If you’ve found that you’ve had more time to read since lockdown began, you’re not alone. Along with spending more time with family and brushing up on our culinary skills, finally having the time to sit down with a good book more frequently than once a month is another one of those rare upsides to lockdown life.
But which books have we been devouring the most? Amazon UK asked itself this same question and has revealed the top 10 books us Brits have been ‘adding to basket’ more than anything else.
The data includes sales from both physical books and digital downloads between 23 March and 11 May 2020, and the results are not all that surprising.
Thanks to the fever-pitch levels of excitement surrounding its recent BBC adaptation, it comes as no surprise that Sally Rooney’s Normal People tops the list. Other books that appear on the list reflect the time we’re living in – a rise in sales of Adam Kay’s 2018 This is Going to Hurt echoes our sudden increased interest in the lives of NHS workers, while a boost in sales of Insta-famous cleanfluencer Mrs Hinch‘s Hinch Yourself Happy mirrors our collective desire to declutter, spruce up and spring clean our homes.
Read on to see how your recent reading list matches up with the rest of the nation and get some inspiration for your next literary escape.
1. Normal People by Sally Rooney
The runaway success of the BBC dramatisation of Normal People is surely mostly to blame for Rooney’s novel topping this list. It’s of course achingly beautiful to watch, but the book is even better, if you can believe it. So if you’re one of the few people left who hasn’t ordered their copy yet (Amazon actually sold out of all hard- and paperbacks a few weeks ago), do yourself a favour and use the rest of lockdown to read (nay, devour) it.
2. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
A loveable rom-com of a book, Beth O’Leary has been tipped as the next Jojo Moyes thanks to The Flatshare. The story revolves around two characters, Tiffy and Leon, who share a flat and a bed, but they’ve never actually met thanks to their differing work/life schedules. If you’re looking for a quirky, thoroughly enjoyable book to eat up in a weekend, this is it.
3. Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
It’s no surprise we’re looking for compelling, suspenseful reads right now – something gripping enough to make us completely forget the bleakness of our own current situation. Which is why Blood Orange comes in at number 3. Combining legal and domestic drama, this pacy and utterly compulsive read follows Alison, a lawyer who, when given her first murder case to defend, discover all is not quite as it seems (it never is…).
4. The Silent Patient – by Alex Michaelides
Another thrilling read that you won’t be able to put down, The Silent Patient earned itself a prized spot as a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has sold over a million copies. Soon to be made into a major movie, make sure you read the book first – it follows Alicia Berenson who shot her husband in the head six years ago and hasn’t spoken a single word since – and her psychotherapist Theo is desperate to uncover the truth.
5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
As much as we’re looking for escapism, we’re also looking for stories that mirror our current experiences. Where the Crawdads Sing depicts Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl of South Carolina who happily lives in isolation for years. Until that all changes and she opens herself up to a new life, triggering a series if unthinkable events.
6. Slime by David Walliams
Just as us adults are at home, so are the kids, which explains why David Williams’ latest release, Slime, comes in sixth place – but then again Walliams’ books are always a surefire hit with kids. Released a week after lockdown began, Slime follows a boy called Ned with a superpower in the form of slime. Order it for the kids, then nab it for yourself for some light relief when they’re done.
7. Hinch Yourself Happy by Mrs Hinch
If you, like the rest of us, have been motivated to use lockdown to get your house in tip top shape, you need Mrs Hinch’s Hinch Yourself Happy aka the cleaning bible. Packed full of super useful cleaning tips and tricks, Mrs Hinch shows you how to make your home sparkle – and not dread doing it, either. What this woman doesn’t know about cleaning frankly isn’t worth knowing at all, so don’t even think about tackling your grimy sink until this has arrived on your doorstep.
8. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
We love Charlie Mackesy’s emotive illustrations and this book collects some of his best-loved work alongside some new ones, too. The book depicts various scenarios featuring his four characters (a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse), all while imparting lessons in hope, kindness and friendship – important pillars to lean on now more than ever.
9. The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
The final book in Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy (and shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020), The Mirror and the Light depicts the final years of Thomas Cromwell through Mantel’s masterful and sublime storytelling. Even history-phobes will love this one, which is why it’s no surprise that this book is topping many people’s lockdown reading lists.
10. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
With our newfound appreciation for the NHS, Adam Kay’s ‘painfully funny’ (Stephen Fry) account of life as a junior doctor bears more relevance now than ever before. Giving a peek behind the medical curtain of the NHS, it’s equal parts hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, which it turns out is the magic formula for writing a multi-million copy bestseller. Chances are you’ve already read it, but if you have, we highly recommend reading it again – you know how gobble-worthy it is; you’ll probably have it done in a day. And if you haven’t? Add to basket, now.