At the beginning of 2021, even the savviest regular reader of bestseller lists might have fairly asked, “Colleen who?” Not so today, after mass adulation on BookTok propelled a whopping five books by Colleen Hoover—three of which are backlist titles—onto the overall and adult bestseller lists for the first part of 2022. It Ends with Us was #1 on the adult list and #1 overall in the first six months of the year; four of Hoover’s titles, including that one, made the top 10 overall, and five made the top 10 in the adult category. She’s not the only beneficiary of BookTok on the list, either: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was #5 on both lists, and Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is also on the adult list at #17.
Hollywood adaptations, too, remain queenmakers, with Delia Owens’s perennially bestselling Where the Crawdads Sing back at #2 on the adult and overall lists courtesy of a new film, and two of the three books in Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty series making the top 10 in the YA list in the wake of a hit series adaptation on Amazon Prime Video.
All of these titles are fiction, which is having a moment, while the market for adult nonfiction remains tough, with only two nonfiction titles in the top 10 overall—James Clear’s Atomic Habits at #4 and Brené Brown’s Atlas of the Heart at #9—though seven others were included in the top 20.
In the children’s category, the powerhouse authors remain powerhouses. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was #1—as it so often is by midyear, when graduation season prompts mass purchases of the title—and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar was #3. The rest of the list is littered with titles by former PW Person of the Year Dav Pilkey, whose Cat Kid Comic Club graphic novels—a hit spin-off of another big series, Dog Man—and Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry, whose Little Blue Truck books continue to sell well. Three books in Scott Cawthorn’s Five Nights at Freddy’s series hit the YA list, which is topped by Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.