The Millions Top 10

The Millions Top Ten: October 2013

By posted at 6:00 am on November 12, 2013 3

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 October.

Title On List
1. cover Selected Stories 1 month
2. cover The Flamethrowers 1 month
3. 1. cover The Pioneer Detectives 4 months
4. 2. cover Taipei 5 months
5. cover The Luminaries 1 month
6. cover The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose 1 month
7. 3. cover Fox 8 4 months
8. cover The Goldfinch 1 month
9. 5. cover Bleeding Edge 2 months
10. 4. cover The Orphan Master’s Son 6 months


In October, we were in the thick of book prize season, and the announcements sent readers running to new books, resulting in a big shake-up on our list, led by new Nobel Laureate Alice Munro. Within minutes of the announcement, readers were finding our “Beginner’s Guide to Alice Munro“, penned by Ben Dolnick, author of Shelf-Love, an ebook original about Munro. Dolnick called Munro’s Selected Stories “the Munro book to read if you’re only willing to read one” and he singled out The Beggar Maid as “the Munro book to read if you’re only willing to read one but don’t like the idea of reading a literary greatest hits album.” Many readers took his advice and the former landed atop our list, while the latter ended up in the sixth spot.

Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers continued to win fans (here at The Millions, for example; we also interviewed her), but it was the book’s landing on the National Book Award shortlist that rocketed it to the second spot on our list.

There was also the Booker Prize. Fresh off a rave review here at The Millions, Eleanor Catton took home the Booker, and her big novel landed at #5 on our list.

And the last of our several debuts is Donna Tartt’s long-awaited The Goldfinch. No surprise there.

All these new books bumped five names from our list, collected here as this month’s Near Misses: Night Film, The Lowland, The Interestings, Visitation Street and MaddAddam. See Also: Last month’s list.

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3 Responses to “The Millions Top Ten: October 2013”

  1. Charles Finch
    at 5:45 pm on November 13, 2013

    I just read Telex from Cuba, and liked it well enough – but curious if anyone thinks The Flamethrowers is enough of a step up to be required reading.

  2. Neil Griffin
    at 1:31 pm on November 14, 2013

    Didn’t read Telex from Cuba, but I definitely think Flamethrowers, though imperfect in some ways, is worth reading. She does some really interesting things with this book and I still think about it occasionally, even though it’s been months.

  3. Charles Finch
    at 11:09 am on November 15, 2013

    Thinking about it months later sounds like a pretty strong endorsement to me – think I’ll probably pick it up.

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