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5 Most Popular Books of the Month: November 2015

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Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

We love to geek out with stats, and what could be better than using them to see which books Book Riot readers were most interested in? Below are the five most-purchased titles from the previous month.


1. The Outlander Coloring Book by Diana Gabaldon, also from Bantam, is newly-released and is, naturally, based on the books and the Starz television series. I shan’t pass up coloring these characters. Not to mention the richness of the Scottish Highlands. –Andi Miller, Grown-Up Coloring Books Based on Novels




we have always lived in the castle2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Like Shirley Jackson’s not gonna be on this list. Jackson is the master of making you feel like something-is-wrong-I-just-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it. –Alice Burton, 13 Books to Read if You Loved Crimson Peak







Jonathan-Strange-Mr-Norrell-Susanna-Clarke3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Neil says that Susanna Clarke’s wonderful novel is “the finest work of English fantasy written in the past 70 years.” It’s about magic in Victorian England, not a flashy kind of magic, but a kind of magic that you have to study for years, and only use responsibly and never in polite company.

It has fairies in it, as well, and not the cute ones with glitter and wings but the accidentally mean ones that whisk people off to fairyland. The gray, grim fairyland from which there is no escape. –Johann Thorsson, 5 Gifts You Can Give Neil Gaiman on His Birthday



rap-year-book-cover-024. The Rap Year Book by Shea Serrano

None of this happened because The Rap Year Book got a bunch of great pre-release press or because of a marketing blitz from the publisher. As best I can tell, it happened almost entirely because of Serrano himself. Few writers have developed the kind of fan connection on social media that he has, and I don’t just mean that he has a lot of followers or that those followers like him a lot. He does (43.1K Twitter followers as of this writing), and they do, but the secret ingredient, the thing that caused thousands of people to buy out The Rap Year Book at three of the largest book retailers in the world and force the publisher to print more copies, is the level to which Serrano has involved his followers in the story of his own burgeoning success as a writer. –Josh Corman, The Rap Year Book and Twitter’s Best-Seller Magic

fates and furies5. Fates and Furies by  Lauren Groff

I’m a sucker for a domestic drama and any novel that promises a big “twist” and/or an interesting structure. But at first I was a little hesitant to read Fates and Furies because I had an allergic reaction to the main characters’ names. Lotto and Mathilde? Really? It just felt very…precious. But the consistent recommendations by people whose taste I trust (not to mention the reviews and award nominations) won out, and I’m glad they did! Groff’s prose is impeccable and I’m highlighting line after line as I go. Despite their flaws (and their icky names) Lotto and Mathilde develop as rich, fascinating, and very real characters whose lives you grow to care about even as they behave badly. What impressed me most about the novel was the way Groff grew the characters over decades, with just the right amount of shading to each period of their lives to draw you forward years in the space of a few pages, but not make you feel as though you missed anything. It’s a fluid, engaging story with heft and resonance, and absolutely deserving of all the praise that’s been heaped upon it. I loved it! — Sarah Knight, Best Books We Read in October