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New York Times Revises Bestseller List After Twitter Sleuths Claim Conspiracy

The New York Times has revised its upcoming bestseller list after Twitter sleuths said they uncovered a conspiracy to steal the No. 1 spot by a figure tied to *NSYNC and a slew of obscure celebrities from the last decade. The Times’ young-adult bestseller list for the week of Sep. 3  saw Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, which had been on the list for 25 weeks, dethroned by the Handbook for Mortals—a book no one had ever heard of that was released only earlier this month. The book, by Lani Sarem, was quickly traced to the website GeekNation, which launched its publishing wing in July. “I find it... strange that a mediocre website can decide it wants to be a publisher, and one month later hit #1 on the NYT Bestsellers list,” Phil Stamper, an author leading the impromptu Twitter investigation, wrote Thursday. Book nerds also discovered that Sarem is the cousin of former *NSYNC star J.C. Chasez, who promoted the book on Twitter earlier this month. Stamper said that at least two bookstores told him they were contacted by an unknown caller who asked if the stores reported sales to The New York Times before placing a bulk order for the title. The book was subsequently pulled from the list.