L'Officiel Art

The Top Ten Bestselling Books at the Strand in 2017

NYC's favorite book store reveals its bestsellers of the year.
Reading time 6 minutes


As New York City’s bookstores dwindle (the former Barnes and Noble on 6th Ave still sits empty five years later and Three Lives on 10th street just narrowly survived), the staying power of Strand serves as a testament to its status as a literary landmark, a mecca to the city’s anti-corporate consumers.


Founded in 1927, the independently-run store has sat at its four-story flagship location, just two blocks south of Union Square, since 1956. Ever since, it has drawn something of a cult following—Strand caps, tote bags, and pins with clever literary references dot the sidewalks and subways acting as a symbol of local pride and intellectualism. The store’s street-level floor sees a constant rotation of selected books by some of the industry’s most prominent writers. Store employees make their picks, too, and they’re just as trusted.


As the go-to place for books in NYC, we asked Strand about their ten bestselling books (they stock close to 2.5 million at any given time), which offer a glimpse into the Big Apple mentality and a reflection of television’s effect on literature consumption. It should come as no surprise that Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which was adopted into a Golden Globe-nominated Hulu series, makes the list.


Read it in full below:

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Though published in 1985, Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale has found new meaning in the Trump era. Before becoming handmaid for an officer and his wife, Offred once had a family and child of her own. Now, women are not taught how to read and are valued only for their ability to procreate. The book has resurfaced after Hulu's recent successful adaptation, which already has garnered two Golden Globe nominations. 


Purchase The Handmaid's Tale from Strand here. 

milk and honey, Rupi Kaur

milk and honey is a compilation of poetry inspired by pain, abuse, love, femininity, and healing. Kaur gained a strong following on Instagram and Tumblr where she first started posting her work alongside complimentary illustrations, also drawn by Kaur. You can read our interview with the author here.


Purchase milk and honey from Strand here. 

1984, George Orwell

Written in 1949, Orwell paints a harrowing and convincing portrait of the future in 1984. Though the year has long since passed, his vision of a corrupt government that suppresses individuality and a city where Big Brother looms over everyone's shoulder feels as relevant as ever. 


Purchase 1984 from Strand here. 

We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from her widely viewed TEDx talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists evaluates what it means to be a feminist in today's society. In the wake of a political and cultural turn, Adichie dives into discrimination, institutional misogyny, and unmasks sexual politics. Fashion lovers will recognize the title from its appearance in Maria Grazia Chiurri's first collection for Dior, and music lovers will recognize a sound bite from Adichie's TEDx talk featuring on Beyonce's track "****Flawless."


Purchase We Should All Be Feminists from Strand here.

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie makes the list twice with her equally impactful, and award-winning Americanah. Two lovers, Ifemelu and Obinze, flee Nigerian dictatorship in search of new lives. After finding success in different continents, enduring racism along the way, the two reunite and evaluate building a life together despite their different paths. Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo are expected to play Ifemelu and Obinze in a forthcoming film adaptation. 


Purchase Americanah from Strand here. 

Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Following the significant buzz around the Showtime series American Gods, which was adapted from his book of the same name, Gaiman released his take on the great Norse myths. 


Purchase Norse Mythology from Strand here.

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay comments on current day feminism while walking us through her experiences as a feminist and women color. Gay leads us through her own self-journey while simoutainlusly evaluating today's culture. Reevaluation and reflection have become a common past time in an age of exploration and questioning authority, and Gay's collection of essays propel these self-evolutionary thoughts.


Purchase Bad Feminist from Strand here.

Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit takes on the dynamics of men and women in this witty essay. Solnit's abrupt description of what needs to be revised in our cultural dynamics helps fuel the current fire for change. Men Explain Things to Me comes at a cultural moment when the portmonteau "mansplaining" takes center stage—where women rightfully call out men for assuming they need help understanding.


Purchase Men Explain Things to Me from Strand here. 

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil DeGrasse Tyson has become something of a cultural icon given his astrophysicist background and the current administration's insistance on denying scientific fact. Here, he helps us find our place in the universe with his summary of the mind-expanding questions, and how to approach them. All boiled down for the five-second minds of today.


Purcahse Astrophysics for People in a Hurry from Strand here.

The Sellout, Paul Beatty

Columbia University associate professor Paul Beatty released his book, The Sellout, in 2015 after 18 different publishers turned it down. A year after finding a financial backer, the satirical novel won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and The Guardian dubbed Beatty the "funniest writer in America." 


Purchase The Sellout from Strand here. 

related posts

Recommended posts for you