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Curious What People Around the World are Reading? Us Too! Here is What We Discovered

By Beth Clark • December 27, 2018

Global Bindings that Tie

Are you ever curious what people around the globe are reading? Us too! So we decided to find out. It turns out that compiling the literary faves of 7 billion people is challenging...and impossible in some countries. But we succeeded in our mission, and it's cool to see how united we are by what we're reading, in spite of living in a world of sometimes vastly different cultures and languages. So. Many. Languages! Sometimes with comical translations: The 13-Story Treehouse becomes "The Crazy Tree Hut of 13 Floors" and Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13: The Meltdown is "Gregs Tagebuch 13 - Eiskalt!" in Germany, which is "Greg's Diary: Ice Cold" in English, and in Dutch, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" translates to "The Life of a Loser." Math may be the universal language, but it's not what most of us are curling up with at the end of the day.

What we are curling up with is Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13: The Meltdown (Book #13) by Jeff Kinney. Seriously…it's #1 internationally right now, which is pretty crazy since it just came out October 30th! In the US, it's #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other bestseller lists, and it's topping charts in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Israel, Latvia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. Other books that make frequent 'top 5' appearances are Becoming by Michelle Obama, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling, Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and...The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith.

The Top Novel, YA, and/or Children's Books Per Country

BRAZIL: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

CANADA: Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Gamache #14) by Louise Penny, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling, The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

FRANCE: Le Signal by Maxime Chattam, The Color Monster: A Story about Emotions by Anna Llenas

GERMANY: Muttertag ('Mother's Day') by Nele Neuhaus, The Robber Hotzenplotz by Otfried Preußler, Eiskalt Erwischt! by Jeff Kinney

GREECE: (Athens is UNESCO's 2018 World Book Capital, btw) Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

ITALY: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (also an HBO series), Animali Fantastici by J.K. Rowling, Diario di una Schiappa: Una Vacanza da Panico by Jeff Kinney

JAPAN: Confessions by Kanae Minato, The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

THE NETHERLANDS: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

SPAIN: Sabotaje ('Sabotage') by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (The Queen of the South author), Diario de Greg: Frio Fatal by Jeff Kinney

SOUTH KOREA: Irrevocable Promise by Gaku Yakumaru, Numero Zero by Umberto Eco, The 78-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

UK: Becoming by Michelle Obama, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling, Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney, The Ice Monster by David Walliams

US: Becoming by Michelle Obama, Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney, The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

Native Bestselling Authors Per Country

Australia: The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton

New Zealand: A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave

Russia: The Big Green Tent by Lyudmila Ulitskaya

Saudi Arabia: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea

South Africa: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Sweden: The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly (Pensionärsligan #3) by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

Turkey: Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

If you follow bestseller lists from other countries and/or have any international author recommendations, let us know! (And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest in the meantime.)

Sources for this article included: The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Italbooks, El Cultural, Buchreport, CPNB, Kyobo, and Politeia.

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