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The NYT Discovers the Skinny Bitches After Everybody Else

But to the paper’s credit, at least in the online version of Motoko Rich‘s article they link to a whole bunch of UK-based articles on Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the slender authors of the bestseller that has sold in a steady stream since Running Press released it in December 2005. But it wasn’t until Victoria Beckham, also known as the pop star Posh Spice and wife of the soccer player David Beckham, was photographed carrying a copy of it in a Los Angeles boutique in May that the book started climbing the best-seller charts in Britain. When E! News picked up the story in June, the title took off in the United States. On Sunday it was No. 12 on the New York Times best-seller list of paperback advice, how-to and miscellaneous books. This Sunday it will be No. 3.

“It’s definitely the most entertaining diet book I’ve ever read,” said Linda Marotta, the lead buyer at Shakespeare & Company, which has four stores in New York City. Marotta said SKINNY BITCH, which ends up having a hard-core vegan message, had sold “extremely well” in the stores. “It definitely has that sharp, chick-lit look and feel,” said Dana Brigham, co-owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., which has sold more than 200 copies. “You look at the photo of the authors on the back, and they are both drop-dead gorgeous. If you look at the photos of authors on the crunchy granola books – maybe not so much.”

And for the book’s detractors, who criticize its’ seeming agenda for PETA and overly irreverent tone, the authors are sanguine. “Yes, the material in the book is not, for so many reasons, the easiest sell,” said Barnouin, who gave up modeling eight years ago to study holistic nutrition. “It’s not your typical diet book, and there’s a lot of animal-rights information. We just thought, let’s be light, funny, have a fun, catchy name and put a cute picture on the cover of the book. We just knew marketing was going to be the key.” Has it ever, thanks to Posh and a slew of word-of-mouth.

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