Summer Reading Flashback: The 6 Most-Read Books That Readers Enjoyed Last Summer

Adrian Liang on July 09, 2018

Summertime: Three perfect months in which to indulge in whatever you feel like reading. For many that's a high-octane thriller, a sizzling romance, a novel that inspired a buzzy new movie or TV show, or a fiery nonfiction book.

This summer is no exception, with thrillers and romance novels helping some readers relax while a wide range of nonfiction books are bumping up other readers' blood pressure or firing up their motivation to do better. The week of July 1, 2018, for example, shows Jordan B. Peterson's Twelve Rules for Life and Stephen King's The Outsider riding the tops of Aamzon Charts' Most Read lists in fiction and nonfiction.

But how different is this summer's Most Read list than what people were reading last summer? Let's jump in our literary time machine and see which Kindle books and Audible audiobooks were the three Most Read Fiction books for adults and the three Most Read Nonfiction books for adults that customers enjoyed during June, July, and August of 2017, according to Amazon Charts.


HandmaidTale.jpgThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood – Not only was this the Most Read fiction book of the summer of 2017, it was the Most Read book of 2017 in its entirety. After Hulu's April 2017 launch of their TV series based on Margaret Atwood's novel, readers flocked to the book. And even today, July 9, it's still sitting high on Amazon Charts' Most Read list. The 13th and final episode of the TV show's season 2 airs this week.

CaminoIsland.jpgCamino Island by John Grisham – Ever since The Firm became a book blockbuster way back in 1991 and then a film blockbuster in 1993, with Tom Cruise starring, John Grisham has kept up his pledge to readers to deliver surprising thrillers. In Camino Island, a novelist is drawn into a shadowy world of literary theft. Some customers have given Grisham high marks for his storytelling in Camino Island; others dislike the main protagonist. Grisham's next novel, The Reckoning, hits readers' hands in October 2018.

BeneathScarletSky.jpgBeneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan – This May 2017 novel based on a true story of a young man in Italy during World War II grabbed readers' hearts and loyalty, prompting them to write just over 19,000 customer reviews with a rating of 4.8 stars. More than a year after its publication, the book continues to win a spot in readers' hands, as demonstrated by its 57 weeks on Amazon Charts' Most Read list. Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is attached to play the protagonist in the film version of the book.


SubtleArt.jpgThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson – With frank, often profane advice, Manson advocates focusing on what you really want to champion or change instead of the thousands of minor daily worries that wear on you. Good, easy-actionable advice to help readers concentrate on the kernel of what's important instead of being mesmerized by the chaff.

Hillbilly.jpgHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance – Vance's memoir of growing up in Ohio in a family with Appalachian roots laid bare his personal experiences with anger (his), addiction (his mom's), complicated family dynamics (his reliable, sometimes misguided grandparents), and the challenge of breaking patterns that inadvertently keep personal ambitions small among white, lower middle-class Americans. A former Marine and a Yale Law School graduate, Vance's views range wide even as he suggests reasons why the residents of the Rust Belt are among those who feel unease and dismay based on the state of America today.

AlFranken.jpgAl Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken – The only clearly political work among the three Most Read nonfiction books of summer 2017, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate vividly demonstrates how rapidly the cultural climate has shifted in the past 12 months. As the #MeToo movement gained steam in 2017, a picture was released of Franken groping a radio newscaster while she slept. After other women came forth with their stories of being fondled or kissed, Franken retired in disgrace from the Senate in December 2017. Needless to say, demand for the book has since dropped like a rock.

To discover which books customers are reading and buying this week, visit Amazon Charts.

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