The Most-Read Books of the 2018 Reading Challenge

Posted by Cybil on December 2, 2018


This year, 4 million readers joined the 2018 Reading Challenge, and collectively you've read more than 53 million books since January!

We were curious to know which books were most read during the Challenge, so we dug into our data to find out. The top book overall was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Among books published this year, the Hitchcock-inspired debut thriller The Woman in the Window earned that distinction.

When it came to the classics, To Kill a Mockingbird was the most-read novel. And in the nonfiction arena, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life came out on top.

Below you can find—in order—the most popular books of the Challenge, from the overall most read to new releases to classics to nonfiction. Which books will you be adding to your Want to Read shelf?


The Top Four Most-Read Books

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating


The Most-Read 2018 Releases

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating


The Most-Read Classics

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating


The Most-Read Nonfiction

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

<
Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating



Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)


message 1: by Lulufrances (new)

Lulufrances Love stats like this - keep it coming. Not surprised by most if zhe books on the list though


message 2: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia I love it when you do this Goodreads! (Also, I'm so glad A Wrinkle In Time is on there!!!!!)


message 3: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller Amazing, I've read all the classics except one.


message 4: by Kate (new)

Kate It never surprises me, but always pleases me to see To Kill A Mockingbird on these types of lists. It is my all-time favorite book and I've read it at least 20 times. If there is ever a To Kill A Mockingbird trivia contest, you will want me on your team. :-)

The upside and downside to these book lists? I have new books to add to my ever-expanding To-Read list. How will I ever find the time?


message 5: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Read three of these books this year, but only liked one of the three.


message 6: by Adrianna (new)

Adrianna The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Have read the older ones. Want to read the newer ones. All good picks I am sure!


message 8: by Miranda (new)

Miranda Huge influence from the Great American Read here!


message 9: by Jenny Baker (new)

Jenny Baker I've read 29 of these. I'm looking forward to reading The Handmaid's Tale before the sequel releases next year.


message 10: by Steve (new)

Steve 'The Alchemist' a classic ?!?!?!?! hippy twaddle for children.


message 11: by Shellie (new)

Shellie Taylor I'm so happy to say I read a good chunk of these books this year, many of which were rereads :)


message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Maloney I love stats like this! :)


message 13: by Igor (new)

Igor 50 million books read...
If only we could generate energy by reading.


message 14: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Alondra wrote: "Amazing, I've read all the classics except one."

Same. My unread one is 'The Alchemist'.


message 15: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller Aubrey wrote: "Alondra wrote: "Amazing, I've read all the classics except one."

Same. My unread one is 'The Alchemist'."


That seems to be a love it or hate it book. I personally enjoyed it and did not read too much into it. Sweet story; besides, it's a quick read.


message 16: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Adrianna wrote: "The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!"

It's not actually listed specifically as fiction or non-fiction. It's under the heading "Classics".


message 17: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Beagley Please give us the full list-- I want the rest of the lists. Top 4? Top 12? Not enough!


message 18: by Adrianna (last edited Dec 03, 2018 02:56PM) (new)

Adrianna Gerry wrote: "Adrianna wrote: "The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!"

It's not actually listed specifically as fiction or non-fiction. It's under the heading "Classics"."



They changed it! When the list was published this morning it was "Classic Novels." Glad to see they edited it!


message 19: by Cybil, Goodreads employee (new)

Cybil Adrianna wrote: "Gerry wrote: "Adrianna wrote: "The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!"

It's not actually listed specifically as fiction or non-fiction. It's under the heading "Classics"."


The..."

Hello! Yes, I edited it when I saw your comment! Thank you for catching it, I really appreciate your help!


message 20: by Adrianna (new)

Adrianna Cybil wrote: "Adrianna wrote: "Gerry wrote: "Adrianna wrote: "The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!"

It's not actually listed specifically as fiction or non-fiction. It's under the heading "..."


Of course! Thanks for this list! :)


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Trotter Douglas wrote: "Please give us the full list-- I want the rest of the lists. Top 4? Top 12? Not enough!"
Agreed! I'd like to see a full list of the top 100 and in the order of their popularity (most read).


message 22: by Ruci (new)

Ruci Tukana 'The Wife Between Us' ;
dying to read it


message 23: by Wesley (new)

Wesley As much as i love reading, checking stats like this and my own reading stats is a lot of fun and very interesting.


