Top 10 Bestsellers in 2015

What were you reading in 2015?

It was a year where the colouring book captured people's imaginations, politicians vied for literary status via their competing memoirs and the future of Australian produced illustrated titles (for adults) came into question.

So, what did our customers want to read?  Unsurprisingly, the following ten books are a mixture of the beautiful, the word-of-mouth bestseller, the literary powerhouse, the unmissable insiders read and staff favourites.

1. My Brilliant Friend (Book One of The Neapolitan Novels)
by Elena Ferrante ($23, Text Publishing)

A literary powerhouse and a word-of-mouth phenomenon, our top bestseller of 2015 has started many a conversation in the shop this past year and has polarised (some) opinions.  Set in 1950's Naples, this novel is a compelling evocation of female friendship and a fascinating glimpse of Italy - a very worthy start to the list.

2. A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara ($33, Picador)

Talk to Tim he will tell you that this is his favourite book on the list.  Talk to Anna and she will recall staying up 'til all hours at night crying her eyes out (and keeping her husband awake) unable to put this book down.  A Booker Prize shortlisted title, A Little Life is a big New York book about male friendship - confronting, disturbing, but deeply human.

3. The Girl with the Dogs
by Anna Funder ($9.99, Penguin Books)

This small tome proved irresistible to fans of Miles Franklin winner Anna Funder and for those who wanted a small but significant read during the busy Christmas season.
A poignant novella about family and "the siren call of the past", this book was inspired by Chekhov's The Lady with the Little Dog and is a fantastic addition to the Penguin Specials collection - a collection of short stories, novellas and essays all priced at $9.99.

4. The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins ($33, Doubleday)

Not a new book (it was released at Christmas in 2014), but by golly a stayer, The Girl on the Train was touted as the new Gone Girl.  Not necessarily a correct (or promising) comparison, but it has certainly reached almost as many people via word-of-mouth recommendations.
A slow burning psychological thriller, this one will keep you guessing.

5.  All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr ($20, Fourth Estate)

Nothing garners attention like winning a major literary prize.  This beautiful book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015 and went from a word-of-mouth booksellers' favourite to an international bestseller.
Set against the backdrop of WW2, this story which binds together a blind girl and a Nazi soldier will surprise and enthrall.

6.  H is for Hawk
by Helen MacDonald ($23, Vintage Books)

Nothing garners attention like winning a swag of prizes.
Helen MacDonald's powerful memoir about grief won amongst other honours the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and the Costa Award for Non-Fiction in 2014 and solicited a great deal of critical praise and attention.  A beautiful and haunting book, she sold out audiences at the Sydney Writers' Festival when she was here last year with her story about training a goshawk in the wake of the death of her beloved father.

7. M Train
by Patti Smith ($33, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Talk to Marg and she will tell you she has read this book multiple times and will probably read it again and again.  Anna and Megan will also wax lyrical given half a chance to expound on their love for this terrific memoir.
You need not know who Patti Smith is, need never have listened to any of her music or read her previous book Just Kids to enjoy this terrific memoir about solitude, obsession, literature, New York, inspiration ..... and much, much more.  A beautiful book from a unique writer.

8. Flower Addict
by Saskia Havekes ($80, Lantern Books)

The gasps, the envy and the pure delight displayed by customers every day when they pick up this gorgeous book cannot be matched by any other on this list.
This is a collection of the work (photographed by the very talented Nicholas Watt) renowned flower artist Saskia Havekes and her team at Grandiflora produce at their Potts Point premises for events all around the country.  Not only a visual delight, Saskia's words provide insight into her unique world and perspective as an artist.

9.  Nopi
by Yotam Ottolenghi ($60,  Ebury Press)

It was no surprise that Ottolenghi would provide our bestselling cookbook of the year, as he has done so these past few years.  Nopi is not only an extraordinary addition to Ottolenghi's culinary collection (including Ottolenghi, Plenty, Plenty More and Jerusalem), but is also a gorgeous book with it's gold edging and eye-catching cover.

10.  Keating
by Kerry O'Brien ($50, Allen & Unwin)

When Australia's most intriguing Prime Minister sat down to talk to Australia's most respected journalist for the ABC's four-part series Keating, it created landmark TV.
This book, which represents further interviews, provides even further insights into the man, the politician and strategist.  That our copies were signed by both the author and Mr Keating was certainly a boon and we know many a local household will certainly treasure this book in the years to come.