Slate has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com, which means that when you click on an Amazon link from Slate, we get a small percentage of what you purchase while you're there, whether it's Ian McEwan's latest novel, a new video game, or shoes for your kid. (Don't be alarmed: We have zero access to anyone's personal or account information. We don't know who bought what, just that items were purchased via a link from Slate.) Periodically, we like to let readers know which items are especially popular.
It might be a sign that the recession really is over, or else that more people have given up and are striking out on their own, but an astounding number of readers—380—purchased Rework, a book about starting your own company by a pair of Web entrepreneurs, after Farhad Manjoo reviewed it in his column. (Another 71 downloaded it for their Kindle.) The second-most-popular book among Slate readers was Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, which racked up 53 purchases. Other popular choices were Judith Shulevitz's The Sabbath World and The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch.
Fiction editors rejoice: A few people still read novels. The Ask sold 15 copies, and The Lost Books of the Odyssey sold 13. But more of you would rather read a nonfiction book about a fictional television show: The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television.
Slate readers are normally avid DVD buyers, but if the academy's favorites enjoyed a bump, it wasn't because of you. Precisely two readers picked up Inglourious Basterds, while The Hurt Locker and The Blind Side each found one new viewer. Our most popular DVD? 2012. That's today's sign that the apocalypse is upon us.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.