Bestselling books of 2018

How is it the end of the year again so soon? Though we're sad to see another year come to a close, we can look forward to all of the best-of-the-best year end lists. Like these three lists of the top 10 bestselling Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Juvenile books of 2018. 

We identified the top-selling titles in the FictionNon-Fiction, and Juvenile/YA categories based on print sales volume in Canada over a 48-week period from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 2, 2018 (according to BNC SalesData, which tracks print sales in the English-language trade market).

Last year, after we looked at the bestselling titles of 2017, we wondered: "Will Thrillers be replaced by another genre as the top Fiction category? Will more poets appear in the top 10 Non-Fiction list? Only time will tell." Well, time has marched on and we're back to answer those questions and more!

10 bestselling Fiction books of 2018

  1. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (9780062799555)

  2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (9781501192838)

  3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (9780062877000) 

  4. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (9780385679077)

  5. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (9780062654199)

  6. The Outsider by Stephen King (9781501180989)

  7. The Rooster Bar by John Grisham (9781101967706)

  8. Origin by Dan Brown (9780525563709)

  9. The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (9780316412698)

  10. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton (9781982110529)

You can see all of these titles in this CataList catalogue: Bestselling Titles in Canada in 2018 – Fiction.

The 2018 Fiction list is very frontlist heavy — eight of the top 10 titles were published in 2018. 

So, has the Thriller genre been replaced as the leading Fiction category? Nope. Thriller still reigns supreme; over half of all titles in the top 10 list are Thrillers. (Five have Thriller as their main BISAC subject, but although Then She Was Gone uses Fiction / Contemporary Women as its main subject, it's also a Thriller, so if we count it, it pushes us from half to over half.)

Cover images for Crazy Rich Asians and The Woman in the Window.

The paperback format of Crazy Rich Asians, first published in 2014, reached the fourth spot due to the release of the movie adaptation this year. The movie was the highest-grossing rom-com in a decade, so that likely sparked some interest in the source material. Sales started trending up in April and spiked at the end of August, which coincided with the movie's release on Aug. 15, 2018.

Speaking of movies, The Woman in the Window was published in January of this year but it was optioned for a movie way back in September 2016! Ten months after the book's release, production on the film had already concluded and the movie will be out in October 2019. Prepare to see this book on next year's bestseller list, probably.

Cover images for The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The President is Missing.

Debut novels were also quite well represented on this list: The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Woman in the Window are all successful first efforts by their authors. And The President is Missing is half a debut, because while James Patterson is by no means new, this is in fact Bill Clinton's debut novel. 

Cover images for The Alice Network, Origin, and The Rooster Bar.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn remains on the list from last year — same format, same ISBN. While Dan Brown's Origin also reappears, this time it's the paperback edition. John Grisham is the only author who had a book (actually two) on last year's list and a new one in the top 10 this year: The Rooster Bar.

The 10 bestselling Non-Fiction books of 2018

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (9780062641540)

  2. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson 🇨🇦 (9780345816023)

  3. Educated by Tara Westover (9781443452489)

  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama (9781524763138)

  5. Yum & Yummer by Greta Podleski 🇨🇦 (9781775047001)

  6. Fear by Bob Woodward (9781501175510)

  7. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (9780762447695)

  8. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (9780771038518)

  9. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur 🇨🇦 (9781501175268)

  10. Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (9781250158062)

You can see all of these titles in this CataList catalogue: Bestselling Titles in Canada in 2018 – Non-Fiction.

Cover images for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, You Are a Badass, Sapiens, and The Sun and Her Flowers.

Half of the titles on the Non-Fiction bestseller list are frontlist, i.e., published in 2018, and the other half were published prior to 2018. Four of the five titles that were published before 2018 were repeats from last year's list: Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, which remains in the number one spot. Rupi Kaur only has one title on this year's list, The Sun and Her Flowers, whereas she had two last year, and it's down to the number nine spot from its number two position last year. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero is down to number seven from its fourth position last year. And lastly, Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens moves down two spots to number eight.

Last year, we idly wondered if more poetry would make the 2018 list. Sadly, no. But the subject categories are pretty evenly spread out this year: two Political Science books having to do with the Trump administration in the US (Fear and Fire and Fury); two Biography & Autobiography (Educated and Becoming); and two Self-Help (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and You Are a Badass).

Cover images for Becoming, Fear, and Fire and Fury.

American politics continue to be of interest to Canadians, apparently: Becoming, Fear, and Fire and Fury all touch that realm. 

Michelle Obama's memoir, Becoming, nabbed the fourth spot despite only being available for two weeks in our reporting period. Becoming is reportedly breaking records in the US (though some are skeptical about that). 

The 10 bestselling Juvenile and YA books of 2018

  1. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey (9780545935180)

  2. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith (9780545261241)

  3. Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey (9780545935173)

  4. The Meltdown (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 13) by Jeff Kinney (9781419727436)

  5. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch 🇨🇦 (9780920668375)

  6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (9780062498533)

  7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (9780312367541)

  8. Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey (9780545935203)

  9. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (9780679805274)

  10. A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey (9780545935210)

You can see all of these titles in this CataList catalogue: Bestselling Titles in Canada in 2018 – Juvenile & YA.

The Juvenile/YA list is the most backlist-heavy. Only three of the top 10 books were published in 2018.

Cover images for all four Dav Pilkey books.

Dav Pilkey: What can we say? The kids love him. Four of the 10 top-sellers in the Juvenile and YA categories were written by him, all in the Dog Man series. As was the case last year, he's the only author to earn more than one spot on the list. Two of the books, Dog Man Unleashed and A Tale of Two Kitties, are reprisals from last year, down from the first and fourth spots, respectively.

Cover images for Love You Forever and Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

Other holdovers include Robert Munsch's Love You Forever and Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!, both perennial classics.

The Wonky Donkey is the number two bestseller that no one but a Scottish grandmother saw coming. Originally published in 2009, a viral video shot the book to popularity this fall. On the other hand, Jeff Kinney's newest instalment in the Wimpy Kid series is an unsurprising addition to this list.

Cover images for The Hate U Give and A Wrinkle in TIme.

Two books-turned-into-movies-in-2018 made the list. The Hate U Give starred Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter, the protagonist of Angie Thomas's debut novel. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in September and saw a wide release in October. Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be much of a sales bump around the launch of the movie; the book has been selling steadily since July with the typical increases you'd expect to see leading up to the holiday season. The A Wrinkle in Time movie starred Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling and was released in March 2018. The book sales started trending up at the end of January and spiked right around the movie's release. 

Well, that's it from us for this year's crop of bestselling titles. We can't wait to see what next year will bring.