The best books about popularity

Who picked these books? Meet our 25 experts.

25 authors created a book list connected to popularity, and here are their favorite popularity books.
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What type of popularity book?


The Anti-Cool Girl

By Rosie Waterland,

Book cover of The Anti-Cool Girl

Richard Glover Author Of Flesh Wounds

From the list on weird families and how to survive them.

Who am I?

I’m an Australian writer and journalist. I’ve written several humour books, as well as a history of Australia in the 1960 and 1970s called The Land Before Avocado. I also write for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Washington Post and present a radio show on ABC Radio Sydney. Of the books I’ve written, the one that’s closest to my heart is my memoir Flesh Wounds.

Richard's book list on weird families and how to survive them

Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books.

Why did Richard love this book?

Rosie is one of Australia’s most compelling young writers. Her book came out at the same time as mine, so my wife read it straight after my book. Afterward, she picked up my book and said: “You really are just a middle-class whinger.” Ok, it was said with a smile, but she had a point. Rosie’s parents were so much worse than mine—jaw-droppingly awful—yet it’s brilliant how Rosie shrugs off any urge for self-pity.

By Rosie Waterland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anti-Cool Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brutal, brave, hilarious - a full-frontal memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you. Rosie Waterland has never been cool. Growing up in housing commission, Rosie was cursed with a near perfect, beautiful older sister who dressed like Mariah Carey on a Best & Less budget while Rosie was still struggling with various toilet mishaps. She soon realised that she was the Doug Pitt to her sister's Brad, and that cool was not going to be her currency in this life. But that was only one of the problems Rosie faced. With two addicts for parents,…

Book cover of This Song Will Save Your Life

Anna Hecker Author Of When the Beat Drops

From the list on YA about girls who literally rock.

Who am I?

I was a painfully awkward teenager, two years younger than the rest of my class and a little too “extra” to fit in anywhere. I spent all of high school desperately seeking my weirdos—people who would accept me the way I was, rabid-puppy enthusiasm and all. One night I met a colorfully-dressed trio on the street who invited me to a loft party that changed my life. That night I fell in love with NYC’s underground party scene: the high-energy music, grimy locations, and most of all the people. I had found my weirdos. When the Beat Drops is my love letter to discovering your people and finding your scene. 

Anna's book list on YA about girls who literally rock

Discover why each book is one of Anna's favorite books.

Why did Anna love this book?

When I was pitching my book, I used this book as a comp: it’s like This Song Will Save Your Life, but at raves! There are definitely some similarities (credit to Leila Sales: hers came first). They both feature geeky girls, and Sales’ Elise Dembowski is one of the truest awkward-teen first-person voices I’ve ever read. They’re both set against the backdrop of underground music scenes, and the way Sales describes indie dance parties made me feel like I was back in the basement of NYC’s Lit trying to look cool while bopping around awkwardly to Joy Division. Both of our protagonists have weird relationships with older guys, and they both learn lessons that suck at the time but make them stronger. So is there room in the world for two girl-DJ books? Yes! Check out This Song Will Save Your Life and you’ll see exactly why. 

By Leila Sales,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Song Will Save Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski's strong suit. All throughout her life, she's been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales' THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship,…

Before I Fall

By Lauren Oliver,

Book cover of Before I Fall

Jodi Perkins Author Of Chasing Echoes

From the list on where time is out to get you.

Who am I?

During my fifth year teaching 7th grade, I found myself repeating the same lessons as prior years, participating in the same club events, marching in the same parades, etc. My students would inevitably reach the end of the school year and move on, while I was forever frozen in 7th grade. Herein my fascination with time loops was born. Over a decade later, I’m now happily teaching high school English while moonlighting as a writer of stories featuring temporal anomalies and time travel. I hope to spread my wings into dystopians and fractured fairy tales in the future, but until then…I may or may not have 22 clocks in my house.

Jodi's book list on where time is out to get you

Discover why each book is one of Jodi's favorite books.

Why did Jodi love this book?

