Most reviewed Kindle Unlimited books by category

Most reviewed Kindle Unlimited books by category

I continue to be amazed and delighted with books I stumble across  in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon’s subser (subscription service) launched in July with a bit over 600,000 titles…and has already grown to over 800,000!

When I run across books I want to read, I add them to a special Amazon wish list I have just for that purpose.

I thought what I’d do, though, is go through each of the major categories in the USA Kindle store within Kindle Unlimited, and see what book is the most reviewed in each of them.

I use “most reviewed” (which is a sort I apply myself…see New search tip: sort by Most Reviews for information about how I do it) because I find that tends to net me the most “mainstream” of the books. Bestselling is more ephemeral…it changes often, but once you have reviews, you aren’t likely to go backwards. 😉 These review counts aren’t limited to the Kindle editions, so that also helps find the “standard list”.

The categories are, I believe, chosen by the publisher…you might not agree with a book being put in a particular category, because the publisher may have done it for marketing purposes. I’ve seen the same book classified as fiction and non-fiction, for example.

Here are those major categories (with the count of KU titles) and the most reviewed Kindle Unlimited book in each:

  • Arts & Photography (30,142): Guitar Mastery Simplified: How Anyone Can Quickly Become a Strumming, Chords, and Lead Guitar Ninja by Erich Andreas
  • Biographies & Memoirs (28,514): Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Business & Money (41,419): Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis
  • Children’s eBooks (69,943): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Comics & Graphic Novels (4,315): 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman
  • Computers & Technology (7,918): Windows 8 For Dummies by Andy Rathbone
  • Cookbooks, Food & Wine (22,976): Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • Crafts, Hobbies & Home (18,421): Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
  • Education & Reference (34,478): The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  • Foreign Languages (125,075): Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal (Libro 1) (Spanish Edition) by J.K. Rowling
  • Gay & Lesbian (6,623): The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Health, Fitness & Dieting (55,911): The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D Chapman
  • History (17,415): Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Humor & Entertainment (25,470): Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Literature & Fiction (261,891): The Hobbit: 75th Anniversary Edition by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense (56,656): The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle
  • Parenting & Relationships (16,289): What to Expect When You’re Expecting: 4th Edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  • Politics & Social Sciences (17,236): Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
  • Professional & Technical (24,799): The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  • Religion & Spirituality (75,668): The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D Chapman
  • Romance (52,448): War Brides by Helen Bryan
  • Science & Math (11,640): The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy (63,016):
    Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (The Silo Series) by Hugh Howey
  • Self-Help (29,000): E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout
  • Sports & Outdoors (13,823): Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
  • Teen & Young Adult (36,202): The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins
  • Travel (12,802): The Illegal Gardener (Greek Village Book 1) by Sara Alexi


These books would cost you over a hundred dollars to buy to own…if you read ten books a month, you are getting to read them at the cost of about a dollar a book.

You can see the impact of the categorization thing I mentioned: several books are the most reviewed book in more than one category.

Obviously, some of them are also very well known! However, if you asked me as a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager to recommend a science book or a romance book, for example, I wouldn’t say these would be the first ones to come to mind.

Hopefully, this listing will help you find a book or more to use with your KU membership. If you aren’t a KU member, you can get a free month…or you could buy the books.


What do you think? Pick one or more of these categories…what would be the first book that came to mind for you? Do any of them match the above? Which categorizations surprised you the most? Do you think that using the “most reviews” produces fairly representative choices? If not, how would you suggest I do that? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

New! Join over a thousand readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


5 Responses to “Most reviewed Kindle Unlimited books by category”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Just a couple of comments:

    “The Atlantis Gene” in the mystery/thriller category is actually Science Fiction with a bit of a thriller overtone — it is the first book of a trilogy (I’ve read them all, and gave them all 4 stars — good but not outstanding).

    A favorite author of mine Michael Lewis appears in three categories for “The Big Short” (in two different categories), and for “Flash Boys”. I know Lewis slightly — as he started out as a trader/salesman at Salomon Brothers where I was a manager — I had Michael in several of the classes I taught as part of Salomon’s Sales/Trading training program. His first book “Liar’s Poker” was about his time at Salomon (the “masters of the universe” era of the mid to late eighties). I found the book hilarious — it presents an ant’s eye view of many of the goings on at Salomon — some of which I was involved in — albeit from a somewhat more elevated view.

    He is better known for “The Blind Side”, and “Moneyball” both about sports, and both made into successful movies — “The Blind Side” movies was the sleeper of the year — it was expected to take in maybe $30-40 million — it ended up somewhere north of $330 million.

    “The Big Short” is perhaps the best unpoliticized analysis of what led to the economic crash of 2007/2008 — by someone who knows how Wall Street investment banks work from the inside. It is somewhat technical, but still very good!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The Atlantis Gene was one of the ones that stood out to me as one that would have surprised me to see it categorized that way in a brick-and-mortar bookstore. The publishers can do whatever they want, of course, but I do find combining “thrillers” with “mysteries” tends to produce some “odd shelf fellows”. 😉

      Interesting about Michael Lewis! I’d noticed the Big Short and Flash Boys showing up…I haven’t read the author, though. I suspect that knowing someone tends to make us value their creative outputs more highly…not saying that isn’t justified in this case, of course: just an observation. 🙂

      I do follow the box office quite closely (I write about it in The Measured Circle blog, and have some lists for it on IMDb).

      Certainly, The Blind Side was a surprising hit!

      I think your estimate might be a bit high, though…one of the difficulties it faced was that it’s box office was overwhelmingly domestic. According to (the Amazon owned) Box Office Mojo

      about 82.8% of it was domestic (out of a worldwide total of about $309 million).

      Looking at the other top 10 movies (based on domestic box office, in order top to bottom) from 2009, you see a pretty different picture:

      Avatar: 27.3% domestic
      Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: 48.1% domestic
      Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 32.3% domestic
      The Twilight Saga: New Moon: 41.8% domestic
      Up: 40.1% domestic
      The Hangover: 59.3% domestic
      Star Trek: 66.8% domestic
      Alvin and the Chipmunks: 49.6% domestic
      Sherlock Holmes: 39.9% domestic

      The only other one with more than 50% domestic was The Hangover…and it’s a lot harder for comedies to succeed outside of their countries of origin than adventure or for that matter, drama. I think that’s both cultural and the fact that comedies often depend on word play which is hard to translate effectively.

      However, and importantly, the budget for The Blind Side was only $29 million. It’s worldwide gross was more than ten times that, which is very impressive!

      The Transformers movie, for example, was only about four times.

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        If it weren’t for the stunning box office results for Avatar, I would think “The Blind Side” results would have gotten more notice outside the somewhat parochial Hollywood venues. What was most impressive to me about the “Blind Side” was that it was driven almost entirely by word of mouth.

  2. Man in the Middle Says:

    One interesting wrinkle in # of reviews: The author of one series added a final page offering the next book in the series for free to anyone posting an honest review of that book on Amazon. That offer has been renewed to that group through each successive book, up through the fifth in the series, which I downloaded today.

    Since there’s no attempt to fish for favorable reviews, I’m not seeing anything wrong with this, and really appreciate all the free books. But someone seeing only that each book has been reviewed hundreds of times, rather than the usual few might think the series is even more popular than it already is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: