The most-bought books in 2018 span the spectrum from daring debut novels (good luck putting down A.J. Finn’s thriller The Woman in the Window) to undying classics (cough, cough Harry Potter), but there’s a read for just about every taste — and holiday wish-list. Browse the top 10 fiction and nonfiction best-sellers here. Order before December 17 and standard shipping will deliver to your doorstep before Christmas Day.
1. Ready Player One
This year’s Steven Spielberg blockbuster movie catapulted the 2011 sci-fi novel back to the top of the fiction charts. Set in 2045 inside a virtual utopia called OASIS, teen Wade Watts pursues a series of ’80s-themed puzzles in order to unlock massive power and fortune – if he can beat out the thousands of other competitors in search of the same prize.
2. Little Fires Everywhere
This witty and wise novel is about to get the Big Little Lies treatment with Reese Witherspoon (and Kerry Washington!) set to star in a upcoming Hulu limited series. The perfect book-club read explores explores the power of motherhood as a picture-perfect suburban family becomes intertwined with an enigmatic single mom and her teenage daughter that threaten to upend their placid Cleveland suburb.
3. The Woman in the Window: A Novel
Anna Fox is trapped in her New York City home — a victim of her own agoraphobia — but her days spent watching old Hitchcock movies and drinking wine soon feature some ingenious twists of their own when she spies a crime happening in the window of a neighboring townhouse. You’ll want to read this Gillian Flynn-esque thriller before an Amy Adams-led blockbuster hits the silver screen next fall.
4. The President Is Missing: A Novel
Bill Clinton & James Pattersonamazon.com
Who better to write a presidential-themed political thriller than an actual president? Bill Clinton teamed up with prolific author James Patterson to pen this fast-paced (and terrifying) account of espionage, cyber terror, and a threat that endangers all of America.
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
It’s hard to believe the beloved wizarding series just turned 20 (!), but it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the magical world of Hogwarts when a mysterious letter introduces an 11-year-old Harry Potter to wands, spells, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Kindle readers, check out the newly illustrated “in-motion” version that features additional art and animation that presents a childhood classic in a whole new light.
6. The Great Alone: A Novel
When a former POW returns from Vietnam, the traumatized man impulsively decides to move his family to the last frontier: the indomitable Alaska wilderness. His wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, must then come to terms with the danger from both outside their home and within.
7. The Outsider: A Novel
A gruesome crime has Flint City residents pointing fingers at an unmistakable suspect: the town’s beloved Little League coach Terry Maitland. Despite the eyewitnesses, fingerprints, and DNA evidence, Maitland has an alibi. Soon Detective Ralph Anderson uncovers answers even more unsettling than first imagined. Stephen King draws on both intricately plotted crime and supernatural horror for a book that lives up to his strange and riveting tales of years past.
8. Before We Were Yours: A Novel
Based on a notorious real-life scandal, five siblings home alone on their family’s Mississippi river boat on a stormy night in 1939 find themselves wrenched from their surroundings and thrust into cruel orphanage. Despite a promised reunion with their parents, the Foss family discovers a world filled with much more danger and uncertainty than their magical life on the river led on.
9. Crazy Rich Asians
ICYMI, this New York Times-bestselling novel hit the big screen this year in a lavish film, and for the first time in years, a majority Asian-American cast. When NYU professor Rachel Chu agrees to visit her boyfriend’s Singaporean family, the meet-the-parents moment turns into sudden realization that Nick came from a less humble background than he let on. We’re talking private planes, palaces, and the very tricky obstacle course of finding acceptance in the world of old money and high society.
10. The Handmaid’s Tale
Originally published in 1985, this dystopian tale of a male-run totalitarian society feels more relevant than ever — and we’re not just talking about the Hulu series with Elizabeth Moss. With a third season in the works and a new sequel (!) from Margaret Atwood set for release next September, it’s not too late to catch up on this chilling reminder of how fragile the rights we take for granted can be.
1. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Michael Wolff penned Amazon’s best-selling nonfiction book of the year after gaining extraordinary behind-the-scenes access during the first nine months of the new White House administration.
2. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
Founder of TheChicSite.com Rachel Hollis tackles previously held misconceptions that left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, breaking down each falsehood with her trademark humor and direct advice for readers looking for a joy-filled life.
3. Fear: Trump in the White House
You’ll notice a theme here. Political books reigned the charts this year, including this installment on the Trump White House from the famous Watergate reporter.
4. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
Jordan B. Petersonamazon.com
This self-help book from right-wing psychologist Jordan Peterson has held onto a spot in the bestseller lists amidst controversy.
The former First Lady chronicles her most formative experiences — from growing up on the South Side of Chicago to living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — in this deeply personal and inspiring memoir. Read more about M.O., who’s also Good Housekeeping‘s January cover star, in this exclusive interview.
6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Blogger Mark Manson says “screw you” (and other, more profane versions of that) to the typical espousements of positivity in a life-advice book that’s all about embracing the very faults and anxieties we fear the most.
7. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
Another day, another bombshell book about what’s going in D.C. Former FBI Director James Comey opens up about some of the most monumental (and controversial) moments of his career, from prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to overseeing some of the most consequential investigations of the 2016 election.
8. Educated: A Memoir
Growing up in a rural survivalist family, Tara Westover first set foot in classroom at age 17. Her brave — and true — story of how she ultimately obtained a PhD from Cambridge University also earned a top spot as Amazon Editors’ Pick of the Year. “Educated is a rare gem of a memoir,” Amazon Senior Book Editor Chris Schluep said in a statement. “It surprises and inspires, and we want to tell everyone: read this book!”
9. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
“Success coach” Jen Sincero delivers a pep talk on how to imagine the not-yet-reality into the present — conveniently broken up into 27 bitesize chapters for mini doses of motivation.
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Originally published in 1936, this is the oldest entry on the list, but Dale Carnegie’s advice on interpersonal skills ultimately enabled him to win over more than 15 million readers.