A Bill Gates-recommended read is the bestselling book of the year so far

Lifestyle

A brand new historical fiction read from veteran New York Times bestselling author and Forbes 50 Over 50 honouree Kristin Hannah has easily sold more copies than any other book released in 2024 so far, according to data provided to Forbes by Circana Bookscan, a standout among a list that is otherwise dominated by fantasy, thrillers and romance novels.
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Kristin Hanna, author of “The Women.”

Kevin Lynch 
Key Facts
  • “The Women” by Kristin Hannah, which tells a fictional story of military nurses serving in Vietnam, is the bestselling book released in 2024 so far with 829,115 print copies sold, Circana data shows, almost more than the next two bestsellers combined.
  • The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, included “The Women” as the only fiction book on his suggested summer reading list, calling the novel a “beautifully written tribute to a group of veterans who deserve more appreciation for the incredible sacrifices they made.”
  • “House of Flame and Shadow,” the third book in Sarah J. Maas’s fantasy Crescent City series, is the second-best-selling new release with 536,346 print sales and “Funny Story,” a romance by Emily Henry, has sold 300,289 print copies in third place.
  • “The Teacher,” a thriller from bestselling author Freida McFadden, and “Bride,” a paranormal romance by Ali Hazelwood, are the No. 4 and 5 bestselling new releases with 289,949 and 233,955 print copies sold, respectively.
  • This list of bestselling 2024 releases counts adult U.S. print sales from Dec. 31, 2023 through June 8 by Circana BookScan.
Top 10 Books Of 2024 (Fiction And Nonfiction)
  1. “The Women” by Kristin Hannah (829,115 print copies sold)
  2. “House of Flame and Shadow” by Sarah J. Maas (536,346 print copies sold)
  3. “Funny Story” by Emily Henry (300,289 print copies sold)
  4. “The Teacher” by Freida McFadden (289,949 print copies sold)
  5. “Bride” by Ali Hazelwood (233,955 print copies sold)
  6. “Just For the Summer” by Abby Jimenez (229,989 print copies sold)
  7. “First Lie Wins” by Ashley Elston (208,730 print copies sold)
  8. “The Anxious Generation” by Jonathan Haidt (192,535)
  9. “The Demon of Unrest” by Erik Larson (163,063 print copies sold)
  10. “You Like It Darker” by Stephen King (154,645 print copies sold)
Big Number

300 million. That’s how many print books sold in 2024 through the week of June 1, according to Circana, down 1.9 million units from the same time last year. Of that, 1.6% can be attributed to a single author: Maas.

Surprising Fact

Overall print book sales are down almost 2 million from this time last year, according to Circana data. Fiction books make up eight of the top 10 new bestsellers so far this year and contributed to a 3.6% rise in adult fiction sales in the first quarter of 2024, Publishers Weekly reported, while nonfiction sales dropped 5.8% from the same sale period last year. “The Anxious Generation” by Jonathan Haidt and “The Demon of Unrest” by Erik Larson were the only two nonfiction books to rank among the top of 2024’s new releases so far.

Key Background

“The Women” is not Hannah’s first bestselling book. The 63-year-old wrote her first book in her 20s, but has released a series of bestsellers in her 50s and 60s, earning her a spot on Forbes 50 Over 50. Her 2008 release “Firefly Lane,” which was later turned into a Netflix original series, spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and she found further success in the last decades with “The Nightingale” (2015), “The Great Alone” (2018) and “The Four Winds” (2021). “The Nightingale” was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and was named a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year. Elle and Dakota Fanning are set to star in a film adaptation of the novel. Hannah has sold more than 25 million books in almost 40 languages, according to Macmillan Publishers.

Tangent

Three of the authors whose 2024 releases are among the year’s bestsellers are also listed as 2024’s bestselling BookTok authors, a collection of writers who have shot to fame on the video sharing app. Sarah J. Maas, Emily Henry and Freida McFadden are also among the year’s bestselling BookTok authors of the year with 7.2 million combined sales so far this year (of their new releases and of books released before 2024).

This article first appeared on forbes.com.

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