The Millions Top 10

The Millions Top Ten: July 2013

By posted at 6:00 am on August 5, 2013 3

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. 3. cover Taipei 2 months
2. 4. cover Stand on Zanzibar 5 months
3. 5. cover The Middlesteins 5 months
4. 7. cover The Orphan Master’s Son 3 months
5. 8. cover Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk 5 months
6. - cover The Interestings 1 month
7. 9. cover Vampires in the Lemon Grove 4 months
8. - cover Visitation Street 1 month
9. - cover The Pioneer Detectives 1 month
10. - cover Fox 8 1 month

 

Big changes on our list this month as four titles graduate to our illustrious Hall of Fame. Let’s run through new Hall of Famers quickly:

Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever: As many of our readers are already aware, staff writer Mark O’Connell’s shorter-format ebook was The Millions’ first foray into ebook publishing. We have been thrilled by the great reader response. And, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, why not mark its graduation to the Hall of Fame by checking out this special, little book (for only $1.99!)

Tenth of December: 2013 opened with the book world agog over George Saunders’ newest collection. He famously graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine under the banner “Greatest Human Ever in the History of Ever” (or something like that) and the book figured very prominently in our first-half preview. Unsurprisingly, all the hype helped drive a lot of sales. It also led our own Elizabeth Minkel to reflect on Saunders and the question of greatness in a thoughtful essay.

Building Stories: Chris Ware has reached the point in his career (legions of fans, museum shows) where he can do whatever he wants. And what he wanted to do was produce a “book” the likes of which we hadn’t seen before, a box of scattered narratives to be delved into any which way the reader wanted, all shot through with Ware’s signature style and melancholy. Ware appeared in our Year in Reading last year with an unlikely selection. Mark O’Connell called Building Stories “a rare gift.”

Arcadia: Lauren Groff is another Millions favorite, though it took a bit longer for her book, first released in March 2012, to make our list. Our own Edan Lepucki interviewed Groff soon after the book’s release, and Groff later participated in our Year in Reading, discussing her “year of savage, brilliant, and vastly underrated female writers.”

That leaves room, then, for four debuts on this month’s list:

The Interestings: Though Meg Wolitzer is already a well-known, bestselling author, her big novel seems to be on the slow burn trajectory to breakout status, with the word-of-mouth wave (at least in the part of the world that I frequent), building month by month. That word of mouth was perhaps helped along the way by Edan Lepucki’s rollicking review, in which, among other things, she posited what it means for a “big literary book” to be written by someone other than a “big literary man.”

Visitation Street: Ivy Pochoda’s new thriller featured prominently in our latest preview and carries the imprimatur of Dennis Lehane. That seems to have been enough to land the book on our list.

The Pioneer Detectives: As one Millions Original graduates from our list, another arrives. The Pioneer Detectives, which debuted in the second half of July, is an ambitious work of page-turning reportage, the kind of journalism we all crave but that can often be hard to find. Filled with brilliant insights into how scientific discoveries are made and expertly edited by our own Garth Hallberg, The Pioneer Detectives is a bargain at $2.99. We hope you’ll pick it up.

Fox 8: And as one George Saunders work graduates from our list, another arrives. This one is an uncollected story, sold as an e-single.

Meanwhile, Tao Lin’s Taipei easily slides into our top spot. For more on the book’s unlikely success in our Top Ten, don’t miss my commentary for last month’s list.

Near Misses: They Don’t Dance Much, Speedboat, My Struggle: Book 1, The Flamethrowers and Life After Life. See Also: Last month’s list.





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3 Responses to “The Millions Top Ten: July 2013”

  1. Brendan
    at 11:03 pm on August 5, 2013

    Just like Lydia said: we’re fucked.

  2. Peter
    at 11:25 pm on August 6, 2013

    The only thing interesting about Tao Lin is that his name rhymes with shaolin and that’s not even interesting – it’s just stupid.

  3. sc
    at 2:08 am on August 11, 2013

    Actually love Taipei and that’s not me alone so i wouldn’t call myself ‘fucked’ yet. To each their own okay?

    That seems to be the main problem the internet has been promulgating. The ‘My View Is the Only Correct View’ culture instead of open objective debate and discussion on the issue at hand where we can agree to disagree.

    also, why is The Middlesteins’ cover on the Hall of Fame when its still on the Monthly List? Shouldn’t that cover be Building Stories?

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