New Pope's books knock out bestselling Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code, the global best-seller criticised by the Vatican, has just been named book of the year at the British Book Awards, but it has lost its supremacy on Amazon's bestseller list to two books written by the new Pope Benedict XVI.

Canada's CBC reports that as of yesterday afternoon, seven of the Pope's books ranked in the top 25 of Amazon.com's bestseller list, two of the titles beating The Da Vinci Code. On the Barnes & Nobel website, one of the pontiff's books was ranked among the top 20, as was Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI: Pontiff for a New Era, an as-yet-unreleased biography by Greg Tobin, papal commentator and former editor of The Catholic Advocate. Two more were in the top 50.

US author Dan Brown's conspiracy thriller has enjoyed worldwide sales of more than 25 million copies, been translated into 44 languages and is due to become a Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Hanks. But books by the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger are climbing up North American bestseller charts and the market will soon be flooded with new titles about the newly named Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pope's books, including Introduction to Christianity, Salt of the Earth, The Ratzinger Report, Truth and Tolerance and Milestones, a memoir detailing his life from birth through to 1977, have been moving higher on the bestseller lists of online book sellers Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com

San Francisco-based Ignatius Press, a non-profit publisher, has been issuing the German-born Pope's works in English for more than 20 years.

"We'll indicate on the cover that he is now Pope Benedict XVI, who once was Cardinal Ratzinger," Ignatius Press president Mark Brumley told the Associated Press.

The rest of the year will see a flood of titles about the new Pope hit the market.

A new collection of the Pope's letters, essays and lectures, entitled Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, is also scheduled for release this spring, Brumley said.

Meanwhile, both Doubleday and Barnes & Noble have several books about the new pontiff in the works, while other publishers have announced new titles pertaining to papal elections and the legacy of John Paul II.

New Pope's books climbing bestseller lists (CBC Canada 21/4/05)
Da Vinci Code gets top gong (Agence France-Presse/The Age 22/4/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Amazon.com - Search results for Ratzinger | The Ratzinger Report

22 Apr 2005