Nicholas E. Barron

Reader, writer, hiker

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Category: Reading List

20 Most Popular Books June 2017

The summer reading season is in full swing, according to the Most Popular Books June 2017 list. Beach reads and books made into summer movies make an appearance on the list.Image of an island surrounded by water at sunset underneath the words "20 Most Popular Books June 2017."

For example, “Captain Underpants” is at third on the list. An animated movie, perfect popcorn summer fare, debuted on June 2. And that ultimate summer read, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” rose five spots to number 10.

In other book-to-movie news, “Sword Art Online” shot up nine spots. The English trailer for the next Sword Art movie, “Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale,” was released on May 30.

And two books return to the most popular books list because their movie versions were released on DVD at the end of May: “The Shack” and “Before I Fall.” Movies for both books hit theaters in March. That month, “The Shack” hit number two and “Before I Fall” was third on the most popular books list.

Mostly holding its own is Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods.” The first season of the book’s TV version finished airing in June.

The season finale for “American Gods” is tomorrow, so it’s possible we’ll see the book dropping off the list in June.

And interestingly, “Big Little Lies” returns to the most popular books list. The book’s HBO miniseries finished airing in April. So why did the book make a comeback in June? Perhaps media coverage explains the reappearance.

There was media coverage of Nicole Kidman talking about a filming abuse scenes in the miniseries. Plus, Kidman’s co-star in the miniseries, Alexander Skarsgard talked about the possibility of the show having a second season, as did the show’s writer and executive producer, David E. Kelley.

Looking for summer reading ideas? Check out the most popular books list below.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Based on Google search data for the United States.

1) The Bible
2) Thirteen Reasons Why
3) Captain Underpants ↑3
4) Quran ↑4
5) American Gods ↓1
6) Hamilton ↑6
7) Sword Art Online ↑9
8) 1984 ↑2
9) Romeo and Juliet ↓6
10) Fifty Shades of Grey ↑5
11) The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity NEW
12) The Lord of the Rings ↑8
13) Fifty Shades Darker ↓2
14) The Handmaid’s Tale ↑3
15) The Great Gatsby ↓9
16) Before I Fall NEW
17) Half Girlfriend ↓8
18) To Kill a Mockingbird ↓13
19) The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts NEW
20) Big Little Lies NEW

Image of an island surrounded by water at sunset underneath the words "20 Most Popular Books June 2017."

20 Most Popular Books May 2017

A look at the Most Popular Books May 2017 list shows you deities had a big month. Neil Gaman’s “American Gods” shot up 16 spots and “The Bible” returned to its nearly perennial position atop the list.Image of a cow in a field at sunrise under the words "20 Most Popular Books May 2017".

The first season of “American Gods” the TV show aired on April 30. As we see each month, TV and movies often drive what books appear on the most popular list. No doubt this explains “American Gods” rising to number four on the most popular books list.

The season finale for “American Gods” is tomorrow, so it’s possible we’ll see the book dropping off the list in June.

Another book benefitting from the entertainment industry is “The Circle”. This book rose four spots to number seven, its highest placement yet on the list. A film version of “The Circle” starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks premiered on April 30.

And as expected, “Half Girlfriend” remained in the most popular books list. The Chetan Bhagat novel rose three spots in May. A film based on the book opened May 19 in theaters.

Making its debut on the chart, “The Handmaid’s Tale” appears in the 17th spot. A Hulu show based on the book began airing in late April.

And perhaps out of interest in its 50th anniversary, “The Outsiders” also debuts on the chart this month. The book was first published on April 24, 1967.

Falling off the list is “Big Little Lies”. This is a significant drop after the book was number three on the April chart.

Other books dropping off the most popular books list this month are “The Lost City of Z” and “The Shack”.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Based on Google search data for the United States.

1) The Bible ↑1 Cover of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods".
2) Thirteen Reasons Why ↓1
3) Romeo and Juliet ↑3
4) American Gods ↑16
5) To Kill a Mockingbird ↓1
6) The Great Gatsby ↓1
7) The Circle ↑4 Cover of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies".
8) Quran ↓1
9) Half Girlfriend ↑3
10) 1984 ↓1
11) Fifty Shades Darker ↓1
12) Hamilton ↓4
13) MacBeth ↑1 Cover of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale".
14) Lord of the Flies ↑5
15) Fifty Shades of Grey ↑2
16) Sword Art Online ↓3
17) The Handmaid’s Tale NEW
18) Hamlet ↓3
3) Big Little Lies ↑1
16) The Outsiders NEW
20) The Lord of the Rings NEW

Photo of a cow in a field at sunrise next to the words "20 Most Popular Books May 2017".

