20 bestselling books of 2016

Life’s too short for a second-rate read, so grab one of these bestselling books of 2016 and guarantee yourself a story to remember.

They’re the kind of reads that win literary awards, get turned into films and TV series and find themselves on the New York Times bestseller lists, but are they worth the hype? Most definitely.

If you’re looking for a good book to keep you enthralled into the wee hours of the morning or on the commute into work, these are some of the best from this year.

There are even a few that the little ones will love, because every child deserves a great story.

Bestselling books of 2016

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, foster child Liesel learns to read in secret and begins to steal books the Nazi party is looking to destroy while also writing her own stories and sharing with her neighbours.

Liesl is exposed to the horror of the Nazi regime and struggles to maintain the innocence of childhood throughout.

  • New York times best seller
  • Now also a major motion picture
  • Free delivery with Book Depository

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

The star of one of the hottest shows on TV at the moment, The Mindy Project, is also a bestselling author. No joke.

Well, maybe a few.

In this autobiography, the comedian writes of her ongoing journey through adulthood. Each chapter encompasses a different adventure, which includes finding love at work and learning how to look good on camera.

  • New York Times bestselling author
  • Available in paperback and hardcover
  • Free delivery with Book Depository

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark is in her mid-twenties and lives at home with her family. After losing her job at a local tea room, Lou takes a job to help care for Will Traynor, a wealthy young man who was paralyzed by a motorbike accident.

This romantic novel is now a popular motion picture.

  • New York Times best seller
  • Free shipping from Book Depository
  • Now a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

For all Harry Potter lovers out there, this book is a must for your collection. Illustrated by Kim Kay and presented in hardback, the magic of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is brought to life in beautiful illustrations.

Read it to your children, relive your own childhood, or place it on the coffee table for visitors to flip through and talk about.

  • Hardcover
  • Perfect for Harry Potter fans
  • Free shipping from Angus and Robertson on orders of $80 or more

The Martian by Andy Weir

Republished this year to coincide with the film release, The Martian is science fiction at its best. Oras some have called it, Macgyver in space.

After a Mars mission goes sideways, biologist Mark Watney is left stranded on the planet, believed to be dead with no way to communicate to NASA that he is very much still alive.

With supplies running low, he must engineer a way to grow crops and contact Earth to help bring him home.

  • Sunday Times bestseller
  • Film tie-in
  • Free delivery with Book Depository

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

Although geared towards teenage boys, that shouldn’t stop a voracious reader from nibbling on this winner. Penned by the author behind The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, this novel follows another young boy’s life during World War II.

This time, the boy is Pierrot, who is forced to leave Paris to live with his aunt in Germany after he is orphaned. There he meets Hitler and is taken under his wing into a dangerous world of secrets and betrayal.

  • Historical fiction
  • Suitable for ages 9+
  • Flat $6.95 postage

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

One to get the travel bug going for 2016, this is Bill Bryson’s 2015 entry. It’s a follow-up to his travelogue, Notes From A Small Island, and comes complete with the same hilarious storytelling of its predecessor.

This time, Bryson takes us through a journey along the “Bryson Line”, which begins in the far south at Bognor Regis and concludes on the northernmost tip of Scotland in Cape Wrath. Hilarious and inspiring. What else would you expect from Bill Bryson?

  • Travel writing
  • Flat $6.95 postage through Booktopia
  • First travel book by Bryson in 15 years

The Lake House by Kate Morton

A latecomer on the list (it was released November 2015) is The Lake House. While we can’t rightly say it is a bestseller yet, it comes from a bestselling author and an Australian to boot, so it’s at least worth checking out.

The Lake House is a chilling tale that begins in the 1930s. After their child goes missing, the Edevanes abandon their country home to put the tragedy behind them. Seventy years later, after police detective Sadie Sparrow discovers the abandoned home and its eerie tale, she begins to resurrect the ghosts of the unsolved mystery.

  • Australian author
  • Mystery novel
  • Free shipping on orders of $80 or more with Angus and Robertson Bookworld

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

One of the most beautiful books to come out this year, All The Light We Cannot See has been acclaimed to no end. This 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner will keep you engrossed to the very end. Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, is forced to flee her home during the German occupancy. Her life intertwines with Werner, a German boy who becomes a tracker of the Resistance during World War II.

