Can we engage in a moment of honesty? This year has been hard. Really, really difficult. And nothing is more indicative of that than this summer's most popular audiobooks and eBooks. Any guesses as to what we've been reading? I'll give you a hint: the ways in which humans cope with stress are remarkably, delightfully varied.
Scribd, a reading subscription service that boasts more than 60 million documents, recently released their monthly bestseller lists for e-books and audiobooks. For $8.99 a month, Scribd subscribers can access three books and one audiobook per thirty days. In addition, they're granted unlimited access to magazines and documents.
In putting a cap on the number of books we can read, Scribd has accumulated a list of truly beloved works. Folks aren't just downloading these willy-nilly. They are seeking them out, researching their options, and reading up on book summaries. These are carefully thought out selections. Craving a curated reading list? This is it.
Scribd offers all users 30 days of free access, but Bustle has snagged a code that grants you 90 days of Scribd for NONE dollars. 90 days! You've got the whole freakin' summer for free, my literary dudes!
Grab that code here.
Now that you're fancy free and ready to download some bewks, let's get down to business.
Topping the eBook list? Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey, a deceptively delicate collection of poems embodying the strength that bursts forth from self-care and self-determination.
Meanwhile, the #1 audiobook consumed since Memorial Day weekend is the aptly named The Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson. Subtitled, "A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life," The Art of Not Giving A F*ck urges us to embrace fear, embrace limitations, and embrace uncertainties. Life is not dope 100 percent of the time, writes Manson - you gotta accept that and move the f*ck on.
Next on the eBooks list: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, a nightmarishly dystopian feminist novel that I personally haven't been able to read for fear of becoming catatonically anxious, and Life Hacks by Keith Bradford, which contains, literally, 1,000 "hacks" to simplify your life.
Bringing up the Top Five eBooks rear are Neil Gaiman's American Gods, a sexy, satirical fantasy epic about the mystical fight for America's soul, and Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, a contemporary fable brimming with "magic, mysticism, wisdom, and wonder."
Meanwhile, audiobook fans have been all about self-care in the form of ~bettering oneself.~ At number two, we've got The Power of Discipline: 7 Ways it Can Change Your Life by Brian Tracy, which illustrates how discipline can truly be the missing piece in so many areas of one's life. Number three: the recently released Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, the queen of gripping psychological suspense (you can thank Paula for her debut book, The Girl on the Train).
At number four sits Pulitzer-Prize-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, and at five sits Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist obsessed with the dictating forces of brain science.
In reading through these popularity listings, it's clear that in times of strife and tragedy, we turn to all sorts of literary strategies. There are those of us who run towards self-help books that focus on the psychology of why we do the things we do, and how to, like, not do them. Some of us burrow deep into escapist novels with a fantasy component; others gravitate towards wisdom, whether it be in the form of a poetry collection or novel. But they all illustrate, again and again, the power of the written word, and its ability to get us through pretty much anything.
Read on, angels. Read the hell on.