20 Most Popular Books April 2017

Big news: The Bible is not first on the Most Popular Books April 2017 list.

Image of tulips under the words "Most Popular Books April 2017".

What book supplanted The Bible at number one? Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why,” which jumped 15 spots on the list. This comes one month after first appearing on the list after the debut of the Netflix show based on the book.

It’s worth noting “Thirteen Reasons Why” is now the third-most sold book on Amazon.com so far this year.

“Big Little Lies” is another book benefitting from TV. The book first appeared on the list in February when the HBO miniseries of the same name debuted. And now “Big Little Lies” is third on the Most Popular Books April 2017 list.

Four books debut on the list: “The Circle,” “Half Girlfriend,” “The Lost City of Z,” and “American Gods”.

Dave Eggers’ “The Circle” joins other dystopian novels “1984” and “Lord of the Flies” on the most popular list. A movie based on “The Circle” and starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks released on April 28.

“Half Girlfriend” is a 2014 young adult novel by Chetan Bhagat that also has a movie version. “Half Girlfriend” the movie is set for release in the U.S. on May 19, making it likely we’ll see the book on next month’s most popular list.

“The Lost City of Z” also debuts on this month’s list because of a movie release. The film version of the book opened on April 21.

Neil Gaman’s “American Gods” makes the list as the Starz show based on the book aired its first episode on April 30. This is the 2001 book’s first appearance on the list. But had Google Trends existed in 2001, it’s likely the popular “American Gods” would have made the list back then.

Other big news on the Most Popular Books April 2017 list is “The Shack’s” drop. The book, which had a movie version released in March, plummeted 16 spots. It’s possible this is the last time we’ll see the book on the most popular list.

Five books fall off the list from last month: “Before I Fall,” “Frankenstein,” “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Girl on the Train,” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“. “Before I Fall” debuted at number three in March, so the book dropped significantly in searches to not make the list in April. The other four books comprised the bottom of the Most Popular Books March 2017 list.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Based on Google search data for the United States.

1) Thirteen Reasons Why ↑15
2) The Bible ↓1
3) Big Little Lies ↑1
4) To Kill a Mockingbird ↑3
5) The Great Gatsby ↑1
6) Romeo and Juliet ↑2
7) Quran ↑3
8) Hamilton ↑1
9) 1984 ↑3
10) Fifty Shades Darker ↓5
11) The Circle NEW
12) Half Girlfriend NEW
13) Sword Art Online ↓2
14) MacBeth
15) Hamlet
16) The Lost City of Z NEW
17) Fifty Shades of Grey ↓4
18) The Shack ↓16
19) Lord of the Flies ↓2
20) American Gods NEW

 

17 best baseball books for fans of America’s favorite pastime

What are the best baseball books? Getting any two baseball fans to agree on the best books about baseball may be as difficult as bringing Yankees and Red Sox fans together. After all, a sport as old and storied as baseball has a seemingly unlimited number of books written about it.Photo of a man watching a baseball game inside a stadium with the words "17 Best Baseball Books" to the right of the photo.

There are books that celebrate baseball. There are books that are critical of baseball. And there are books giving a deserved look at baseball’s long struggle with race.

Baseball is, to many of us, nostalgia as much as it’s a sport. Baseball is hot summer afternoons with no foreboding of school tomorrow. It’s hearing the crack of a bat through the car radio, of staying up to watch Baseball Tonight long after mom and dad have gone to bed. Baseball is yesterday, and yesterday looks better and better to us the further removed from it that we become.

Maybe that’s why we love to read baseball books. They help us indulge in a nostalgic pastime in an adult way, by reading a book.

Below is a list of the best baseball books. This list is based on extensive online research. The books included in the list of 17 below were ranked high on websites such as Goodreads and repeatedly showed up in other best baseball book lists. The list is in no particular order.

What’s your favorite baseball book? Tell us in the comments.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

17 of the Best Baseball Books

17) The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
16) Ball Four by Jim Bouton
15) Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year by Jimmy Breslin
14) Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy by Jules Tygiel
13) The Pitch That Killed: The Story of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman, and the Pennant Race of 1920 by Mike Sowell
11) Veeck–As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck by Bill Veeck
12) Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
10) Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams by Robert Peterson
9) The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S. Ritter
8) Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell
7) The Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball by John Helyar
6) The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz
5) Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy
4) Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert Creamer
3) Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Cramer
2) The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski
1) Wait Till Next Year – A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Baseball Books Bonus Round

There are many great baseball books. Here are two that popped up in some of my research, just not enough to warrant being included above.

