Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Thursday Quiz XVIII

Put down that book! It's

The Thursday Quiz!

The Thursday Quiz is, as always, a "Is It or Isn't It" game. From the list of twelve items, your job is to determine whether each IS or ISN'T a true example of the week's category.

Remember always the Habit of Highly Effective Quizzing:

No research, Googling, Wikiing, or use of reference books. The Thursday
Quiz is a POP quiz. Violators will lose their power of speech.
This Week's Category will be hard to put down!

Classics of Modern Literature. Kind of.

OK, here's the deal: Some of the following titles are books that were #1 on the New York Times best-seller list for fiction at some point in 2007. A few are books that sold kind of well, but did not quite achieve anything like that standard of greatness. The others, I just made up. Which are the (real) books that were #1 best-sellers in the year just past?

1. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
2. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
3. Double Cross by James Patterson
4. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
5. The Legal Profession by John Grisham
6. Love's Sweet Mercies by Danielle Steel
7. Playing For Pizza by John Grisham
8. Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn
9. Ran Red by Stephen King
10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
11. "U" Is For Umbrage by Sue Grafton
12. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Publish your wildly popular answers by posting them in the comments.

22 comments:

d said...

1. um i think so. yes.
2. this is definitely a real book, was it number one? i'll say yes.
3. yes. unfortunately, yes.
4. yes?
5. no. although funny.
6. is she still alive? no.
7. oh god. probably. yes?
8. no clue. no.
9. no? although he keeps resurrecting himself... no. i'll say no.
10. YES!
11. this totally sounds like something she would write. so, i'll say yes.
12. i don't think war and peace has ever been a number one best seller. the american public isn't that intellectual. no.

mrs. 5000 said...

Well, this is going to be pretty embarrassing. Guess I'm not spending much time gazing at bestseller lists these days. I can say with complete certitude, two of these books exists.

1 never heard of it! yes
2 OK, he pretty much packed the Bagdad, and I know Empire Falls was #1, so. . . yes
3 never heard of it! yes
4 sounds like a book that would top the pre-teen list. no
5 sounds like a John Grisham title! no
6 a likely sounding candidate. no
7 doesn't sound like a John Grisham title! yes
8 never heard of it! yes
9 sounds like a leftover title from your Stephen King quiz. no
10 I think I've heard of it. yes
11 U is for. . . ulterior? ultra-violent? umbrella? umbrage sounds pretty good, and I know she's down there in the dregs of the alphabet. yes
12 I know there was a hot new translation out, but #1? no

mrs. 5000 said...

Exist. Two of these books exist. Sheesh.

boo said...

I do not read much fiction so I am guessing.
1. No
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. No
6. Yes
7. No
8. No
9. No
10. Yes
11. Yes
12. No

No sure the guessing criteria on this one. But one cool thing about the new comment box is that I can use it while still seeing the entry. Nice!

Phineas said...

Spending significant time in and near airport newsstands may pay off.

1. Yes - Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
2. No - Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo – was very visible, but I don’t think popular
3. Yes - Double Cross by James Patterson
4. Yes - Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
5. Not real - The Legal Profession by John Grisham
6. No - Love's Sweet Mercies by Danielle Steel – if real, it’s not current.
7. No - Playing For Pizza by John Grisham – this is the swing answer for me. Yes it’s real, yes it was popular – but was it ever #1? Taking a chance on no here.
8. Yes - Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn. Similar to the last one – was it ever #1. I’ll split 50/50 with a yes here.
9. Not real - Ran Red by Stephen King
10. Yes - A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
11. Uhhhh, not real - "U" Is For Umbrage by Sue Grafton. Try “U is for Unsatisfactory”.
12. Nope - War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Hmmm….the 12th question is again a mindless gimme……are we being set up for future hijinx in the final position?

Summing up the mass market for fiction: “You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.” - The Waco Kid

Admittedly I’ve not read any of the above. Excepting a couple titles, can’t imagine these being anything more engaging than a sitcom or crime show.

blythe said...

ooh ooh ooh! i think i can do this. i am staring at double cross now.

long live scarpetta (yes)! yes, yes, yes, no, i don't even think she's that sappy, yes and weird, yes (go mitch!), i don't think so (not a fan), yes (what i should be reading instead of the others),no (unless i missed some), yes.

yay! i am a total dork who cannot stop reading mystery/political novels. now you know my secret.

Rebel said...

Once again, guessing blindly

1 is
2 isn't
3 is
4 isn't
5 doesn't sound like a real book, but I'm sure it would be a best seller if he actually wrote it - isn't
6 isn't
7 isn't
8 is
9 isn't
10 is
11 isn't
12 isn't

Laura said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. yes
4. no
5. no
6. no
7. no
8. no
9. no
10. yes
11. no
12. no

Jessica said...

