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World Languages, Biblio File

September 2016 International Fiction Bestsellers: China, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, UAE

International Fiction Bestsellers September 2016Chinese sci-fi, Japanese and Polish crime novels, Spanish historical fiction, novels of Nigeria, Arabic literary fiction, Harry Potter... 

Do you ever wonder what books are popular with readers in other countries? We do, so we’ve been taking a look at some bestseller lists from around the world to see what people are reading. In May we checked the fiction bestseller lists in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, and Russia, and in July we looked at bestseller lists from France, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Sweden. This month takes us to China, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. Why not come along? We've been finding an interesting mix of internationally popular authors like JoJo Moyes together with local authors whose work may or may not be available to read in English. 

What country's bestseller lists are you curious about? Do you check any lists from outside the United States? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wherever possible, links to find the bestsellers in different languages in the library catalog are included.


The Devotion of Suspect XThree books by popular Japanese author Keigo Higashno are in the top ten on the weekly bestseller list published by China’s Open Book website. 解忧杂货店 / Jie you za huo dian [The Miracle in the Grocery Store] is number one. This book has not been translated into English; it is currently available at NYPL in the original Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Also in the top ten is Higashino’s award-winning thriller, The Devotion of Suspect X, available at NYPL in Japanese, English, Spanish, and Russian.The library also has many other novels by Higashino to borrow in the original Japanese, in English, Chinese, Korean, and a few in Russian and Spanish.

The Three-body Problem [San ti  三体], Liu Cixin’s science fiction novel set during China’s Cultural Revolution is number four on the list. The English translation is by American fantasy writer Ken Liu. The Three-body Problem is currently available to borrow from NYPL in the original Chinese, English, and Korean.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is number two on the list; it is currently available to borrow in English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Italian, and Polish. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (百年孤独 / Bai nian gu du) is also in the top ten. NYPL has copies of the book in the original Spanish,English, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Gujarati.

Also on the list is Rickshaw Boy or Camel  / Luo tuo Xiangzi 骆驼祥子 by Lao She, a classic of 20th century Chinese literature. An English translation is available as an e-book from NYPL. You can also borrow the 1982 film adaptation, directed by Zifeng Ling.



Our information on bestsellers in Nigeria comes directly from two of the country’s booksellers, Roving Heights Books based in Lagos, and AMAB Books in Minna. Many thanks to the booksellers for sharing their lists and to Zaynab Quadri at for help with bookseller contacts!

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma was one of the top five fiction bestsellers at both AMAB and Roving Heights books. NYPL has copies of this title to borrow or download in English. The author’s website lists forthcoming translations of The Fishermen in 24 languages!

Other novels by Nigerian authors found on the AMAB and Roving Books bestseller lists and available at NYPL are: Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin, Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett, and A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta. Ghana Must Go by London-born author Taiye Selasi is also on the list.

These posts usually mention fiction bestsellers only, but as the booksellers kindly shared information on nonfiction titles, here are the top two, both by Nigerian authors. The top seller (fiction and nonfiction combined) at AMAB Books was Naija No Dey Carry Last, essays by Pius Adesanmi, published in 2015, and the number one nonfiction title for Roving Heights Books was The "Girl" Entrepreneurs: Our Stories So Far, edited by Ibukun Awosika, published in 2008. These titles are not available to borrow from the library, but The “Girl” Entrepreneurs and several works by Pius Adesanmi are available in the research collection at the Schomburg Center. Neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi’s recent memoir of facing cancer, When Breath Becomes Air, is number two on the Roving Heights nonfiction list. This title is available to borrow or download from NYPL.


Two Polish authors top this week’s bestseller list at followed by the world’s favorite wizard. Brud [Dirt] the third novel by Piotr C. is number one followed by  Lampiony [Lanterns], the third book in Katarzyna Bonda’s Cztery Żywioły [Four Elements] crime series. Neither of these authors has been translated into English. NYPL has several of Bonda’s books to borrow in Polish

Cursed Child - PolishNext on the list is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child /Harry Potter i Przeklęte Dziecko (Polish publication date 10/22/16.) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently available only in English at NYPL, but the library has other books in the Harry Potter series to borrow or download in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

American thriller writer Tess Gerritsen is also on’s bestseller list this week. Her latest novel Playing with Fire / Igrając z ogniem is number five. In addition to the original English versions, NYPL has several novels by Gerritsen to borrow in Polish, many in Russian, and a few in Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese, and Korean. Finally another Polish mystery writer is in this week’s top ten. Mock is the seventh title in Marek Krajewski’s historical mystery series featuring detective Eberhard Mock, set in pre-World War II Wrocław (known then as Breslau). The first four Eberhard Mock novels are available to borrow or download in English at NYPL, and Krajewski’s books are also available to borrow in Polish.


New novels by Spanish authors are at at the top of El Cultural’s Spanish fiction bestseller list this week followed by novels in translation. Los herederos de la tierra [Heirs of the Earth] by Ildefonso Falcones, a sequel to the 2006 bestseller La catedral del mar / Cathedral of the Sea, a dense historical novel set in 14th century Barcelona, is number one. This hasn't been translated yet. Other novels by Falcones are currently available to borrow or download from NYPL in Spanish and English.

Patria [Homeland] by Fernando Aramburu is second on the fiction bestseller list. The library has other titles by Aramburu in the original Spanish. My Name is Lucy Barton, the latest novel by American author Elizabeth Strout is third. This title is currently available to borrow or download in English. Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge is available to borrow in Spanish, French, and Arabic, as well as the original English.

BoussoleFrench novelists also appear on El Cultural’s fiction list this week. Brújula / Boussole [Compass] by Mathias Enard, 2015 winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary award, is number four. An English translation of Boussole is forthcoming from New Directions. The original French is currently available to borrow from the library. Number five, El libro de los Baltimore / Le livre des Baltimore [The Book of the Baltimores] by popular Swiss author Joël Dicker is not yet available in English. NYPL currently has the book in the original French and in Spanish. Dicker’s earlier bestselling thriller La vérité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert / La verdad sobre el caso Harry Quebert  / The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is available to borrow in French, English, Spanish, Italian, and Korean,

Swedish author Henning Mankell is also in Spain’s fiction top ten this week. Botas de lluvia suecas / Svenska gummistövlar [Swedish Rain Boots], a sequel to Italian Shoes and Mankell’s final novel, is number six. There is no English translation yet, but many of Mankell’s novels are available at NYPL in English and Spanish, as well as a few in Polish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Arabic.

United Arab Emirates

The Bamboo StalkMagrudy’s in the United Arab Emirates publishes bestseller lists for both Arabic and English bestsellers. Topping Magrudy’s list of bestsellers in Arabic is The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi, winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2013. Alsanousi’s 2015 novel Fi’rān ummī Ḥiṣṣah [Grandma Hessa’s Mice] not yet translated into English, is second on the list. The Bamboo Stalk is avaiable to borrow or download in English. Some other titles on the Arabic fiction list are Retaj by Hamad Al Hammadi, a romantic novel set in the context of contemporary political and religious events, adapted into a television show in the UAE, and Hepta, a popular novel by Mohamed Sadek, adapted into a film in 2016. 

When we checked the English fiction bestseller list on the Magrudy’s website this week, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was at the top, followed by After You and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger and Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith were also in the top five. Translations of various novels by Jojo Moyes are currently available to borrow from NYPL in Russian, Spanish,Korean, Polish, and Italian. Novels by South African author Wilbur Smith are available in Italian, Hungarian, Russian, and Polish, as well as in English.

That's all for this installment of International Fiction Bestsellers. Check back in November for bestsellers from five new countries!


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