The Millions Top Ten: November 2019

December 9, 2019 | 15 books mentioned 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 November.

This Month Last Month Title On List
1. 2. cover Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead 4 months
2. 3. cover The Memory Police 4 months
3. 6. cover The Topeka School 2 months
4. 5. cover Inland
4 months
5. 4. cover Pieces for the Left Hand: Stories 3 months
6. cover Ducks, Newburyport
2 months
7. 9. cover The Nickel Boys 5 months
8. 10. cover The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale 3 months
9. cover The Hotel Neversink 1 month
10. cover The Need 2 months

After six months of smashing success on our list, The Practicing Stoic surely becomes the first philosopher’s resource to grace our Hall of Fame. (Although maybe you could make a case for Marie Kondo’s book, which made it in 2015.) This is the second time author Ward Farnsworth has reached the Hall: in October 2011, he did so with Classical English Rhetoric. Don’t call it a comeback.

Joining Farnsworth in the Hall of Fame are two novels: Halle Butler’s The New Me and Sally Rooney’s Ordinary People. It’s the first appearance for each author.

Filling two of those spaces is a pair of books that had been on our list previously, but fell off between then and now. These ones, you can call comebacks. Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport made the list in September after being shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker Prize. It’s back in sixth position this month. Likewise, Helen Phillips’s The Need returns to our list after taking a two-month hiatus among the “near misses.”

Meanwhile a Millions staffer joins our list as this month’s true newcomer. Adam O’Fallon Price’s novel The Hotel Neversink holds ninth position. Fellow Millions staffer Lydia Kiesling called Price’s book “a gripping, atmospheric, heart-breaking, almost-ghost story,” and added that, “Not since Stephen King’s Overlook has a hotel hiding a secret been brought to such vivid life.”

Next month, after our Year in Reading concludes, we’ll likely see a whole batch of new books on this list. Budget accordingly.

This month’s near misses included: The Golden State, The Water DancerHow to Be an Antiracist, Quichotte: A Novel, and The Dutch House. 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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