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5 Books Trending On Amazon Today (and Why)

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Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

Bestseller lists only tell one part of the story. They’re the old guard of book sales reporting, condensing down a week of sales from many different outlets into one ranking. But that’s not the only way to look at the popular books of the moment. in the digital era, we can see interest in a book rise and fall in real time: ranks can change in a matter of minutes.

One way to look at the books trending this very moment is Amazon’s Movers & Shakers page. It shows the products that have shot up the sales ranking in the last 24 hours, and there’s a dedicated page for books. It’s updated frequently: just in the time since I started writing this post, it’s already changed. Amazon isn’t the whole story of book buying, but it’s definitely a big enough piece of the pie to take seriously.

This is a good way to get a snapshot of the trends in books happening right now. A minor internet celebrity might announce their upcoming book and have it shoot to the #1 spot for an hour and then sink down the chart before it has the chance to make a dent in the bestseller list, for instance. Here are five of the books trending on Amazon today — at least, they were at the time of writing — and why they’re currently enjoying 15 minutes of fame.

Be Ready When the Luck Happens cover

Be Ready When the Luck Happens: A Memoir by Ina Garten

Ina Garten is a Food Network celebrity chef who has published 13 popular cookbooks, but this is her first memoir. It was announced yesterday, which explains why it’s having a moment on the Amazon charts right now, but it won’t be out until October 1st. This title actually holds the top two spots on the Amazon trending page at the moment, for the hardcover and large print paperback — beware: a lot of people are preordering the large print edition thinking it’s a regular paperback! This title has rocketed up 2,994,600% in the sales ranks, going from #209,629 to #7.

How to Stand Up to a Dictator cover

How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future by Maria Ressa

This book by Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa was published in 2022, so it’s surprising to see it trending right now. In How to Stand Up to a Dictator, Ressa discusses corruption in her home country of the Philippines while also warning about threats to democracy around the world right now, especially when it comes to disinformation. Ressa was recently named the Harvard Commencement speaker for 2024, which is the only recent relevant news I can find for why this climbing the charts. It had a 120,171% increase, going from a #220,096 rank to #183.

Somehow: Thoughts on Love cover

Somehow: Thoughts on Love by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is a beloved author, and this is her 20th book! It’s easy to know why it’s popular today: Somehow came out yesterday. Each chapter examines different kinds of love and how it changes our lives: “Love is our only hope. It is not always the easiest choice, but it is always the right one, the noble path, the way home to safety, no matter how bleak the future looks.” It rose 3,160% in sales rank, going from #163 to #5.

Why We Die cover

Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality by Venki Ramakrishnan

Here’s another Nobel Prize-winning author, this time in Chemistry. In this new release, he talks about the biological reasons for mortality — and whether scientific advancement may make it a thing of the past. This came out in March, but it’s continued to get a lot of coverage in scientific publications, and it was also recently recommended on CNN. It’s gone up 2,950% to reach #187 in book sales (it was #5,705).

The Age of Magical Overthinking cover

The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality by Amanda Montell

You might recognize Amanda Montell from her popular podcast and book, Sounds Like a Cult and Cultish. This is her second book, and it just came out yesterday! In The Age of Magical Overthinking, Montell goes over cognitive biases and how our age of overwhelming information has exacerbated them. It rose 466% to go from #822 to #145 in sales rank.

Looking for more trending books? Check out this week’s bestseller list!

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.