Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


'Steve Jobs' and 'The Help' dominate reading lists in many American cities

Data gathered by Nielsen BookScan for The Daily Beast show many of the same titles are popular in American cities – but exceptions include 'Heaven Is For Real' and 'The Great Gatsby.'

By / April 30, 2012

'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett occupied both the No. 1 and No. 2 fiction slots in several cities, thanks to the movie tie-in edition.

Enlarge

Data gathered by Nielsen BookScan for The Daily Beast showed that while cities in America may be divided by politics or geography, many of their residents are enjoying the same books – namely “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

The data was compiled using information from various bookstores in 10 of America’s largest cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas, and examined which nonfiction and fiction titles were the most popular.

“Steve Jobs” topped the nonfiction list in every city listed except Dallas and Houston, where the book “Heaven Is For Real” by Todd Burpo took the top spot. Stockett’s novel about maids in 1960s Mississippi took the top fiction spot in every city, in many securing the top two with “The Help (Movie Tie-In Edition)” coming in at the second spot.

In non-fiction, books that often showed up in the top five of the list were Burpo’s book, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, and “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. “Bossypants” by Tina Fey showed up in spots No. 3 and 4 in several cities, including New York and Los Angeles, but were much further down in cities such as Dallas, Detroit and Houston.

While “The Help” swept the fiction list, another popular novel was “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, which came in at No. 3 in many cities. Also often coming in the top five were “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larssen and “11/22/63” by Stephen King. In Dallas, Detroit, and Houston, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee made the fiction list of most popular novels, although it did not appear on the list at all in any other city. The same went for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” which made the list in Los Angeles and Houston, but didn’t rank in any other city. (Maybe residents are re-reading to get ready for Baz Luhrmann’s big-screen adaptation due in December.)

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

What are you reading?

Let me know about a good book you've read recently, or about the book that's currently on your bedside table. Why did you pick it up? Are you enjoying it?

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!