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The 21 Most Popular Novels of 2015 So Far

8 minute read

It’s starting to get chillier, and there’s arguably nothing more cozy than curling up with a good book.

The beauty of fiction writing is its ability to take the reader into captivating imagined worlds, from fantasy-like environments to tales set back in time.

Every year, Amazon pulls together its most popular print books of the year​. Based on sales numbers, the list is a good indication of what books people have been reading and talking about the most.

The list of fiction includes everything from classics like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to Harper Lee’s newly released novel Go Set a Watchman.

21. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

William Morrow

Orphan Train is set in 1929, just months before the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression.

After a young Irish girl loses her family, she is put on a train to the Midwest with dozens of other orphans. This fictional book is based on the true story of the thousands of children that were shipped to the Midwest at the time, often by their own families.

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  • 20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

    Little, Brown and Company

    In this novel, Holden Caulfield tells the story of a few days in his 16-year-old-life, soon after he is expelled from prep school.

    With a unique style that includes edgy slang, the book reads as if it is the unedited thoughts of the teenager.

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    19. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    Alfred A. Knopf

    A New York Times bestseller that is also a major motion picture, The Book Thief is set in 1939 Nazi Germany.

    As foster child Liesel Meminger steals books to get by, she learns to read and shares them with her neighbors amidst all of the madness that is surrounding them. A remarkable story of how books feed the soul, it’s a must-read for book lovers.

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    18. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

    HMH Books for Young Readers

    A New York Times bestseller, A Long Walk to Water starts with two stories, told in alternating sections, from two 11-year-olds living in Sudan. The girl tells her story in 2008, while the boy tells his in 1985.

    The tales intersect with one another in a way that leaves readers astonished.

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    17. The Giver by Lois Lowry

    HMH Books for Young Readers

    Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1994, The Giver tells the evocative story of Jonas, a 12-year-old who lives in a dystopian world lacking in any color and emotion.

    His community gives him a role that begins to change all that, leading him into visions of a world he never thought possible.

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    16. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

    Penguin Books

    Of Mice and Men is an intimate portrait of two friends dealing with a world filled with misunderstanding and jealousy.

    It’s a touching and emotional account, as two men who are completely different from one another find themselves together through an difficult journey.

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    15. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin


    This box set includes all five of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons.

    The books that inspired the popular HBO series take you into a world packed with kings, battles, myths, and action.

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    14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo


    An inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist tells the story of an Andalusian shepherd boy who wants to find worldly treasures.

    His desire leads him to riches he could have never imagined. A motivational account of how following one’s dreams can lead to the discovery of great wonders, The Alchemist is an enchanting read filled with wisdom.

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    13. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    Perigee Books

    Lord of the Flies became a bestseller and required reading in grade schools and universities back in the ’60s. The novel recounts the journey of a group of small boys stranded on a coral island.

    Once troubles arise, brutal portraits of human nature start to emerge. The book has been controversial over the years and is listed as number eight on the American Library Association’s list of frequently banned classics.

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    12. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


    The Outsiders was written more than 45 years ago and is a dramatic and enduring story of friendship and belonging.

    The story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of mainstream society, the book takes the classic teen world of cheerleaders and jocks to a new level, revealing its darker side. Filled with tension and drama, the novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

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    11. 1984 by George Orwell


    First published in 1949, George Orwell’s account of a chilling future has become a timeless read. Orwell presents readers with a vision of a haunting world that remains captivating from the beginning to end.

    Though it was written more than 60 years ago, the novel remains a popular choice to this day.

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    10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

    St. Martin's Press

    Bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes readers into a rarely seen part of WWII, choosing to focus on women’s role in the time period.

    The book tells the story of two sisters who are separated by years and morals as each goes on her own path in German-occupied France.

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    9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Simon & Schuster

    A frighteningly prophetic novel, Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian future where there are no books.

    For the protagonist, Montag, it all seems normal — until the day he gets a glimpse of the past. With a riveting plot and solid characters, the book draws readers into its imagined world.

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    8. Paper Towns by John Green


    From the author of The Fault in Our Stars comes this story about Quentin Jacobsen, who has spent a lifetime in love with the adventurous Margo Roth.

    Always admiring her from afar, Quentin finally gets the chance to get close as she plots a campaign of revenge. Before long, Quentin realizes there’s more to Margo than appears.

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    7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book is an iconic piece of literature that takes readers through the glitz, glamour, and dark side of the Jazz Age.

    As the incredibly wealthy Jay Gatsby chases his longtime love, Daisy Buchanan, readers are given a look inside a series of lavish Long Island parties.

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    6. The Martian by Andy Weir

    Broadway Books

    This New York Times bestseller is a science-fiction novel about fictional astronaut Mark Watney, who becomes one of the first to walk on Mars.

    Now in another planet, the character is thrown into dangerous circumstances he must face on his own. You’ll find yourself flipping the pages as you wonder what Watney’s fate will be.

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    5. Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian by E. L. James


    The ultra-popular Fifty Shades of Grey series returns with this spinoff that tells Christian’s side of the story.

    As Ana enters his disciplined and neat world, it remains to be seen whether he will finally dispel the horrors of his childhood, or if he’ll keep himself closed off.

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    4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    Grand Central Publishing

    An instant bestseller when it was first published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of a sleepy Southern town and a crisis that turns it upside down.

    Discussing racial injustice, the destruction of innocence, issues of class, and gender roles in the American Deep South, the book takes readers through a literary journey back in time.

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    3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


    This Pulitzer Prize-winner from acclaimed author Anthony Doerr tells the touching story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide as they both try to survive the devastation brought by World War II.

    The novel is both heartwarming and thrilling, as characters are forced to flee from the Nazi occupation in Paris.

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    2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    Riverhead Books

    The Girl on the Train is a gripping thriller about a girl who takes the same train and encounters the same couple every day. One day, she comes across a shocking sight that changes her experience with them forever.

    For those who liked Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, this eerie tale is right up your alley.

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    1. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

    Harper Lee's "new" novel "Go Set a Watchman".
    Harper Lee's "new" novel "Go Set a Watchman".Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

    Harper Lee introduces a new novel two decades after her Pulitzer Prize-winning book To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions in the South, the novel tells the tale of a 26-year-old girl who returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, only to learn surprising truths about her family and her town.

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    This article originally appeared on Business Insider

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