Totally guessing on this...

1. Yes (zombie-esque seems to be fad)
2. Yes?
3. Yes?
4. Yes
5. No
6. No (she's still around?)
7. No (has he gone into children's lit?)
8. No (the title & author rhyme?)
9. No (he switched to westerns)
10. Yes
11. No
12. No (it's real, but how can it be a best seller?)

karmasartre said...

1 / yes (non-Tibetan version)
2 / no
3 / yes
4 / no
5 / no
6 / no
7 / no
8 / yes
9 / no
10 / yes
11 / no
12 / no
0 / confidence level in above answers

Phineas said...

Seeing Blythe's enthusiastic response and secret admission....I feel bad about mocking popular fiction. I'll back off and put tolerance on my list of 2008 resolutions. And though I have seen a bad sitcom or two, I resolutely claim to have not watched a TV crime show in 20+ years.

Mr. Shain said...

phineas, blythe's enthusiasm should only reinforce your instinct to mock pop fiction.

that said...

1. Y
2. N
3. Y
4. Y
5. N
6. N
7. Y
8. Y
9. N
10. Y
11. N
12. N

blythe said...

hey kids. i can read, you know. in any event, i gots lots of stars and stuff for this quiz, so i read more than crap fiction, obvs. maybe.

Kate said...

Not being a reader of contemporary literature, this will be an exercise in guessing. I think I've heard of a couple of them...

1. real
2. real
3. real
4. real
5. made up
6. real
7. made up
8. made up
9. real
10. real
11. real
12. real but not on bestseller list

Chance said...

I'm out. I prefer literature quizzes.

Michael5000 said...


1. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell -- YES
2. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo -- NO. It is a real book, but it peaked at #6.
3. Double Cross by James Patterson -- YES
4. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich -- YES
5. The Legal Profession by John Grisham -- NO. Not a real book.
6. Love's Sweet Mercies by Danielle Steel -- NO. Not a real book.
7. Playing For Pizza by John Grisham -- oddly, YES
8. Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn -- YES
9. Ran Red by Stephen King -- NO. As Mrs.5000 caught, this is the second time I've used this made-up book.
10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini -- YES
11. "U" Is For Umbrage by Sue Grafton -- NO. "'T' Is For Trespass" was #1 at the end of the year.
12. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy -- NO, although it was not totally outlandish. A new translation made it to #17.

Michael5000 said...

That leaves us with a field dominated by the South Central States.

Taking the TQXVIII Gold Star, his first Gold and second star overall, is Mr. Shain. An unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of popular fiction allowed him to nail the quiz, with 12/12 correct.

Right behind him, and collecting the Silver with 11/12 correct, is to Phineas.

Taking home the Blue Star is quiz perenial Blythe.

Two Green Stars this week go to Rebel and to Karmasatre.

blythe said...

I find this odd since Shain is illiterate.

Phineas said...

More odd that two elitist curmudgeons complain about pop lit, but seem to know about it all too well.

My alibi:

I stand in front of the newstands in IAH and think:

- Surely these books must be worth reading, they're so widely sold
- I ought to find at least one that has a captivating tag line or back cover (but I never do)
- My neanderthal brother lives for this stuff - if I read one of these, I might actually talk to him about it
- What would I do, dear god, if I actually LIKED one of these books

I walk away to buy a copy of Golf Magazine and some beef jerky.

Rebel said...

Whooo hooo! I didn't expect to place at all. Funny - Powels on Hawthorne doesn't have a 'best sellers' aisle.

Oh and I soooooo will not be joining you with the Brothers Karamozov. Although, depending on your review, I *might* decide to pick it up someday.

Mr. Shain said...

first of all, i contest my first star, just for the record. i'd also like to thank my obsessive compulsive reading of the NYT, NYT Book Review, and the less well know These Books Are Not Real Review, which was surprisingly helpful.

my favorite part was "U" is for umbrage! i've been staring at "T" is for trespass for the last month, so this made me smile.

Michael5000 said...

I am to a certain extent in Chance's camp on this one. I certainly read my share of pulp fiction, and salute anyone who drinks richly of life's rich cup. However, any notion I might have had that popularity corrolates with goodness disappeared about two pages into the ghastly, shamefully poorly written The Da Vinci Code.

Mr. Shain: Thank you, I was particularly proud of U is for Umbrage.

Regarding your contest to your first star: After review, the ruling on the field has been confirmed. It was perhaps a little mean-spirited of me to deny you Question 4 of TQXIII, but within bounds, and I'm sure you can relate.

Becky keeps the TQXIII Silver Star, and you keep the TQXIIIBlue Star; however, you will be charged one of your timeouts.