by Anneli Rufus
Berkeley-based Small Press Distribution, the nation's only distributor dedicated exclusively to independently published literature, has just released its latest bestseller list.
It's a unique list, just as SPD is unique, because an SPD bestseller might sell just a few hundred copies - or even fewer - but it reveals that readers are still out there willing to take the literary path less traveled. Dan Brown's not on this list, which is based on July-September sales, but books on migrant workers, Yasujiro Oju, Middle Eastern travel, cactus gardens, growing up gay, and the English peasant uprising of 1381 are.
1. PLANTS AND LANDSCAPES FOR SUMMER: DRY CLIMATES, by East Bay Municipal Utility District Water Conservation Staff (EBMUD)
2. WHAT ARE INTELLECTUALS GOOD FOR? by George Scialabba (Pressed Wafer)
3. DEVOTIONAL CINEMA 2ND EDITION, by Nathaniel Dorsky (Tuumba Press)
4. MUSIC: I-LXXIV, by August Kleinzahler (Pressed Wafer)
5. THE BODY: AN ESSAY, by Jenny Boully (Essay Press)
6. THE ROSE METAL PRESS FIELD GUIDE TO WRITING FLASH FICTION, by Tara L. Masih, Ed. (Rose Metal Press)
7. NOTES ON CONCEPTUALISMS, by Vanessa Place & Robert Fitterman (Ugly Duckling Presse)
8. ALL SCREWED UP, by Steve Fellner (Benu Press)
9. SPREADING THE WORD: EDITORS ON POETRY, REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION, by Stephen Corey and Warren Slesinger, Eds. (Bench Press)
10. BAREFOOT HEART: STORIES OF A MIGRANT CHILD, by Elva Trevino Hart (Bilingual Press)
11. EXEMPLAR OF LIBERTY: NATIVE AMERICA AND THE EVOLUTION OF DEMOCRACY, by Donald A. Grinde Jr. and Bruce E. Johansen (American Indian Studies Center, UCLA)
12. STRANGE TERRAIN: A POETRY HANDBOOK FOR THE RELUCTANT READER, by Alice B. Fogel (Hobblebush Books)
13. A LEVANT JOURNAL, by George Seferis (Ibis Editions)
14. UNDER THE DOME: WALKS WITH PAUL CELAN, by Jean Daive (Burning Deck)
15. VIVA LA RAZA: A HISTORY OF CHICANO IDENTITY AND RESISTANCE, by Yolanda Alaniz and Megan Cornish (Red Letter Press)
16. DOWNSTREAM FROM TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA: A MEMOIR OF RICHARD BRAUTIGAN, by Keith Abbott (Astrophil Press)
17. THE NEW SENTENCE, by Ron Silliman (Roof Books)
18. THE POLITICS OF POETIC FORM: POETRY AND PUBLIC POLICY, edited by Charles Bernstein (Roof Books)
19. WHEN ADAM DELVED AND EVE SPAN, by Mark O'Brien (New Clarion Press)
20. FREUD AND THE INVENTION OF JEWISHNESS, by Betty Bernando Fuks (Agincourt Press)
And look, not a teenage vampire in the bunch.