The Whitcoulls Top 100 2012-13

Media release

July 16, 2012

Murder, lust and revenge top the list

From murderous thrillers to scandalous love affairs, New Zealanders have revealed their favourite reads in the Whitcoulls Top 100 of 2012-13.

The Whitcoulls Top 100 has been the go-to guide for reading enthusiasts for more than a decade and with 20,000 votes this year, it’s proof Kiwis still love to have their say on their favourite books.

The number one spot this year remains the award-winning crime series the Millennium Trilogy, with popular teen trilogy The Hunger Gamestaking the silver medal and classic series The Lord of The Rings coming in at number three.

The timeless love tale of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice was voted in at number four.

New to the Top 100 at number 5 is the controversial heated passion saga of Anastasia and Christian in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.

While the undiminished popularity of the top three comes as no surprise, Whitcoulls book manager Joan Mackenzie says the rest of this year’s list showcases the variety of New Zealand readers’ tastes.

“We are seeing a real diversity coming through in the books New Zealand adults are reading which is fantastic,” Joan says.

“There are classics that appear on the list year in, year out. But with hundreds of thousands of new books published every year, it’s exciting to see some new titles winning over New Zealand readers.”

“The Fifty Shades trilogy has taken the international reading world by storm and it appears New Zealanders are just as caught up in the hype. 28 books have made it onto the list for the first time so it’s good to see Kiwis like to mix it up a bit!” Joan says.

For the first time readers were also asked to vote for their favourite author. The top three further showed a range of reading tastes with drama queen Jodi Picoult taking out the top spot, children’s fiction guru JK Rowling coming in at second and the master of thrillers Lee Child being voted to third place.

Other interesting facts about the Top 100:

  • General fiction is by far the most popular genre in 2012-13 with well over half the books coming from this category
  • Adults are reading some of the same things their children read – Harry Potter, The Hunger Gamesand the Twilight series
  • The most popular book since the Top 100 started in 1996 is The Lord of The Rings

The Top 100 books are available now at Whitcoulls stores nationwide and the full list is available online.

Dear New Zealand

All in all, you have pretty good taste in books. I’m not saying you don’t make some mistakes. I mean sure we loved the LOTR movies but Tolkein did not write the books about us, so can we let that go? And, ok, we like new and exciting things but lord above, the internet has been around for a while now and we’re only JUST discovering “women’s erotica”? Fifty Shades of Grey is not the fifth most enjoyable book in the world. It’s not even the fifth most enjoyable porn book (let’s just call it like it is) in the world. And Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series at 3-fricken-3? 33?? 33???

Aaanyway, at least you got it right with Pride and Prejudice. And The Book Thief. And The Time Traveller’s Wife. And Shantaram and The Great Gatsby and Dune and The Poisonwood Bible and 1984 and The Catcher in the Rye and the Edmonds Cookbook.

And at least you gave me a giggle by rating The Secret above Ian McEwan. Good one.

But I guess I just have to accept that this is your Top 100, not mine alone. So I’m okay with the things you got wrong and happy with the things you got right. And glad to see such a great mix of books being read by happy readers.

Cheers and see you next year,

P.S. Speaking of next year, would you care to place a wager on how quickly Fifty Shades of Grey drops off the list? :)