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You can tell a lot about a person from their purchasing tendencies online: their interests, their hobbies, their plans, their concerns. Depending on what a person buys, you might assume they are preparing to have a child, or getting ready for a trip abroad, or looking to start a new exercise regime.
Thankfully, no one is snooping around your online receipts (that would be seriously creepy), but the same logic can be expanded to encompass the national psyche when analyzing the list of best-selling books on Amazon.
Below, we're taking a look at the 20 books that have sold more copies on Amazon than any other so far this calendar year.
If you read between the lines, you can catch some interesting glimpses of collective humanity hidden within the list. Some of us are getting ready to educate a newborn, others are preparing to send their child off to college. Some are looking to improve their eating habits, others are looking to improve their outlook, and others still are just looking to calm down a bit. And of course, all of us love Harry Potter.
Take a look through a see what you can glean about humanity, and maybe pick yourself up a book for some summer reading.
1. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by Jack Thorne
An extension of the Potterverse of J.K. Rowling that entrenched readers across the world over the course of Harry Potter's seven years at Hogwarts, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the first official member of the series to be presented on stage. Fans who can't wait to see the play have shot the show's script to the top of the Amazon best-sellers list in 2016.
2. “StrengthsFinder 2.0” by Tom Rath
Gallup published this print version of its successful online assessment meant to help readers uncover their talents. The book is filled with strategies on applying your strengths to your everyday life and changing the way you look at yourself for the better.
3. “Oh, The Places You'll Go!” by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss' classic is always a popular gift in graduation season. Through his colorful rhymes and whimsical drawings, Seuss takes readers through the inevitable ups, downs, and beauty of life.
4. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
Many of us live in clutter. This #1 NYT Best Seller comes from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo, instructing readers on how to simplify and organize their homes.
5. “First 100 Words” by Roger Priddy
This collection of 100 words and pictures is meant to help introduce your newly made human to the English language. With sturdy pages and a soft cover, it's perfect for your little one to spend some time learning with.
6. “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
Paul Kalanithi offers readers a first-hand account of his transition from training as a neurosurgeon to being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Through his memoir, Kalanithi wrestles with some of the eternal questions of humanity: What makes life worth living in the face of death? How do you cope with your own demise as it happens in real time?
7. “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman
Another NYT Best Seller, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love should help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner.
8. “The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
From the description: “The Whole30 provides the step-by-step, recipe-by-recipe guidebook that will allow millions of people to experience the transformation of their entire life in just one month.”
9. “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
One of the best-selling self-help books ever published, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” gives readers a glimpse of how to use other people's egotistical tendencies to their advantage. For anyone looking to climb the corporate ladder, give this one a place on your bookshelf next to “The Art of War.”
10. “Adult Coloring Books: A Coloring Book for Adults Featuring Mandalas and Henna Inspired Flowers, Animals, and Paisley Patterns”
Full disclosure: I'm pretty sure my Mom owns this book. The adult coloring revival is real and it is here. It's a form of simple meditation that helps to calm the mind.
11. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck
“Mindset” examines what makes people successful through the lenses of parenting, business, and more. Written by world-renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, the book argues, among other things, that “praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success.”
12. “Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat” by Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen is an American model, was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2014, and now co-hosts “Lip Sync Battle” with LL Cool J. Now she has a cookbook.
From the description: “Maybe she’s on a photo shoot in Zanzibar. Maybe she’s making people laugh on TV. But all Chrissy Teigen really wants to do is talk about dinner. Or breakfast. Lunch gets some love, too.”
13. “Official SAT Study Guide (2016 Edition)” by The College Board
SAT Test prep will always be a popular seller online, as year after year high school juniors across the country prepare for their exams as they look ahead to college. If you or someone in your life will be taking the SAT this fall, this could be a great service.
14. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
Harper Lee's classic will likely be on best-seller lists for years to come. The tale of Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, Scout, Jem, and the county of Maycomb is an essential part of the American literary canon.
15. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey's collection of observations is widely viewed as one of the most influential books of all time, helping CEOs, parents, professors, and presidents.
16. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
Along with “Anansi the Spider,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was my favorite book as a small child, and it thrills me to see it on this list. As the caterpillar eats its way through the pages of the book, it grows less and less hungry until finally (spoiler alert) emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
17. “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by JJ Smith
I don't know if it was this precise method, but I have juice cleansed before (I did seven days and could not have lasted another three). I'm not convinced it helped my health a ton, and I certainly did not lost 15 pounds in ten days, but I definitely felt refreshed and it served as a good reset on my dietary habits. If you want to give the juice cleanse trend a try, this book is a popular guide.
18. “Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book” by Sasha O'Hara
Two adult coloring books in the top 20; although this one clearly has a bit more edge to it. Again, the adult coloring revival is real and it is here.
19. “Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study Journal” by Darlene Schacht
According to its description, “Quieting Your Heart” is “designed to draw you closer to God as you dig into His Word.”
I am not a religious man, but if you are, it seems that many have found this a helpful guide in their journey of faith.
20. “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes
It's been made into a movie featuring Emilia Clarke. See trailer. Cry.
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