The Millions Top Ten: December 2013

January 4, 2014 | 15 books mentioned 1 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 December.

This
Month
Last
Month
Title On List
1. 6. cover The Goldfinch 3 months
2. 1. cover Selected Stories 3 months
3. 2. cover The Flamethrowers 3 months
4. 5. cover The Luminaries 3 months
5. 3. cover The Pioneer Detectives 6 months
6. 7. cover The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose 3 months
7. cover Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment 1 month
8. 9. cover Bleeding Edge 4 months
9. 10. cover The Lowland 3 months
10. cover The Interestings 4 months

 

To start the new year, we’ve made some minor changes to how we calculate our list. Basically, we’ve added a slight penalty for lower-priced books because we were finding that spikes in sales of cheaper short-format books (e.g. "Kindle Singles") and aggressive promotional pricing of ebooks was skewing the list a bit. The change had no dramatic impact on the December list other than that it knocked George Saunders’s $0.99 short story Fox 8 out of our top 10.

The rest of the big changes were driven by our 2013 Year in Reading. Some books that were already popular with our readers got a lot of love in the series, including Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch which surged into the top spot after three contributors named the book as a favorite read of 2013. Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings was also a popular name in the series, and that helped return the book to the Top Ten after a few months off the list. Rachel Kushner was the runaway favorite in our series for The Flamethrowers, though the book dropped a spot to number three.

Our lone debut is a very unusual title. Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment is a slim collection, the result of several art teachers being asked to contribute the best art assignments they’ve ever heard of. Hannah Gersen included the book in her list of offbeat gifts for writers last month.

Finally, the contentious Taipei by Tao Lin graduates to our Hall of Fame. The book was the subject of a famously negative review here that perhaps not so paradoxically seemed to get a lot of people interested in the book.

Near Misses: The Circle, Night Film, Eleanor & Park, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, and MaddAddam. 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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