Enchanting and delicate, this is not one to pass up.

  • New York TImes number one bestseller
  • Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Free shipping with Book Depository

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Subtitled “you don’t know her, but she knows you” this is a thrilling read about a girl named Rachel who takes the same train every single morning. She knows the ins and out of her commute: when the train signals will change, when the doors will open, even the houses she passes.

Then one day, she sees something moments before the train moves off that changes everything…

  • New York Times bestseller
  • Over three million copies sold in the US
  • Film tie-in penned for late 2016

Fast Food For Busy Families by Pete Evans

A perennial favourite with the paleo crowd, Pete Evans’ latest is all about paleo-friendly meals for the time-poor.

Every meal and every family member is catered for here, from healthy breakfasts to quick-smart kids lunches and eats for entertaining. If you’ve ever wanted to try going paleo, Evans is your man.

  • Paleo-friendly recipes
  • Written by Australian chef, Pete Evans
  • 30-minute recipes

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones fans who can’t wait until the next book in the series can quell their anticipation with the release of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s a prequel to A Game of Thrones and compiles the first three prequel novellas in the ongoing A Song of Ice and Fire series into one good read.

It’s a century before the days of A Game of Thrones, and the Targaryen Line still holds the Iron Throne. The death of the last dragon is still fresh in the people’s minds. Then we meet Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his squire, Egg. These unlikely heroes travel together through Westeros in search of adventure and glory.

  • Prequel to A Game of Thrones
  • Contains over 160 illustrations by Gary Gianni

Make Me by Lee Child

Fans of the nail-biting Jack Reacher series have helped skyrocket this one up the “hot books” list.

Stopping at a remote railroad stop called Mother’s Rest, Jack Reacher finds himself lost in a town of mystery where hundreds have died and the curious folk who remain seem endlessly quiet and ever watchful.

Gripping to the very last page.

  • Book 20 in the Jack Reacher series
  • The Jack Reacher movie was released in 2011 and another will be released in the near future

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Continuing where Larsson left off in his Millennium series is the next chapter in the Lisbeth Salander saga.

Written by David Lagercrantz, who was contracted by the publishing house Norstedts Förlag, care was taken that the novel would not be leaked before the publishing date and that it would be less a “likeness” of Larsson’s work and more a standalone novel.

After losing contact for some time, Mikael Blomkvist enlists Lisbeth’s help once more after he is contacted by a Swedish scientist and warned that both his and Lisbeth’s lives are in danger.

As thrilling and thought-provoking as ever, this is a must for anyone following the series.

  • Fourth novel in the Millennium series
  • Free delivery with Book Depository

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

A list of best reads wouldn’t be complete with the Man Booker Prize winner of the year.

This acclaimed piece of historical fiction follows the near-mythic moment where Bob Marley survives the gunfire that rips through his Jamaican homestead in 1976.

Over the next three decades, we are introduced to the neighbourhood of slum kids and drug lords and become lost in the world of journalists and CIA agents as the aftermath of the near-tragedy unfolds.

  • Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015
  • First Jamaican-born author to win the Man Booker Prize

Best online stores to buy top-rated books


The Book Depository

An online bookstore based in the UK that stocks over 12 million titles and ships worldwide absolutely free.

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Angus and Robertson Bookworld

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Angus and Robertson and Bookworld have teamed up to become one of the largest online book retailers in Australia.

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  • Become a citizen for free delivery on orders over $60 and other member benefits
  • Australian-owned

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Australian bookshop Booktopia stocks books, ebooks and audiobooks as well as DVDs and stationery.

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An emerging bookstore out of the UK, Wordery might be independent, but it stocks a mighty big load of books.

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Dedicated audiobook site, Audible, is Amazon’s portal for audiobooks. Sign up for an account to receive access to the database of over 100,000 audiobooks.

  • Ideal for those who are time-poor
  • Membership allows you to access the full library of audiobooks
  • 30-day free trial is available



One of the biggest names for rare and international books. If you can’t find it anywhere else, there’s a good chance Amazon stocks it.

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Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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