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Mcbride Kate wrote: "It never surprises me, but always pleases me to see To Kill A Mockingbird on these types of lists. It is my all-time favorite book and I've read it at least 20 times. If there is ever a To Kill A M..."

I am with you. I taught it to high school students 6 times a day, year after year, and it never got old. Have you read The Help? It is similar in theme and a damn good read!


message 25: by Sue (new)

Sue Kimmet It's too bad many people refuse to read sci-fiction/fantasy, because some very good books are being overlooked!


message 26: by Sue (new)

Sue Kimmet Kimberly wrote: "Kate wrote: "It never surprises me, but always pleases me to see To Kill A Mockingbird on these types of lists. It is my all-time favorite book and I've read it at least 20 times. If there is ever ..."

I loved both books. My career ended a couple of years ago after teaching high school special ed for students whose reading skills precluded books this long. One of my favorite lessons combined the movie The Help with the book. We watched the movie together, talking about it, then used the book to answer questions (page numbers provided). It was a real eye opener for my very white students from a small rural (very!) area in Montana. They were really interested and used the internet to find more information. Success!!!


message 27: by Liz Lundberg (new)

Liz Lundberg I still don;t know how to get into my reading challenge. This totally sucks. Last year I read 139 books and never got credit because I can't find it. I can say when I red a specific book, and it will remember but it won't automatically log it into my Reading Challenge. This year I read over 100 so far. I hate comeing here sometimes because I feel I can't participate. If someone could demonstrate to me how to access my "Reading Challenge" page I'd sure appreciate it.


message 28: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Beagley Liz wrote: "If someone could demonstrate to me how to access my "Reading Challenge" page I'd sure appreciate it."

Hello,
If you are logged into Goodreads, you should see your profile image or icon in the upper-right corner. You can click on that to see a menu of options, such as "Profile", "Friends" etc. Mid-way down that list is "Reading Challenge". That link will take you to a page that summarizes your challenge and progress.

Goodreads considers a book "Read" within a certain year if you've clicked "Read" and then "Finished", tracking your progress in Goodreads. It will also add a book to your challenge if you add a book and then update the "Dates Read" fields to indicate when you read the book. I get there by clicking "Add a Review" or edit my existing review.

Good luck!


message 29: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Liz wrote: "I still don;t know how to get into my reading challenge. This totally sucks. Last year I read 139 books and never got credit because I can't find it. I can say when I red a specific book, and it wi..."

Further to what Douglas just added, I went to your page and it does not seem that you have recorded your *books read* under My Books. Unless you keep track of your books read on that page, they will not be recorded on the Reading Challenge.

Hope this helps.


message 30: by Bill (new)

Bill Borchardt Adrianna wrote: "The Diary of Anne Frank isn't a novel... it's nonfiction!" Yes, and it IS a CLASSIC.


message 31: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Mcbride Sue wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Kate wrote: "It never surprises me, but always pleases me to see To Kill A Mockingbird on these types of lists. It is my all-time favorite book and I've read it at least 20 times. ..."S


Same here. I got very sick (still am) and had to quit. I also taught at a small rural school in South Louisiana. I tried to teach tolerance and acceptance; I had parents of some fight back, then I taught MLK, lol. I was determined to open their minds to beyond the trash they were taught at home. It is so interesting that you are from Montana because I told my husband yesterday that I wanted to go there. It looks so peaceful and quaint. I hope I make it there one day.


message 32: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Van Daele A comment on one of the new books: Loved The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware.


message 33: by Karin (new)

Karin Are most of the classics up there b/c people reread them this year, or b/c they're still 'new' books to so many?

Ditto for books like Harry potter, which has been out for 20 years now, and i'm assuming (bad me) that most of those who do the reading challenge are adults and so have already heard of the book for years.


message 34: by Mariana (new)

Mariana Missio Karin wrote: "Are most of the classics up there b/c people reread them this year, or b/c they're still 'new' books to so many?

Ditto for books like Harry potter, which has been out for 20 years now, and i'm as..."


