One of my favorite things about the holidays are the requisite cultural recaps. Like, even though 2016 was in many ways a tornado of pain and suffering and loss, I still want to know what everyone else was reading and watching and wearing and doing amidst all that pain and suffering and loss. 2017 really is on the horizon, I promise, so here are the top books of 2016, according to Google. Let's see what this horror year compelled people to read.
Now, to clarify, these are the top digital books purchased through GooglePlay, which allows users to download PDFs and manuscripts onto their devices. When discussing book sales, it's important to note the format in which work is being consumed. Why? Because repeated reports have shown that reading habits differ by device. Books whose covers are visible - printed hardcovers and paperbacks - tend to be more standard best-sellers. But take that visibility away, and people begin indulging in all sorts of weird and fun stuff.
Which would explain why two of the top ten GooglePlay books are erotic romance. Mmmmhmm. Get it, fam.
Don't worry, your secret's safe with us. And Google. And the world, because lol Big Data.
Unsurprisingly, a majority of Google's Best Of books have been adapted in some way to the screen. Popular, too, were series - first books, last books, whole series - which mirrors the way we binge on television now. But hidden within the year's top downloaded books were some refreshing surprises. Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey, a poetic mediation on self-care and love, came in at #11. Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me hit at #45, and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, was #86. You guys! Good job!
Want to peep the full 100? Check out the list here.
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
A companion to the Harry Potter series, The Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 is a play, rather than a work of fiction. The HP crew is all grown up - and it's now Harry's son Albus' turn to struggle with shouldering a massive legacy.
'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins
Now a film featuring Emily Blunt, this thriller winds its way through Rachel's life as she struggles to piece together the disappearance of a woman who is simultaneously a stranger and a confidant.
'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes
When Louisa Clark took a job caring for the now-paralyzed, ex-Master of the Universe, falling in love was the last thing she expected to happen. But when it does, she's forced to ask herself the question: "What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?"
'Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe' by Cullen Bunn
Sure, it's easy to be charmed by superhero Deadpool when he's played by Ryan Reynolds. But this horror-comic throws Deadpool, and the entire Marvel universe, into a tail-spin when it portrays our favorite snarky dude pursuing a far darker task: killing the Marvel Universe. Literally.
'Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey As Told By Christian' by E.L. James
From the writer who introduced BDSM to households everywhere comes the same story - Christian and Ana, lovers, partners, sexual experimenters - told from the perspective of Christian Grey.
'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs
The first in Ransom Riggs' Young Adult fantasy series, Miss Peregrine's Home melds photography and fiction, mystery and history, to tell the story of children too peculiar for the rest of the world, and the lengths to which people will do in order to protect them.
'One With You' by Sylvia Day
The last in the Crossfire quintet, One With You is the final chapter in the great Gideon and Eva saga from best-selling erotic romance writer Sylvia Day. Falling in love is one thing, Eva learns - defending that love, fighting for it, is another.
'The Martian: A Novel' by Andy Weir
Recently adapted into a movie starring dad-hunk Matt Damon, The Martian follows the adventures of astronaut Mark Watney, stranded alone on Mars following a dust storm, with limited supplies and no way to signal his, uh, alive-ness.
'10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse' by JJ Smith
This guide to green smoothies contains shopping lists, recipes, preparation instructions, and tips for maximizing your juice cleanse experience.
'A Game Of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice' by George R.R. Martin
The first in Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series, A Game of Thrones was first published in 1991 and has since been adapted into a wildly popular HBO show. In a world where a single season can last for years, winter is coming - and no one knows that better than the Stark clan of Winterfell.