 

20 Most Popular Books March 2017

Look at the Most Popular Books March 2017 list and you’ll see it doesn’t take a blockbuster movie to boost a book’s popularity.The words "Most Popular Books March 2017" over an image of green grass.

A movie based on “The Shack,” the 2007 novel by William P. Young, was released in early March. The book appeared on Google’s 20 most popular books in February 2017 list.

And even though the movie isn’t well-received by some, the book catapulted to second on the Most Popular Books March 2017 list. Not bad for a movie with a 20-percent Rotten Tomatoes ranking.

Before I Fall” is another book benefiting from a movie release. The book debuts at number three on the Most Popular Books list. Its movie version opened March 3.

As TV has become increasingly popular, the medium is also pushing books. For example, “Big Little Lies” jumps eight spots this month after debuting on the February Most Popular Books list. The book-turned-miniseries ran on HBO from Feb. 19-April 2.Book cover of "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher. The book is number 16 on the Most Popular Books March 2017 list.

Speaking of books-on-TV, “Thirteen Reasons Why” appears on the most-searched for books list for the first time. The book is now a Netflix series which was released on March 31.

The third and final debut on the most popular books list is “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” An updated version of the book was released on March 14. Plus, the book’s movie version was released on DVD and streaming last month.

The big drops on the Most Popular Books March 2017 list come from “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Girl on the Train.” The latter dropped eight spots on the list, its second consecutive eight-spot drop. Will the book find a way to stay on the Most Popular Books list? We’ll find out next month.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Based on Google search data for the United States.

1) The Bible Book cover for "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver.
2) The Shack ↑18
3) Before I Fall NEW
4) Big Little Lies ↑8
5) Fifty Shades Darker ↓3
6) The Great Gatsby ↓1
7) To Kill a Mockingbird ↓1 Book cover for "Hamilton: The Revolution."
8) Romeo and Juliet
9) Hamilton
10) Quran ↓3
11) Sword Art Online ↑2
12) 1984 ↓2
13) Fifty Shades of Grey ↓10 Book cover of "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher.
14) MacBeth ↓3
15) Hamlet ↓1
16) Thirteen Reasons Why NEW
17) Lord of the Flies ↑2
15) The Girl on the Train ↓8
18) Frankenstein ↓2 Book cover of "Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling.
19) The Fellowship of the Ring ↓1
20) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them NEW

 

New additions to the books to read in 2017 list

At first, my books to read in 2017 list wasn’t for you. It was for me. But of course, a reading list is a great way to discover your next book."38 Books to Read in 2017" written above 38 book icons.

After all, we glom over Stephen King’s reading list. A popular book blog regularly publishes reading lists. Another blog, Brain Pickings, highlights notable folks’ reading recommendations. And many author interviews have the interviewer asking the writer, “What are you reading now?”

Seems like finding out what books others are reading may be the easiest, most effective way to decide what we should read. So it makes sense we readers love reading lists. And it makes sense that my 2017 reading list isn’t a list just for me. It’s a list for you as well.

As you may know, the first version of my 2017 reading list included 34 books. But I’ll read more than 34 books this year. You probably will, too. You see, the plan was always to add books to the list.

Maybe a new book gets released or I find a book I previously didn’t know about. Plus, an author or publisher may ask me to review their book. So I need to leave room on my annual reading list for additions.

Well, we’re three months into 2017. It’s now time to make some additions to my books to read in 2017 list.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Updates to the Books to Read in 2017 List

There are four books I’m adding to my 2017 reading list. Each book is listed below with a short explanation of why I’m adding it to my 2017 reading list.Book cover of "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

  • “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • President’s Day weekend I watched a friend tear through “Americanah,” and listened to her praise the book. Then the book was chosen for the “One Book, One New York” campaign. OK, Universe, I will read “Americanah.”
  • “Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis
    • There’s a litany of previously published books I’ve never heard about, much less read. That’s why I have a lot of catching up to do. Then on Lewis’s birthday, The Writer’s Almanac highlighted “Main Street.” Being from the rural Midwest and someone who’s writing often reflects that background, I decided to give the book a shot. Here’s my review of “Main Street.”
  • “The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer
    • Here’s another book added to my reading list through the “playing catch-up” rule. Since I’ve never read Norman Mailer, I figure I should change that this year.
  • “Fatima’s Room” by Charlotte S. Gray
    • Arc Light Books will publish “Fatima’s Room.” It’s based on the diaries of a young Sudanese woman. I’m reading it now and will publish a review once I’m finished.

