The Whitcoulls Top 100 Book List announced today (Monday 23 July 2018) reveals an interesting new trend. Kiwis readers love books that either motivate them to improve their lives or true stories that inspire.
Joan Mackenzie, Whitcoulls Book Manager and radio book reviewer said, “Interestingly, a good number of books which inspire us to improve our lives and find our life’s purpose have made this year’s Top 100 Books List.
Similarly, 2018 self-help bestseller 12 Rules for Life by Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and The Choice, a book by an Auschwitz survivor who took the lessons of that horror and made it her life’s work to help people in trauma, have proved popular with Kiwi readers. Others, such as Educated and In Order to Live are simply inspiring stories from other peoples’ lives – you can only read, in wonder,” said Mackenzie.
One of the surprise new entrants is American blogger and author Mark Manson, whose phenomenal bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*** was a hit with Kiwi readers, storming straight into the number four spot. Manson’s irreverent book about living a good life seemed to come out of nowhere, and customer demand has been huge across Whitcoulls 49 nationwide stores.
Once more, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has been voted the number one book in the Top 100. Diana Gabaldon’s ever popular Outlander series comes in at number two and Jojo Moyes’ bestselling novel Me Before You takes the number three spot. The Lord of the Rings was also a popular choice with Kiwi readers, as the fifth most voted for book – it is a perennial favourite and has been on the List since it began, 22 years ago.
There are 29 new books in the Top 100 this year, many of them recent releases, including quirky fiction title Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (number 8); thriller The Woman in the Window (number 17); and sci-fi/fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses (number 20), which has an especially strong following amongst teen readers. This author also has a second series making an appearance at # 61. One collection of poetry makes the List – New Zealand based poet Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey; one cookbook makes the cut – The Edmonds Cookbook; and The Bible makes its annual appearance.
The perennial influence of major movies made from books remains a hallmark of the Top 100, with sci-fi thriller Ready Player One and Love, Simon chief among them. Classics are also popular, with Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby all making an appearance in the Top 100.
The Whitcoulls Top 100 Books List celebrates diversity and captures what the nation likes to read in any given year. “I think that the Top 100 is a reflection of the wide-ranging tastes of our customers, who appear to enjoy a diet of great fiction, fantasy/science fiction, biography and memoir, inspirational and life changing titles, and the classics. In other words, we’re a very broad church, said Mackenzie.
Whitcoulls has been asking Kiwi readers to vote for their favourite books every year since 1996. The most read and voted for authors over the past 22 years are: J. K. Rowling, Lee Child, Jodi Picoult and Diana Gabaldon.
This year, more than 25,000 New Zealand readers voted for their favourite books, with online voting again proving the most popular way for Kiwis to vote. The Top 100 books are available at Whitcoulls stores nationwide and online at www.whitcoulls.co.nz.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Whitcoulls is a major national retailer, offering a wide selection of books, stationery, educational toys, puzzles, games, gifts, greeting cards and wrap. Whitcoulls was founded over 130 years ago when George Tombs, a printer and bookbinder, and George Whitcombe, a publisher and bookseller, combined their businesses to create a national publishing company. Whitcombe & Tombs merged with key competitor Coulls Somerville Wilkie and was renamed Whitcoulls in 1973. Whitcoulls is now proudly New Zealand owned by the James Pascoe Group which includes The Farmers Trading Co, Stevens, Pascoes the Jewellers, Stewart Dawson’s and Goldmark.