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NYT Best Sellers Dominated by Films and TV: '12 Years a Slave,' 'Long Walk to Freedom,' 'Orange Is the New Black' and More

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood December 19, 2013 at 2:29PM

One of the revelations from the current New York Times list of non-fiction bestsellers is how many films land there. Solomon Northup's "12 Years a Slave," which was overshadowed upon its 1853 publication by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" and long only known by historians, now sits at number three on the bestseller list. Impressive, and cool.
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'12 Years a Slave'
'12 Years a Slave'

One of the revelations from the current New York Times list of non-fiction bestsellers is how many films--many in the late-year awards derby-- have landed there. Solomon Northup's "12 Years a Slave," which was overshadowed upon its 1853 publication by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852) and "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1853) and was long known only in historian circles, now sits at number three on the bestseller list. Impressive, and cool. 

Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"
Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"

Also on the list are Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom," no doubt given a boost by the coincidence of the South African leader's death and the Weinstein film in theaters; Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson's "Lone Survivor" (the Peter Berg-directed title hits theaters on Christmas); and Laura Hillenbrand's "Lone Survivor," currently in production down under with Angelina Jolie at the helm.

TV has a strong sway, too. Piper Kerman's "Orange Is the New Black," which got the Netflix treatment, is at number seven on the list. Bill O'Reilly's Nat Geo hit "Killing Kennedy" is number 20, and a TV adaptation of "Killing Jesus," which sits at number one, is under way.

This article is related to: News, New York Times, 12 Years a Slave, Orange is the New Black, Lone Survivor, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Unbroken, Awards, Awards Season Roundup, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.