This Year in Books 2019

Adrian Liang on December 09, 2019


As the holiday season approaches and we reflect on the past year, Amazon is taking a moment to celebrate the readers and extraordinary books that defined 2019.

And what a year for reading it was! From inspiring memoirs to a wide array of fictional adventures, customers purchased, borrowed, listened to, and read more books than they did last year.

Here are the Most Read, Most Sold, Highly Quotable, All Ears, Most Wished For, Unputdownable, and Most Anticipated books of 2019. Visit the Amazon Charts’ This Year in Books page to see more books that won top honors in these categories.

Most Read Fiction: Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing was one of 2019’s powerhouse reads, dominating the top slots on both the Most Sold and the Most Read fiction lists for much of the year. Named an Amazon Best Book of the Month, Delia Owens’ North Carolina-set novel about a young girl who lives alone in the coastal marshes got an auspicious launch in summer 2018, but its momentum only kept building in 2019. While this debut novel won the top spot in Most Read Fiction, veteran authors John Grisham and Stephen King seized the No. 2 and No. 3 spots with The Guardians and The Institute, respectively.

Most Read Nonfiction: How to Win Friends and Influence People

First published in 1936, this classic work of nonfiction continues to teach readers how to talk and connect with others, building relationships in the business world and beyond. On the heels of this 83-year-old best-seller were Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Mel Robbins’ Take Control of Your Life: How to Silence Fear and Win the Mental Game.

Most Sold Fiction: Where the Crawdads Sing

Starting in January, Delia Owens’ debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, perched at the top spot on both the Most Sold and the Most Read Fiction lists for 16 straight weeks — the longest streak any book has had at the No. 1 spot on both weekly lists. Another debut novel, Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient, came in at No. 2 on the year’s Most Sold Fiction list, while books by seasoned authors J. K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, and Robert Louis Stevenson (!) rounded out the year’s top five.

Most Sold Nonfiction: Becoming

The stirring memoir of former First Lady Michelle Obama readers hit the Amazon Charts list right after readers began to read and listen in November 2018. But this book had enormous staying power, and Becoming dominated the No. 1 spot of both nonfiction lists for 14 straight weeks, making it a close runner-up to Crawdads’ consecutive-week Charts-topping record.

Highly Quotable: Becoming

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?” was one of the most highlighted sentences in Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Becoming inspired Kindle readers to highlight favorite phrases more frequently than in similar books. Unsurprisingly, Becoming also gained the year’s top spot for All Ears: more readers listened the former First Lady tell her story in the Audible edition than read the memoir on Kindle.

Most Wished For: Where the Crawdads Sing

The Amazon Books editors loved this book, Reese Witherspoon loved this book, and customers wanted this book. Thousands of readers put Where the Crawdads Sing on their Wish Lists — at least until they went ahead and bought it.

Unputdownable: Havoc at Prescott High

Kindle and Audible readers finish Unputdownable books faster than similar books. This year the first novel in C.M. Stunich’s Havoc Boys series entranced readers with its vengeance-seeking protagonist who decides to mold a pack of high-school boys to enact her dark wishes.

Most Anticipated: Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls

While perhaps initially known for his hilarious Captain Underpants series that delighted kids and parents alike, Dav Pilkey has won over a slew of new readers with his Dog Man books. Book seven in the series was the most pre-ordered book of the year — a very good sign that reading is still thriving among younger generations.

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