The Millions Top Ten: September 2014

October 9, 2014 | 10 books mentioned 2 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 September.

Title On List
1. cover The Bone Clocks 1 month
2. 1. cover A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World 5 months
3. 9. cover We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 3 months
4. 2. cover Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage 2 months
5. 7. cover Cosmicomics
2 months
6. 4. cover The Round House 3 months
7. 5. cover Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines
6 months
8. 10. cover My Struggle: Book 1
3 months
9. 8. cover Reading Like a Writer 3 months
10. 6. cover The Son 6 months


Welcome to the party, David Mitchell! Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say, “Welcome back to the party.” Mitchell’s no stranger to our Top Ten, you see. Back in May, I observed that Mitchell is part of an elite group of eight authors who have reached our Hall of Fame on two separate occasions. Will this be number three? Every indication so far tells me that, yes, The Bone Clocks will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors — Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet — straight to the Millions record books. (No author has made it to our Hall of Fame for three separate books.)

Why, exactly, is The Bone Clocks so individually appealing, though? Well, as Brian Ted Jones put it in his review for our site, the book serves as a pivot point in Mitchell’s canon:

The Bone Clocks marks such a change of attitude in Mitchell, a turn toward something grimmer. He’s always been drawn to elements of darkness, of course. Predacity — the animal way humans have of making prey out of each other — has been his primary theme throughout the five novels that came before this. And those novels, to be sure, are all full of monsters.

In The Bone Clocks, though, Mitchell explores a new theme:  regret.

And, aside from what’s different, the book also displays some of Mitchell’s best writing to date. As Jones explains:

There is a moment in the very last pages — you will definitely know it when you get there — where Mitchell reaches right into your chest, puts his fingers on your heart, and presses down. The kind of moment you would choose to live inside for all eternity, if you had to pick just one.

I predict we’ll be seeing Mitchell’s name atop our Top Ten for many months to come.

Meanwhile, with the addition of one work comes the graduation of another. At long last, Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins has ascended to our Hall of Fame. Walter’s novel represents the first addition to our Hall of Fame since last June.

Near Misses: The Children Act, To Rise Again at a Decent HourAmericanah, 10:04, and The Secret PlaceSee Also: Last month’s list.

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.


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