USA TODAY bestselling book of 2021: See the 100 most popular reads – USA TODAY

2021 was a pretty good year for author Dav Pilkey. Not only is his children’s book “Dog Man: Mothering Heights” USA TODAY’s bestselling book of the year, but he also followed up the achievement with four more of his books landing in the Top 100 for 2021, more than any other author.
In addition to “Mothering Heights,” Pilkey earned top spots for “Dog Man: Grime and Punishment” at No. 32; “Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls” at No. 81; “Cat Kid Comic Club” at No. 28; and “Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspective” at No. 67.  
Though, much like 2021 itself, the year didn’t bring all good news for the author. Pilkey’s publisher Scholastic pulled one of his books in March because it said the book perpetuated passive racism. “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk,” published in 2010, was a spinoff of sorts of his popular “Captain Underpants” series that featured a time-traveling caveman who trains at Master Wong’s School of Kung Fu. Pilkey publicly apologized and gave his full support to the halting of publication and distribution of the book. 
“It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends and family, and to all Asian people. … I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism is harmful to everyone. I apologize, and I pledge to do better,” Pilkey wrote in a statement.
More:USA TODAY staff’s 2021 favorite first-time reads: Add these 14 books to your to-be-read pile
Kristin Hannah tops this year’s adult fiction with “The Four Winds,” (No. 2), which USA TODAY rated ★★★½ (out of four) and called “epic and transporting, a stirring story of hardship and love that is likely to lead to a film adaptation.” Hannah was followed in the fiction category by Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library” (No. 5) and Laura Dave’s “The Last Thing He Told Me” (No. 6).
Unlike 2020 when titles on politics, former President Donald Trump and race and racism dominated, we did not see as many current affairs or political books in 2021’s Top 100. “American Marxism” by Mark R. Levin did reach No. 3 and topped the nonfiction category. Only two other current affairs books appeared: “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa (No. 38) and “The Real Anthony Fauci” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (No. 46). 
Actors and rock stars also made appearances this year. Among the titles were “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey (No. 26), which was also the year’s top memoir. Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl also appeared with “The Storyteller” (No. 63), and Will Smith with Mark Manson for “Will” came in at No. 97.
USA TODAY’s Top 100 bestselling books of 2021
1. ” Dog Man: Mothering Heights,” by Dav Pilkey 
2. “The Four Winds,” by Kristin Hannah  
3. “American Marxism,” by Mark R. Levin 
4. “Atomic Habits,” by James Clear   
5. “The Midnight Library,” by Matt Haig 
6. “The Last Thing He Told Me,” by Laura Dave 
7. “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” by Charlie Mackesy
8. ” Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot,” by Jeff Kinney     
9. “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens  
10. “It Ends With Us,” by Colleen Hoover  
11. “A Court of Silver Flames,” by Sarah J. Maas 
12. “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz  
13.  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle  
14. “Dune,” by Frank Herbert 
15. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” by Dr. Seuss
16. “The Judge’s List,” by John Grisham   
17. “Twelve and a Half,” by Gary Vaynerchuk 
18. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid  
19. “The Body Keeps the Score,” by Bessel van der Kolk  
20. “They Both Die at the End,” by Adam Silvera   
21. “I Love You to the Moon and Back,” by Amelia Hepworth; art by Tim Warnes
22. “The Song of Achilles,” Madeline Miller 
23. “Billy Summers,” by Stephen King    
24. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle
25. “People We Meet on Vacation,” by Emily Henry    
26. “Greenlights,” by Matthew McConaughey     
27. “The Wish,” by Nicholas Sparks
28. “Cat Kid Comic Club,” by Dav Pilkey 
29. “Bridgerton: The Duke and I,” by Julia Quinn
30   “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter 
31. “The Silent Patient,” by Alex Michaelides  
32. “Dog Man: Grime and Punishment,” by Dav Pilkey 
33. “Project Hail Mary,” by Andy Weir   
34. “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue,” by V.E. Schwab  
35  “Goodnight Moon,” by Margaret Wise Brown; art by Clement Hurd 
36. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by  J.K. Rowling   
37. “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch; art by Sheila McGraw  
38. “Peril,” by Bob Woodward, Robert Costa 
39. “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone,” by Diana Gabaldon  
40. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End,” by Jeff Kinney   
41. “The Lincoln Highway,” by Amor Towles  
42. “The Hill We Climb,” by Amanda Gorman    
43. “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” by Bill Martin Jr.    
44. “Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories,” by Jeff Kinney  
45. “We Were Liars,” by E. Lockhart   
46. “The Real Anthony Fauci,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  
47. “Apples Never Fall,” by Liane Moriarty  
48. “Verity,” by Colleen Hoover  
49. “Untamed,” by Glennon Doyle  
50. “Sooley,” by John Grisham    
51. “The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman 
52. “Bridgerton: The Viscount Who Loved Me,” by Julia Quinn 
53. “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy!,” by Ree Drummond   
54. “Malibu Rising,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid   
55. “The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett   
56. ” Atlas of the Heart,” by Brené Brown 
57. “The 48 Laws of Power,” by Robert Greene   
58. ” A Court of Thorns and Roses,” by Sarah J. Maas  
59. “1984,” by George Orwell   
60. “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho  
61. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” by Mark Manson  
62. “Midnight Sun,” by Stephenie Meyer
 63. “The Storyteller,” by Dave Grohl   
64. “A Promised Land,” by Barack Obama   
65. “Green Eggs and Ham,” by Dr. Seuss   
66. “Anxious People,” by Fredrik Backman     
67.” Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives,” by Dav Pilkey  
68. “The President’s Daughter,” by James Patterson, Bill Clinton    
69. ” A Gambling Man,” by David Baldacci     
70. “The Going-to-Bed Book,” by Sandra Boynton   
71. “The Christmas Pig,” by J.K. Rowling; art by Jim Field   
72. “Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson    
73. “Better Off Dead,” by Lee Child, Andrew Child     
74. “The Women of the Bible Speak,” by Shannon Bream    
75. “Shadow and Bone,” by Leigh Bardugo    
76. “The Stranger in the Lifeboat,” by Mitch Albom    
77. “What Happened to You?,” by Oprah Winfrey, Bruce D. Perry   
78. “The Guest List,” by Lucy Foley    
79. “You Are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero 
80. “Keep Sharp,” by Sanjay Gupta   
81. “Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls,” by Dav Pilkey  
82. “Later,” by Stephen King    
83. “From Blood and Ash,” by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
84. “Firefly Lane,” by Kristin Hannah  
85. “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” by Anthony Doerr   
86. “Think Again,” by Adam Grant    
87. “Bridgerton: Romancing Mister Bridgerton,” by Julia Quinn 
88. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,” by Dr. Seuss   
89. “Then She Was Gone,” by Lisa Jewell    
90. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee   
91. “The Return,” by Nicholas Sparks    
92. “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak    
93. “Ugly Love,” by Colleen Hoover    
94. “The Dark Hours,” by Michael Connelly   
95. “Killing the Mob,” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard    
96. “A Time for Mercy,” by John Grisham
97. “Will,” by Will Smith with Mark Manson  
98. “Golden Girl,” by Elin Hilderbrand   
99. “Bridgerton: An Offer from a Gentleman,” by Julia Quinn
100. “Home Body,” by Rupi Kaur  
Contributing; Hannah Yasharoff


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