What They’re Reading

There’s a woman over there, on the other side of the El car with a book in her hands. What’s she reading? I know you’re dying to know. Go ahead… Slide down in your seat for a better look at the cover. Or maybe you want to lean to the side for a little voyeuristic peek at the Nook next to you. Feel a bit like a perv? Well, now you don’t have to. One of the daily newsletters I’m subscribed to, ShelfAwareness, recently distributed a list of top-selling books in Chicago and Milwaukee. Here you have it, a peep-free guide to what everybody else is reading:

Top-Selling Titles in Chicago and Milwaukee

The following were the bestselling books at independent bookstores in and around Chicago and Milwaukee during the week ending Sunday, February 20:

Hardcover Fiction

1. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
2. Swamplandia by Karen Russell
3. Room by Emma Donoghue
4. While Mortals Sleep by Kurt Vonnegut
5. Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
2. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
3. Hey Buddy by Gary W. Moore
4. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
5. A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates

Paperback Fiction

1. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
2. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
3. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
5. True Grit by Charles Portis

Paperback Nonfiction

1. Just Kids by Patti Smith
2. Nurtureshock by Po Bronson
3. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
4. Awkward Family Photos by Mike Bender
5. Country Driving by Peter Hessler


1. Silverlicious by Victoria Kann
2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
3. Papertoy Monsters by Bri Castleforte
4. When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic
5. Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

Reporting bookstores: Anderson’s, Naperville and Downers Grove; Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock; the Book Table, Oak Park; the Book Cellar, Lincoln Square; Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest; the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka; Women and Children First, Chicago; Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee; and Next Chapter Bookshop, Meqoun, Wis.

[Many thanks to the reporting booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]



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