Two on-air book clubs announced their latest selections—a trade paper mystery and a hardcover nonfiction work about the rise and fall of e-tailer Value America. On February 6, Amy Tan announced Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as Today's newest pick, describing it as "pure joy. It's about the mysteries of human nature. The writing is accessible and the prose is so beautiful; you can read this in one sitting." Already a favorite at the independents, the book debuts today on PW's trade paper chart (and on next Sunday's New York Times list). It's the first book in the series featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe, an African woman who sets up her own detective agency in Botswana. Anchor Books has returned to press three times—an additional 133,000 copies—for Detective Agency; total in print for the series is just over 400,000 (the other books are Tears of the Giraffe and Morality for Beautiful Girls). Book four, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, is due in April from Pantheon.
The latest selection at Good MorningAmerica's Read This! club, meanwhile, is the bomb—Dot.Bomb: My Days and Nights at an Internet Goliath. Published by Little, Brown in October 2001, the Back Bay trade paperback followed last November with a first printing of 7,500. The publisher has now gone back for an additional 60,000 copies. Following its customary procedure, GMA asked the book club that read the previous Read This! selection to recommend a new book. Interestingly in this case, the Charlottesville (Va.) Men's Book Club, which had just read a "women's fiction" title—Lee Smith's The Last Girls—picked what the members termed "a guy book" for the all-female Cheaper Than Therapy Book Club in Macomb Township, Mich.
With reporting by Dick Donahue