Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Divine divolumes

"The Da Vinci Code" juggernaut is still steaming ahead. With the movie set to be released this May, Dan Brown's book -- the biggest-selling fiction title that doesn't have the name "Harry Potter" on the jacket -- is still selling gazillions of copies (give or take a few), and just marked its 155th consecutive week on Publishers Weekly Best-seller chart. This week, it again looks down from the top of the hardcover fiction list.

But it's not the only religiously themed book on the bestseller lists. It seems readers just can't get enough God -- or enough unsettling, "Da Vinci"-style mystery.

Take a look at the hardcover Top Ten: No. 2 is "The Tenth Circle" by Jodi Picoult; a metaphorical journey through Dante's "Inferno." No. 5 is "The Secret Supper," a period mystery focusing on Da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper. Two gnostic-glorifying stories of the Templar Knights make the top 10 -- "The Templar Legacy" at No. 6 and "The Last Templar" at No. 8.

And let's not forget No. 7, "The 5th Horseman." OK, so it doesn't appear to contain any overtly religious themes, but it still may be catering, in part, to a religiously savvy readership: The name is a riff off the book of Revelation.

It goes on: Kevin Phillips "American Theocracy," which in part critiques right-wing Christian influences on the country, is No. 2 on Publishers Weekly non-fiction list. "Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling" is No. 7. "Misquoting Jesus" is No. 9.

And, if that wasn't enough, Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life" is still hanging out at No. 12.

And they say America is becoming more secular.


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