1853 publication by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1852) and “A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1853) and was long known only in historian circles, now sits at number three on the bestseller list. Impressive, and cool.
Also on the list are Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom,” no doubt given a boost by the coincidence of the South African leader’s death and the Weinstein film in theaters; Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson’s “Lone Survivor” (the Peter Berg-directed title hits theaters on Christmas); and Laura Hillenbrand’s “Lone Survivor,” currently in production down under with Angelina Jolie at the helm.
TV has a strong sway, too. Piper Kerman’s “Orange Is the New Black,” which got the Netflix treatment, is at number seven on the list. Bill O’Reilly’s Nat Geo hit “Killing Kennedy” is number 20, and a TV adaptation of “Killing Jesus,” which sits at number one, is under way.