The Best Sellers Published This Year

Literati Bookstore
Dec 4, 2017 · 7 min read

The Ribbon presents a series of year-in-review content: best-sellers, staff picks, guest picks, and more. We celebrate the year that was in books, and hopefully provide you with some handy guides to navigate your holiday shopping. This list includes a selection of our bestselling titles in-store for books published this year — including paperback releases and of, course, so far! Note that this includes some titles associated with our ticketed events. Entries are presented in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Click the title to be directed to our online store and purchase the title directly from Literati!


Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, by Sherman Alexie

To say that I was moved by Sherman Alexie’s memoir is a terrible understatement; in fact, there is a pulse in this book that has worked its way into my being and irrevocably changed how I think about my own life. Alexie’s kaleidoscopic approach to storytelling is so representative of the feeling of being human, with childhood memory, relationships, love, trauma, and art all moving in and out of focus at once. At the center of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a deep grieving, for Alexie’s mother, for the ways in which parental love is imperfect, for unthinkable personal and cultural traumas. But Alexie’s brilliance is in holding multiple truths, that one can experience simultaneously both trauma and hope, grief and humor, violence and love. I, like Alexie, “tend to fall in love with the unnamable,” that nebulous complexity at the heart of the human experience that can only be understood by holding on to all of the pieces of your life at once, a practice both beautiful and terrifying. Alexie achieves this exquisitely, and You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is an unforgettable work. — Kelsey

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Anders

The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden

This book begins with the tale of the Frost demon, told on a cold winter evening by the grandmotherly Dunya. Nothing could better set the tone for this novel, as reading it feels much like settling in for a folktale around a warm fire in the dead of winter. Arden’s storytelling is enchanting, full of an old, wild kind of magic raging in the Russian wilderness. Vasya is a fierce protagonist with powerful gifts, and I reveled in seeing her learn to trust herself against the ancient spirits that threaten everything that she holds dear. This is a highly original take on the fairy tale told in a beautiful voice. — Kelsey

Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination, by Herb Boyd

Roots, Radicals, and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World, by Billy Bragg

The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe, by Jorge Cham

The Girls, by Emma Cline

The Girls seduced me. I mean to say that the girls of this novel are seductive. I was immediately pulled into their world that beckons in the lost ones, the wanderers, the loners looking for an idol. I was fascinated by the ways in which the quiet battle of girlhood is illustrated here. Emma Cline describes it perfectly: the search for a sister; the lingering fear of the man who has just walked past you; the daily submission. This is an impressive debut, one that glimmers with a beautiful kind of dread and a very true kind of desperate humanity. — Claire

What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

An engaging, heartbreakingly raw, eye-opening investigation of the epidemic of eviction in America. Before reading this book, I had no idea that “Eviction can unravel the fabric of a community” or that eviction causes more loss than just a place to call home. Desmond’s groundbreaking research will re-define what you think of poverty; the struggles the families he followed will remind you that we are all one paycheck or (even small) event away from finding a similar path before us. — Shannon

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan

Fresh Complaint: Stories, by Jeffrey Eugenides

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

Difficult Women: Stories, by Roxane Gay

Genius: The Game, by Leopoldo Gout

Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays, by Samantha Irby

The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, by Ann Lamott

Priestdaddy: A Memoir, by Patricia Lockwood

I can state with absolute confidence that I have truly, never laughed as much while reading a book before. Lockwood is an utter singularity, tangling ferocious humor together with bizarre and biting anecdotes of her life. Lockwood drops you into her memoir amidst her and her husband Jason’s, forced move back in with her parents. Her parents are anomalies; her father is a Catholic priest, married to her mother, the wife of a Catholic priest. Lockwood, as the product of a strikingly unique upbringing, provides a stunning, witty, and tearfully funny narrative of her life thus far. Priestdaddy is remarkable. — Charlotte

Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar

Simulacra: Poems, by Airea D. Matthews

Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits, by Tiya Miles

Men Without Women: Stories, by Haruki Murakami

The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel, by Jo Nesbo

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

The best books have a way of tearing us apart and piecing us back together again. The very best books render us, after such piecing together, forever a bit changed. Little Fires Everywhere is one of those very best books. The setting: 1990s Shaker Heights, a picture-perfect suburbia that, with the help of its picture-perfect residents, adheres to the rules. Enter Mia and Pearl Warren, a mother-daughter duo with a mysterious past and personalities that spark the curiosities and obsessions of everyone they meet, especially those of the large, well-connected, wealthy Richardson clan. When Shaker Heights is met with a crisis involving the adoption of a Chinese baby, tensions arise and the town becomes split. Enter class conflict. Enter well-meaning white people with poor execution. Enter racial bias. Enter troubled teens. Enter art. Enter the complexities and terrors and wonders of motherhood. Enter running away and never looking back. In her intricate, sprawling, visceral prose, Celeste Ng has created here a book for the ages. This is a must-read. — Claire

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce: Poems, by Morgan Parker

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977–2002), by David Sedaris

Not Quite Narwhal, by Jessie Sima

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder

The Mother of All Questions, by Rebecca Solnit

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, Erin and Philip C. Stead

Imaginative, original, and simply delightful. This is a new and wonderful work of art from Philip and Erin Stead, and — oh yeah! — Mark Twain. After several pages of an incomplete Mark Twain fairy tale were discovered a few years ago, the publisher approached the Steads to finish it. What Phil and Erin ended up doing is something truly remarkable — the illustrations are gorgeous, and the story itself borrows notes from Kurt Vonnegut and Charlie Kaufman. It is a book that has meaning, speaks to present day, will become a classic, and moved me. — Mike

Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

The Bird-While: Poems, by Keith Taylor

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil Degrasse Tyson

Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward

Shrill, by Lindy West

The Ribbon

A blog from Literati Bookstore, downtown Ann Arbor, MI. ThAuthor interviews, book news, staff reviews, and a whole lot more.

Literati Bookstore

Written by

An independent bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Established 2013.

The Ribbon

A blog from Literati Bookstore, downtown Ann Arbor, MI. ThAuthor interviews, book news, staff reviews, and a whole lot more.

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