The Millions Top Ten: October 2019

November 7, 2019 | 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 October.

This Month Last Month Title On List
1. 1. cover The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual 6 months
2. 2. cover Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead 3 months
3. 4. cover The Memory Police 3 months
4. 3. cover Pieces for the Left Hand: Stories
3 months
5. 6. cover Inland
3 months
6. cover The Topeka School
1 month
7. 7. cover The New Me 6 months
8. 5. cover Normal People 6 months
9. 8. cover The Nickel Boys 4 months
10. 9. cover The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale 2 months

This month Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, which appeared on our list amidst a dark horse run toward the Man Booker Prize, is replaced on our list by Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School, which will doubtless make some prize runs of its own. As Hannah Gersen noted in her capsule for our Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview, “The pre-pub blurbs for Lerner’s third novel are ecstatic, with his publisher calling it a breakthrough and Claudia Rankine describing it as ‘a powerful allegory of our troubled present.'” Clearly, many Millions readers are tantalized.

Elsewhere on our list, titles jockeyed for slight changes in position. Margaret Atwood’s Booker-winning novel The Testaments, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, slid to 10th. September’s eighth book moved to ninth. The third swapped places with the fourth. You get the picture. Next month, three slots will open as three books are bound for our Hall of Fame. Any guesses on what will fill their places? Keep in mind: Year in Reading is around the corner. Start budgeting now.

This month’s near misses included: The Golden State, The Lightest Object in the Universe, The Hotel Neversink, and How to Be an Antiracist. See 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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