The Millions Top Ten: October 2020

November 9, 2020 | 2 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 October.

This Month Last Month Title On List
1. 1. cover Tell It Slant 6 months
2. 4. cover Utopia Avenue 4 months
3. 6. cover The Vanishing Half 3 months
4. 3. cover Sharks in the Time of Saviors
5 months
5. 2. cover Death in Her Hands 5 months
6. cover The Silence
1 month
7. cover Cuyahoga 1 month
8. 5. cover All My Mother’s Lovers 4 months
9. cover What Are You Going Through 1 month
10. 7. cover 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love 2 months

Three books dropped out of the rankings this month, opening slots for three newcomers. A hearty Millions welcome is owed to Don DeLillo’s The Silence, Pete Beatty’s Cuyahoga, and Sigrid Nunez’s What Are You Going Througheach of which was featured in our Great Second-Half Book Preview—coming in at the sixth, seventh, and ninth spots, respectively, on this month’s list.

DeLillo and Nunez are no strangers to this list, of course. Both Zero K (2016) and The Friend (2019) are in our site’s Hall of Fame.

In a recent piece for our site, in which Nick Ripatrazone sketched out DeLillo’s “liturgy of language,” he described the novel as “an overcast book—a night book,” and he classified the author as “the laureate of [an] unsettling truth”: “[that] the end will take us all by surprise, but that there will be an end is not surprising.” I’m thinking of that line a lot as I write this, on the fourth day of presidential vote counting.

Elsewhere on the list some titles swapped places: Utopia Avenue rose, Death in Her Hands dropped. But these moves are minor. The bigger moves are yet to come.

This month’s near misses included: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and Sisters. 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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