Library notes: Crime pays for best-selling authors

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2011

By Lynn Denison
Rowan Public Library
Weíve all heard it said that crime does not pay. Recently I came upon some facts that may refute that theory in certain instances. In April 2011 the British newspaper The Guardian published a ěCrime Writers Rich List.î The list is based on recorded sales, box office returns, license fees and company accounts. The list revealed that two living crime writers from the United States, John Grisham and Dan Brown, were in first and second place. Third and fourth place go to British authors Ian Fleming and Agatha Christie. Both of these authors are deceased but continue to live on through the successful sales of their works.
John Grisham holds the title of most successful and highest earning crime writer of all time at $600,000,000. His first book, ěA Time to Kill,î was not a success. His next book, ěThe Firm,î spent 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. His next books, ěThe Pelican Briefî and ěThe Client,î were bestsellers. ěA Time to Killî was then republished and this time around it was also a bestseller. Grisham usually publishes one novel a year and to date each one has been an international bestseller. Nine of his novels have been made into films.
Dan Brown is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including ěThe Da Vinci Code,î which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of heated debate among readers and scholars. Some of his other books include ěAngels & Demons,î ěDeception Point,î ěDigital Fortressî and ěThe Lost Symbol.î His fortune is valued at $400,000,000.
Number three on the list, with a net worth of more than [0xa3]100 million, is British crime writer Ian Fleming, the creator of the worldís most famous secret agent, James Bond. Fleming wrote 14 James Bond novels and to date there have been 22 official James Bond films. According to ěthe list,î more than 100 million copies of Bond books have been sold worldwide. Some of Flemingís works available at the library are ěThe Man with the Golden Gun,î ěGoldfingerî and ěCasino Royale.î
It is not surprising that the ěQueen of Crime,î Agatha Christie, is named as the fourth richest on the list with a total worth of [0xa3]100 million. Her crime fiction includes 67 novels, 150 short stories, and 16 plays. ěThe Mousetrap,î her most successful play, premiered in Londonís West End in 1952 and is still running after more than 24,000 performances ó the longest running play ever. Christie created two of fictionís best-loved characters: the fastidious Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and the elderly amateur sleuth Jane Marple. Christieís own personal list of favorite novels includes ěAnd Then There Were None,î ěThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd,î ěA Murder Is Announcedî and ěMurder on the Orient Express.î
Rowan Public Library is the place to find all of the novels listed above. Many are also available in large print, as audiobooks on CDs or tape, and some movie versions on DVD. Please stop by the library soon and find out for yourself what put these talented authors at the top of the ěCrime Writers Rich List.î
Computer classes: No classes are scheduled for July.
Summer Family Movie Night at Headquarters ó Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., ěRamona and Beezus.î Part of the centennial celebration. All movies are rated G, PG or PG-13 ó some movies are inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Book Bites Club ó Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., ěThe Princess Brideî by William Goldman. Book discussion groups for both adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
Childrenís Program ó The library invites kids to join the library for a summer of exciting programs and great reads with One World, Many Stories.
Weekly programs run until July 28. New for this year, limited family programs at Cleveland Town Hall. Prizes are awarded for every five, 10, 15 and 20 hours read, and door prizes are given at the school-aged programs.
Program groups and times:
12-24-month-olds: Mondays, 10:30 a.m., East Branch; Tuesdays, 11 am, Headquarters; Thursdays, 10:30 am, South Library (four-week program).
2-year-olds: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, East Branch; Wednesdays, South Library; Thursdays, Headquarters (four-week program).
3- to 5-year-olds: 10:30 a.m. Mondays, South Library; Wednesdays, Headquarters; Thursdays, East Branch (seven-week program).
Rising first through fifth graders: Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., South Library; Wednesdays, 2 p.m., Headquarters; Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., East Branch; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Cleveland Town Hall, select programs only; (seven-week program).
July 25-27: Grey Seal Puppets, Tangle of Tales.
July 28 (Cleveland included): Mo and Ro, Stories, Songs and Silliness.
Calling all teens: Travel the globe with ěYou Are Hereî ó A North American Cookout and Prize Action end-of-summer celebration will be held Thursday, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove.
For more information please check the library website at or call your closest RPL location ó Headquarters, 704-216-8234; South Rowan Regional, 704-216-7728; East Branch, 704-216-7842.
Displays: Headquarters óphotography and pottery by Emily Walls; South ó elephant collection by Tara Corder; East ó clowns by Elizabeth Ellenburg.
Literacy: Call the Rowan Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.