These additions bring my list of books to read in 2017 to 38. But there’s still room for more. After June, I’ll give you another update letting you know what books I’ve added to the list.

What books have you added to your annual reading list?

"38 Books to Read in 2017" written above 38 book icons.

 

20 Most Popular Books in February 2017

What were the most popular books in February 2017? Below are the 20 books searched for the most on Google in the United States last month.Image of snow behind the words "20 Most Popular Books in February 2017."

Movies based on three of the most popular books were released in February. These books are “Fifty Shades Darker,” “The Space Between Us,” and “The Shack.” And a movie based on a fourth book, Sword Art Online, was released March 1.

TV shows based on two of the most popular books drove those titles to the top of the most-searched list.

Big Little Lies” debuts on the top 20 list after its TV version premiered on HBO last month. And “The Magicians” appears again, although the title did slip six points. The book’s TV version’s season two premiered Jan. 25, 2017.

Update: The list of most popular books for March 2017 is now available.

The biggest gainers on the list were “The Great Gatsby” and “Romeo and Juliet.” The latter, a story of two tragic lovers, may have benefitted from Valentine’s Day. Could the holiday also explain Gatsby’s rise?

Discover the 20 most popular books in February. Click To Tweet

The month’s largest drop comes from “The Girl on the Train.” The book slipped eight spots. This ends the book’s four-month run in the top 10, a sequence which began with the novel’s movie release in October.

A well-covered literary trend during the Trump Presidency has been the resurgence of dystopian novels. Two such works, “1984” and “Lord of the Flies,” made the most popular books list last month.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

Most Searched Books February 2017

For the United States, according to Google

1) The Bible
2) Fifty Shades Darker ↑1
3) Fifty Shades of Grey ↑2
4) The Space Between Us NEW
5) The Great Gatsby ↑7
6) To Kill a Mockingbird ↑4
7) Quran ↑1
8) Romeo and Juliet ↑7
9) Hamilton ↓3
10) 1984 ↓1
11) MacBeth ↑6
12) Big Little Lies NEW
13) Sword Art Online ↑6
14) Hamlet ↑4
15) The Girl on the Train ↓8
16) Frankenstein NEW
17) The Magicians ↓6
18) The Lord of the Rings NEW
19) Lord of the Flies NEW
20) The Shack NEW

20 famous Irish authors and some of their biggest books

With St. Patrick’s Day coming, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of famous Irish authors. You’ll find the list below.Photo of Ireland's coastline below the words "20+ Famous Irish authors & some of their biggest books."

I intend to use this list of Irish authors as a resource. It’s important for my reading practice to include a diversity of authors and works. That’s why, for example, my 2017 reading list includes a section for African literature.

The list below will help me include Irish authors in my reading.

For this list, I defined Irish authors as being born in Ireland or citizens of Ireland. The authors are listed in alphabetical order by their first name.

Check out this list of 20+ famous Irish authors. Happy #StPatricksDay! Click To Tweet

Did I miss an Irish author who should be in this list? Or is there a book you would add under an author’s name? Tell me in the comments.

Famous Irish authors

Book cover of Irish author W. B. Yeats's "Collected Poems."

Bonus Irish authors

There are too many notable Irish authors to stop at 20. Below are four more Irish writers worth mentioning. They’re listed in alphabetical order.Book cover of Irish author Colum McCann's "Let the Great World Spin."

Check out this list of 20+ famous Irish authors. Happy #StPatricksDay! Click To Tweet

2017 reading list: Time to have an accomplished year

Update: Four books have been added to the 2017 reading list. Find out what it’s included in the 38 books to read in 2017 list.

Tis the season for new endeavors and an annual reading list fits the bill. Below is my 2017 reading list.

Maybe you’ve always kept a yearly list of books you want to read. This is a first for me. Now that I’ve become more practiced about my reading, there are books I want to be sure and read.

A reading list helps. And it prevents me from forgetting a book I come across.

The 2017 reading list is organized into categories. As the reading list organization is for my purposes, you won’t find these categories in a library or on Amazon. (See “Oldies but goodies”).

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The year I got serious about reading

There were classics and there were new books. There were two weeks in China in which books about China accompanied me. There were authors newly discovered and previously read authors revisited. More than anything, 2016 was the year in which I rededicated myself to reading.

Halfway through 2016, I realized my folly. Actually, Stephen King helped me realize it.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” King wrote in On Writing.

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