Melburnians are sweating. Last week: four days over 40 degrees Celsius. (Blame the Dome Effect.)
New Yorkers are shivering. This week: highs all below freezing. (Blame the Polar Vortex Mark II)
Australians are watching tennis.
New Yorkers are watching football.
But apparently teenagers here and there are all reading the same thing...
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is the best-selling young-adult book in both markets this week.*
This is not unusual. There seems to consistently be more overlap between Australia and the USA on the young-adult bestseller lists than there is on the adult literary or commercial fiction lists. Adults in Australia are reading books by Di Morrissey and Judy Nunn and Christos Tsiolkas (all Australian writers), while adults in the USA are reading Sue Monk Kidd and Donna Tartt and Christine Feehan (all American writers).
Teenagers in both countries are apparently devouring John Green, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth and Cassandra Clare (all American writers).
But can you really tell who is reading books based on their publisher-chosen categories?
The case of Markus Zusak (Australian writer) suggests not. Zusak's The Book Thief is back in the charts after the release of the film. It came in at number 2 on the New York Times young-adult list this week.
In Australia, it's number 1. But it's classified as an adult book here, and tops the adult fiction list.
So who on earth is actually reading it? Well ... clearly everyone. Americans and Australians. Adults and teens.
But I'd wager there are a fair few adults - in both countries - reading John Green too.
It's less than two weeks until I leave for NYC. Hopefully they'll have sorted out the polar vortex business in time for my arrival
*According to The New York Times and Australian Bookscan figures.