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 July.
|This Month||Last Month||Title||On List|
|1.||1.||Lincoln in the Bardo||6 months|
|2.||2.||A Separation||6 months|
|3.||3.||Ill Will||4 months|
|4.||4.||Men Without Women: Stories||3 months|
|5.||5.||American War||4 months|
|6.||6.||Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living||6 months|
|7.||–||Exit West||1 month|
|8.||–||What We Lose||1 month|
|9.||8.||The Nix||2 months|
|10.||–||The Idiot||1 month|
Otessa Moshfegh learned Icarus’s lesson this month. A few weeks ago, she boasted not one but two titles on our Top Ten list – a feat that had never before been accomplished. But come July? Nada. How quickly things change. One month, you’re 1/5 of our list; the next month, one of your books has graduated to our Hall of Fame and another has dropped out of the running entirely.
Meanwhile, much of this month’s list remains unchanged. The books in the first six positions didn’t budge. Instead, three newcomers entered our ranks in the seventh, eighth, and tenth slots.
Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West is one of those new books. “Tracing the fissures in human community and global space, and reflecting on the possibility of their transcendence,” wrote Eli Jelly-Schapiro in his review for our site, the book “maps the divides that structure the current global order.”
Next, in seventh position, we welcome What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons. In our recently published Great Second-Half 2017 Book Preview, our own Claire Cameron observed that “the buzz around this debut is more like a roar,” and based on the book’s immediate ascendance onto our list, that seems accurate.
Finally, Elif Batuman’s The Idiot fills tenth position in this month’s list. To that development, Millions staffers would likely say: about time. Having earned not one, but two full-length reviews for our site, The Idiot has been lauded for the way its “layered truths and fictions…compounded so that everything in the novel became true and real in a deep, shining way that cannot be achieved through essays.” (It’s also been examined in the context of sexual power dynamics.)
Next month, we can expect to see at least three openings on our Top Ten, and likely considerably more as the long tail of the Book Preview does its job.