I would say that is a mixture of both... I guess that Harry Potter is mostly re-read, but classics can be both re-read and first read.
First read doesn't mean that the person only heard about the book now, but that only now they decided to read.
Also, as many people in the world log their reads here, many of these classics are not part of school classes as it depends on their country and language. I'm Brazilian, so I read Brazilian and Portuguese books on lit classes (but I never read The Alchemist, even though it is under classics here, because lit teachers despise Paulo Coelho here. I don't care, but it is not my priority either).
About the classics here, I read Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice maybe 10 years ago, already in my 20s (so maybe there are many people on late teens or 20s logging their books here), but I only read Handmaid's Tale last year. There are lots of books that can be considered classics, so even when you know about them, it takes a couple of years between knowing about and actually reading.


message 35: by Keith (new)

Keith I'm happy to walk my own path when choosing what to read. In fact I'm annoyingly proud that I read 28 books released this year and none of them are on the Goodreads 2018 list. I bet I'm not alone. Anyone else feel this way?


message 36: by Karin (new)

Karin Foster Seeing what others are reading - whether they match with my reading or not - only fuels my desire to widen my reading choices. I love seeing this list! Widening my choices now!


message 37: by Valsala (new)

Valsala Rajan It would be great if you could also give us a list of the books among the 'most read' with the most stars?


message 38: by Penny (new)

Penny Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the first book I read this year. I've read 10 of the titles and have a further 5 on my TBR


message 39: by Tintorabbit (new)

Tintorabbit Mmmm, drie van de winnaars en vijf van de oldies heb ik gelezen. Een mooie start. heb een aantal van de andere winnaars (zoals Educated) op mijn nog-te-lezen-lijst gezet. Bedankt maar weer. Ik geniet al een aantal jaren van deze 'Best books of the year' session.


message 40: by Karin (new)

Karin i was just curious about people's reading habits. I reread children's books over and over, but adult books, not so much. Also if 'everyone' is rereading a certain book, maybe i should give it a shot. I love reading about people's reading lives!.

A great podcast to listen to is: what should i read next:
https://modernmrsdarcy.com/162-episode/.

Does anyone else have a favourite reading podcast??


message 41: by Liane (new)

Liane I love to see things like this,
It really satisfies my inner geek lol. You should do this on both a weekly or monthly basis and an annual report too!
Thanks for doing this 😊😊


message 42: by Liz Lundberg (new)

Liz Lundberg Douglas wrote: "Liz wrote: "If someone could demonstrate to me how to access my "Reading Challenge" page I'd sure appreciate it."

Hello,
If you are logged into Goodreads, you should see your profile image or icon..."


THANK YOU!


message 43: by Liz Lundberg (new)

Liz Lundberg Douglas Wrote:
Hello,
If you are logged into Goodreads, you should see your profile image or icon..."


OK here's the problem I have. I go to my reading challenge, see that none of the books I have marked as read in 2018 have shown up on the list. I AM logged in, just by the way.... OK so I look for a link that says "add to your reading challenge here:" All I see is the link to "see my books shelved in 2018". Well some are not read and some are. I have shelves for 2016, 17 and 18. I also have shelf called "read". So I check the boxes "read" and "2018", and close the dropdown menu. It appears that the app remembers what I have just done, even though there is no "save changes" option; a kind of certifying step available in most apps. This is confusing in itself but not the worst of my problem.

The big bad thing is that even though the changes do save, nothing ever shows up on my reading challenge page. THAT never changes. How do I get my "2018" "read" books to show up in my reading challenge list? Do I have to make a new shelf, called "Reading Challenge 2018"? or "2018 Reading Challenge"?. I feel like an idiot and there's no support on this website. At least no support that I can find. Really thanks for offering me some help. Sorry I am not getting it, but can you help me any more? Heh heh...


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael Perkins I've covered Silicon Valley for 30 years as a journalist and an author. I've read the Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs (above) and, unfortunately, it misses the core story of why Jobs was able to return to Apple to and push it forward into new heights.

This is the much better (and shorter) Jobs biography....

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 45: by Dolores (new)

Dolores Campbell One of my favorite books, did not get a goodreads. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston was/is a fantastic read. Full of emotion, abuse, love and hate.


message 46: by Constantine (new)

Constantine From the list I have read 13 books only. Not too bad but still not very good. Hopefully will get around to the rest in 2019


message 47: by crx (new)

crx How is ‘the sun does shine’ not here? ☀️


message 48: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Steve wrote: "'The Alchemist' a classic ?!?!?!?! hippy twaddle for children."

So it wasn't me. I hated it also.


message 49: by Paula (new)

Paula Other than Atwood, there are no Canadian authors on this list. The list is heavily indebted to the Great American Read!


message 50: by Rachana (new)

Rachana "The Alchemist" is a lovely book in every way, million times better than the "Looking for Alaska" kind bestsellers. No matter if it's not a classic although it is a much loved story on the Goodreads. I plan to reread it for 2019.


« previous 1
back to top