The 100 bestselling books at Readings in 2021

We’ve run the reports and we’ve done the math. Here are our 100 bestselling books from the past year!

Our shops were closed for browsing for nearly a third of the 2021, making it difficult for our booksellers to do their to usual wonderful job of championing some of the diverse, emerging, and lesser-known books on our shelves.

We’ve noted a definite dip in the number of titles by First Nations authors this year, with just 6 books making the list compared to last year’s 17 entries. With this in mind, we highly recommend taking a peek at our round up of 50 great reads from First Nations writers and Australian writers of colour in 2021 to see what you may have missed. On a positive note, while this year’s list is almost equally made up of international and Australian works, local authors just came in on the top with 55 entries. It is also almost equally split by gender, with women authoring 54 of the 100 works.

Of the 100 books listed below…

  • 47 are fiction
  • 17 are non-fiction
  • 15 are biographies or memoirs
  • 10 are cookbooks
  • 4 are crime reads
  • 4 are children’s books
  • 2 are personal development guides
  • 1 is poetry

Finally, before we dive into the list, honourable mentions to a few local favourites including – Adam Liaw’s Tonight’s Dinner, Chelsea Watego’s Another Day in the Colony, Maxine Beneba Clarke’s How Decent Folk Behave, Claire Thomas' The Performance, Anita Heiss' Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray, and Emily Maguire’s Love Objects – these books just missed out on making the top 100.

So without further ado, below you will find our top 100 bestselling books for 2021.

100. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

99. This Much is True by Miriam Margolyes

98. Turns Out, I’m Fine by Judith Lucy

97. Toxic by Richard Flanagan

96. A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu

95. You’re Doing It Wrong by Kaz Cooke

94. Home Made by Broadsheet Media

93. Treasure and Dirt by Chris Hammer

92. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

91. In Moonland by Miles Allinson

90. The Women of Troy by Pat Barker

89. Growing Up Disabled in Australia edited by Carly Findlay

88. Bodies of Light by Jeniffer Down

87. After Story by Larissa Behrendt

86. The Yield by Tara June Winch

85. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

84. Community by Hetty McKinnon

83. Maybe by Kobi Yamada

82. Honeybee by Craig Silvey

81. Recipe for a Kinder Life by Annie Smithers

80. The Brilliant Boy by Gideon Haigh

79. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

78. Farmers or Hunter Gatherers by Keryn Walshe & Peter Sutton

77. Whole Notes by Ed Ayres

76. Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country 2nd Ed. by Marcia Langton

75. The Boys' Club by Michael Warner

74. Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen

73. Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota

72. No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

71. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

70. The Believer by Sarah Krasnostein

69. As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey

68. Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch

67. Book of Australian Trees by Inga Simpson

66. Animal by Lisa Taddeo

65. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

64. Sex, Lies and Question Time by Kate Ellis

63. Puff Piece by John Safran

62. How to Do the Work by Nicole LePera

61. First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami

60. The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

59. Normal People by Sally Rooney

58. Beatrix Bakes by Natalie Paull

57. The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher

56. With the Falling of the Dusk by Stan Grant

55. Windswept & Interesting by Billy Connolly

54. Who Gets to Be Smart by Bri Lee

53. Second Place by Rachel Cusk

52. Taste by Stanley Tucci

51. 143-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

50. To Asia With Love by Hetty McKinnon

49. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

48. A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

47. One Hundred Days by Alice Pung

46. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

45. The Animals in that Country by Laura Jean McKay

44. Home by Stephanie Alexander

43. Small Joys of Real Life by Alee Richards

42. Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo

41. Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

40. Atomic Habits by James Clear

39. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

38. The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku

37. Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi

36. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

35. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

34. The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison by Sean Kelly

33. Ottolenghi SIMPLE by Yotam Ottolenghi

32. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

31. One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

30. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

29. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

28. Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

27. Wild Abandon by Emily Bitto

26. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

25. Silverview by John le Carre

24. Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos

23. Seven and a Half by Christos Tsiolkas

22. Still Life by Sarah Winman

21. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessell van der Kolk

20. The Promise by Damon Galgut

19. Dune by Frank Herbert

18. Love & Virtue by Diana Reid

17. Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

16. How to End a Story: Diaries 1995-1998 by Helen Garner

15. The Magician by Colm Toíbín

14. Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

13. So You Think You Know What’s Good for You by Norman Swan

12. Love Stories by Trent Dalton

11. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Our top 10 bestselling books are…

10. Adrift in Melbourne by Robyn Annear

9. Old Vintage Melbourne by Chris Macheras

8. How We Love by Clementine Ford

7. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

6. Devotion by Hannah Kent

5. The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

4. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

3. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi

2. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

And our number one bestselling book of 2021 is…


Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World Where Are You is a story about four friends who must navigate love, sex, friendship, and their careers while the world crumbles around them. A highly anticipated novel from one of the most acclaimed young voices of today whose novels readers all over the world continue to read with great fascination.

Please note: The list combines sales from all Readings shops and our website. Where possible, different editions of titles have been combined to reflect total sales of each title. The list includes all genres. It covers sales from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

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Beautiful World Where Are You (Special Edition)

Beautiful World Where Are You (Special Edition)

Sally Rooney

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