Wednesday, May 23, 2012

30 Years Ago: Fonda, Ludlum, and Jakes

Thirty years ago -- May 1982 -- these books topped the New York Times Bestseller Lists --

Non-FictionJane Fonda's Workout Book by Jane Fonda (Simon & Shuster, $17.95)

Fiction: The Parsifal Mosaic by Robert Ludlum (Random House, $15.95)

By year's end Ludlum's Parsifal had edged out Fonda's Workout, the non-fiction champ, as the biggest selling book of 1982.

The Parsifal Mosaic was so popular it sold almost twice as many copies as the second bestselling fiction title, North and South by John Jakes.

Robert Ludlum died in 2001 at age 73. Before his death, he arranged for his authorial brand to continue after he was gone. The Sigma Protocol (2001) was the last book written entirely by Ludlum. Since then many authors have contributed to "Robert Ludlum" novels. Ludlum's friend, noted fantasy and thriller author Eric Van Lustbader, has continued the popular Jason Bourne series.

Jane Fonda, now 74, came out with a self-help book Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit -- Making the Most of All of Your Life in 2011 and her autobiography My Life So Far in 2005.  She blogs regularly on her website

John Jakes, now 80, has published popular historical novels since the mid-1970s when the first installments of his Kent Family Chronicles (The Bastard, The Rebels, and The Seekers) were bestsellers.  His most recent works include The Gods of Newport (2006), about the Rhode Island resort in the 1890s, and Savannah or a Gift for Mrs. Lincoln (2004), a Civil War Christmas story set during Sherman's march to the sea.