The Millions Top Ten: August 2009

September 2, 2009 | 12 books mentioned 2 min read

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for August.

This
Month
Last
Month
Title On List
1. cover Inherent Vice 1 month
2. 5. cover Zeitoun 2 months
3. 4. cover The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker 6 months
4. 2. cover Infinite Jest 6 months
5. 6. cover Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste 6 months
6. (tie) 7. cover The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 6 months
6. (tie) cover The Skating Rink 1 month
8. 8. cover The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2 months
9. 10. cover Netherland 2 months
10. 9. cover Felonious Jazz 3 months

Thomas Pynchon staged an impressive debut in August, hitting number one in The Millions Top Ten as Inherent Vice hit shelves. Garth, our resident Pynchon expert, shared his thoughts on the post-modern detective story just this week. Also debuting on our list in August is yet another title from Roberto Bolaño. Out of the gate, The Skating Rink is looking less like a footnote in Bolaño’s prolific career and more like another Bolaño masterpiece, receiving impressive notices from the likes of Wyatt Mason in The New York Times (a “short, exquisite novel“) and Scott Esposito in The Quarterly Conversation (“well worth your time“). The book was also on our most recent “Most Anticipated Books” list.

covercoverGraduating to our Hall of Fame (after being on our list for 6+ months) are two books that have been surprise Millions favorites. Kitty Burns Florey’s Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences was the jumping off point for a grammar rodeo that Garth put on analyzing a snippet of a speech by President Obama. The upshot? A Venn diagram of Millions readers and grammar lovers would show quite a lot of overlap, I now suspect. Also newly honored in our Hall of Fame is prizewinner Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, which inspired Edan to pen her much discussed “Mom Book” essay.

Other notable action: Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun, recently reviewed around here and generally getting outstanding notices, shot to the number two spot in its second month on the list.

Next month should be quite interesting as we’re poised to have four titles join the Hall of Fame, freeing up room for lots of newcomers.

See Also: Last month’s list.

created and edits The Millions. He is co-editor of the collection of essays The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, called "funny, poignant, relentlessly thought-provoking" by The Atlantic. He and his family live in New Jersey. If you'd like to correspond, please don't hesitate to email.

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