Consumer Confidential: Foreclosure rate up, Amazon's best books
--Lawmakers continue to dither over what to do about rising foreclosure rates. Meanwhile, the foreclosure rate has risen again. The rate at which mortgage holders were late with their payments by 60 days or more rose in the June-to-September period for the first time since the last three months of 2009, according to TransUnion. The credit reporting agency said 5.88% of homeowners missed two or more payments, an early sign of possible foreclosure. That was up from 5.82% in the second quarter. The increase surprised TransUnion researchers, who had expected late payments, or delinquencies, to fall for the quarter.
--Talk about a field of dreams: A debut novel, Chad Harbach's "The Art of Fielding," has been chosen Amazon.com's best book of 2011. The online retailer's Top 10 list also features Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs and two of the year's most talked-about works of fiction, Jeffrey Eugenides' "The Marriage Plot" and Haruki Marukami's "1Q84." Amazon's editorial picks include the memoir "What It is Like to Go to War," by Karl Marlantes; and two nonfiction books set during World War II, Erik Larsen's "In the Garden of Beasts" and Michael Zuckoff's "Lost in Shangri-La." Others selected were a second debut novel, Tea Obreht's "The Tiger's Wife"; the literary thriller "Before I Go to Sleep," by S.J. Watson; and a young adult novel, Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone."
-- David Lazarus
Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images