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Bookworm, the PYB (pretty young bibliophile), brings you the news about books and beyond

On top of the world: Alex Cross has no reason to be “cross”, really. A survey by Nielsen (US) Book Data on the world’s top-selling authors since 2001 has placed the creator of the Alex Cross series, James Patterson, right at the top of the bookshelf! Here’s the full list.... How many of these authors have you read? Tell Bookworm at t2@abp.in

1. James Patterson: This American author has 130 novels under his name, he’s sold some 300 million copies and is known mostly for his thrillers featuring psychologist Alex Cross.

Most sold title: 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club series).

2. J.K. Rowling: The magic maker gave us Harry Potter and changed our lives forever. The British author has sold more than 400 million books in the seven-part Potter series and there are children (and adults who feel like children when they read her) across the globe keeping their fingers crossed for more!

Most sold title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

3. Nora Roberts: This American writer is often called the “queen of romance”, no less because she has some 210 love stories to her name! We love her for her spunky heroines, ill-behaved heroes and family sagas that run into many volumes.

Most sold title: Red Lily.

4. Dr Seuss: American writer, poet and cartoonist, he wrote 46 children’s titles. We’ve known him for lovable books like The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Most sold title: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

5. John Grisham: American author who takes legal tangles and courtroom dramas and turns them into page-turners and thrillers that we have to stay up all night to finish. His books have sold 275 million copies and he continues to surprise us, like last fall’s Sycamore Row, which turned out to be an equally brilliant sequel to his cult debut novel of 1989, A Time to Kill.

Most sold title: A Painted House.

6. Stephenie Meyer: Thanks to this American lady, hundreds of young girls all over the world want a vampire for a boyfriend and no less! She says the idea of a vampire boy falling in love with a human girl came to her in a dream and her worldwide success, with 100 million books in print, is no less than a dream.

Most sold title: Twilight.

7. Dan Brown:

This American writer is the master of codes, symbols, crypts and conspiracy theories and the creator of the delightful Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. The historical evidence may run thin but we can’t resist a jolly good yarn, can we? No wonder he’s sold over 200 million copies.

Most sold title: The Da Vinci Code.

8. Nicholas Sparks: No man tugs at our heartstrings like this American does. The author of 17 beautiful love stories, including Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and last year’s The Longest Ride, he’s sold 89 million copies.

Most sold title: The Notebook.

9. Janet Evanovich: We’re not too familiar with this American writer famous for a mystery series featuring Stephanie Plum, a lingerie buyer-cum-bounty hunter.

Most sold title: One for the Money.

10. Jeff Kinney: This American writer-cartoonist’s Wimpy Kid books are the best medicine for a dull day! The thoughts, troubles and quips of Greg Heffley, the eponymous Wimpy Kid, have caught the world’s imagination and helped sell 75 million copies. The eighth title, Hard Luck, came out last November.

Most sold title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Thriller alert: Still hooked to psychological and supernatural thrillers, Bookworm has now turned her sights and shivers on Dean Koontz. This American writer is as prolific as his books are spooky, with themes ranging from modern-day crimes to the complexities involved if the wall between our world and the world of the dead is broken. The books are an easy read, and almost always come with a delicious twist. Bookworm has just put down What The Night Knows, the story of a 14-year-old boy who has not only confessed to murdering his family but also seems aware of a series of murders that took place a long time before he was born! Then there’s Tick Tock, on black magic, which tells the story of Tommy Phan, a successful detective novelist who receives a doll with a cross over its heart. The clever doll leaves an ominous message on his computer as the writer’s time begins to run out. In 77 Shadow Street, Koontz takes us on a gripping journey to a place where nightmares become real, while The House of Thunder is all about murder, love and avarice that chills you to the bone. No wonder more than a dozen Koontz novels have reached the No. 1 slot on The New York Times bestseller list over the years!

who killed irene: While on the subject of thrills and chills, Bookworm is eagerly awaiting Irene.

Thriller writer Pierre Lemaitre, who was anointed “the French Stieg Larsson” in the summer of 2013 for his chilling suspense novel Alex, is going back in time. Alex was the first of Lemaitre’s books to be translated into English, which saw Commandant Verhoeven racing against time to save the eponymous Alex. We found Commandant Verhoeven distinctly odd and troubled and were told in passing that he was undone by the kidnapping and murder of his wife. Now we’ll have the full story in Irene. Here we’ll find Commandant Verhoeven happily married, expecting his first child with the lovely Irene. But his blissful life is shattered by a savage murder. Worse still, his every move seems to make headlines. And then he discovers that the killer has killed before and that each murder is homage to a classic crime novel. Irene, to be published by Penguin this March, is the first Camille Verhoeven investigation.

Go shop: Oxford Bookstore, Park Street, is having its annual sale, offering discounts of “up to 80 per cent” on books. The sale is on till March 31, 10am to 10pm. Time to stock up!