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.
|This Month||Last Month||Title||On List|
|1.||1.||The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual||5 months|
|2.||2.||Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead||2 months|
|3.||6.||Pieces for the Left Hand: Stories||2 months|
|4.||10.||The Memory Police
|5.||3.||Normal People||5 months|
|7.||4.||The New Me||5 months|
|8.||5.||The Nickel Boys||3 months|
|9.||–||The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale||1 month|
|10.||–||Ducks, Newburyport||1 month|
Meteoric rises for J. Robert Lennon and Yoko Ogawa propelled Pieces for the Left Hand and The Memory Police into the upper-half of this month’s Top Ten. In two months’ time, the books rose three and six rungs on the list, respectively. Still their ascent may not be over: Ogawa’s novel was shortlisted for the National Book Award in Translated Literature this week.
Of course, fast risers unsettle past mainstays. This month, Normal People, The New Me, and The Nickel Boys dropped several slots; two titles dropped out and were replaced by newcomers. While we root for Sally Rooney, Halle Butler, and Colson Whitehead to stay on our list, we also recognize that change is our Top Ten’s one constant. Welcome, welcome, then to Margaret Atwood and Lucy Ellmann, whose novels The Testaments and Ducks, Newburyport check in at ninth and tenth on this month’s list. Both were shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker Prize, as we noted last month.
In her write-up of The Testaments for our Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview, our own Claire Cameron noted that this long-awaited follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale was influenced by two things: “First, all the questions [Atwood’s] been asked by readers about Gilead and, second, she adds ominously, ‘the world we’ve been living in.'”
Tune in next month for another installment of As the Top Ten Turns.