The biggest surprise in our annual roundup of bestsellers for the January-June period came on the Amazon Kindle e-book bestsellers list. The sheer number of bestsellers that were published by the e-tailer’s own in-house publishing imprints—fiction and popular nonfiction imprint Lake Union, mystery imprint Thomas & Mercer, literary fiction imprint Little A, and Montlake Romance—was remarkable. Amazon had 12 of its own titles on its e-book list, a stark contrast not only from the BookScan print list but from Amazon’s list for the first half of last year, which saw only a single Lake Union title make the cut, and that in its final slot. (Beneath a Scarlet Sky, a Lake Union title, was #2 this year.)

In response to inquiry, a representative from Amazon denied that anything has changed. "Nothing has changed in the way we count sales," she wrote in an email. "We haven’t changed how titles are promoted. These titles are priced competitively and participate in new and growing reading programs like Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited."

As is tradition, Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! topped the NPD BookScan list of bestselling print books for the January–June period. Much of the rest of the top 20 were topical titles that speak to today’s political climate. Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, a collection of poetry and prose examining such topics as femininity and violent abuse, took the #2 slot; J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir and case study of white poverty in Appalachia, was #4.

Relevant backlist dystopian fiction also had a moment. Both Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 were in the BookScan top 20 and on Amazon’s list of Kindle e-book bestsellers, where the Atwood—which was adapted as a critically acclaimed Hulu original television series starring Elizabeth Moss earlier this year—took the top slot overall. (Vance also found his way onto the Amazon list, at #20.)

Unlike last year, when there were eight children’s titles in the BookScan top 20, young people’s literature had a lesser presence in the first part of 2017, with only five kids’ and YA books, two by Seuss, landing on the list. A book spurred to high sales by its TV adaptation, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, made the list, as did Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid entry Double Down. Surprisingly, there was nary a Rowling in sight, in spite of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter franchise on June 26.

NPD BookScan Top 20 Print books, January 2–July 2, 2017

1 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Random House)
2 Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel)
3 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Washington Square)
4 Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (Harper)
5 Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (Morrow)
6 Double Down by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)
7 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Anchor)
8 Camino Island by John Grisham (Doubleday)
9 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Razorbill)
10 You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (Running Press)
11 Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Ember)
12 A Dog’s Purpose by Bruce W. Cameron (Forge)
13 Option B by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf)
14 1984 by George Orwell (Signet)
15 Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf)
16 Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (Ballantine)
17 The Shack by William P. Young (Windblown)
18 Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Random House)
19 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neal DeGrasse Tyson (Norton)
20 Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup)

Amazon Top 20 Kindle e-books, January 1–July 1, 2017

1 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (HMH)
2 Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan (Lake Union)
3 In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (Lake Union)
4 Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner (Thomas & Mercer)
5 Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale (Lake Union)
6 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illus. by Mary GrandPré (Pottermore)
7 A Criminal Defense by William L. Meyers Jr. (Thomas & Mercer)
8 The Night Bird by Brian Freeman (Thomas & Mercer)
9 Beach Lawyer by Avery Duff (Thomas & Mercer)
10 Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil (self-published)
11 1984 by George Orwell (HMH)
12 Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine (Thomas & Mercer)
13 The Secret Wife by Gill Paul (Avon)
14 The Letter by Kathryn Hughes (Headline)
15 The Practice House by Laura McNeal (Little A)
16 Split Second by Douglas E. Richards (Paragon)
17 A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot (Montlake Romance)
18 Only the Truth by Adam Croft (Thomas & Mercer)
19 Hemingway Didn’t Say That by Garson O’Toole (Little A)
20 Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (Harper)