Before I Fall is Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day, with the popular and pretty protagonist, Sam, forced to relive February 12th (her beloved “Cupid’s Day”) over and over. In the beginning, I had no love for Sam and was appalled by her and her friend’s nasty behavior, but Sam’s character growth throughout the novel is inspirational. The time-turning in the novel is handled flawlessly with repeated events never growing dull, and each new loop offering another layer to Sam’s redemption. Admittedly the book didn’t end the way I wanted (I’m a fan of fairy tale endings, even if unrealistic), but watching Sam evolve from a shallow mean girl to a beautiful soul was a moving experience and made the book worth the read.

By Lauren Oliver,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Before I Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestselling summer read as heartbreaking as The Lovely Bones and as gripping as Jenny Downham's Before I Die.

**Now a major Netflix movie starring Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley*

'Gossip Girl meets Groundhog Day' Grazia

'Tender, funny and raw' Marie Claire

'A clever, funny, insightful and utterly addictive novel' Daily Mail

'Compelling and poignant, a truly memorable read' Closer

They say 'live every day as if it's your last' - but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.
The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't…


By Jonan Berger,

Book cover of Contagious: Why Things Catch on

Marcus Collins Author Of For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be

From the list on helping people get people to take action.

Who am I?

I study cultural contagion and how it influences people to help bridge the academic-practitioner gap for companies (from “blue-chip” brands to non-profits) that aim to put ideas in the world that inspire people to take action. When I’m not putting ideas in the world as the Head of Strategy at Wieden+Kennedy New York, I put people in the world as a Clinical Marketing Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. My entire career has centered on getting people to move, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some of the most notable campaigns in the past years that have created both cultural and commercial impact.

Marcus' book list on helping people get people to take action

Discover why each book is one of Marcus' favorite books.

Why did Marcus love this book?

Where my scholarly diet provided perspective to help me see the world differently, Contagious provided a means to apply this perspective to the ideas I put in the world.

Jonah Berger’s academic work explores the science of why we share what we share and how ideas catch on.

His book, however, takes a step forward and provides a framework that can be leveraged to help engineer ideas in such a way that practitioners might increase the likelihood of their ideas spreading.

This book helped me communicate what previously felt like intuition and empowered me to do so with a level of rigor that enabled me to solicit buy-in for unconventional ideas.    

By Jonan Berger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Contagious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why are some products and ideas talked about more than others? Why do some articles make the most emailed list? Why do some YouTube videos go viral? Word-of-mouth. Whether through face-to-face conversations, emails from friends, or online product reviews, the information and opinions we get from others have a strong impact on our own behaviour. Indeed, word-of-mouth generates more than two times the sales of paid advertising and is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.It is between 8.5 and 30 times more effective than traditional media.But want to know the best thing about word-of-mouth? It's available to…


By Ayun Halliday, Paul Hoppe (illustrator),

Book cover of Peanut

Andrea Pyros Author Of My Year of Epic Rock

From the list on food allergies.

Who am I?

I’m a kidlit author myself. I’ve written two middle-grade novels, one of which is all about having a food allergy, but my interest in food allergies is all due to my first kid. Amelia was born with multiple allergies to common ingredients like eggs and dairy. At first it was hard! Figuring out how to cook for her at home and keep her safe when she was in school or at a friend’s house felt daunting and frightening, so we turned to books for advice, recipes, and education for the entire family. Even if your reader isn’t the one with allergies, they’ve no doubt got a classmate or family member who does. 

Andrea's book list on food allergies

Discover why each book is one of Andrea's favorite books.

Why did Andrea love this book?

A graphic novel for teens, Peanut tells the story of a new girl in town who decides that she needs something to make her interesting to her new high school classmates. So Sadie pretends to have a peanut allergy. Sure, that might make her interesting, but when her lie starts to grow like a snowball rolling down a mountain, Sadie’s not sure how she’ll get out of this disaster of her own making.

By Ayun Halliday, Paul Hoppe (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peanut as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it's like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone... and no one knows you. Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High—pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? (Peanut butter sandwich, anyone?) And then there's the bake sale, when your teacher thinks…

Hit Makers

By Derek Thompson,

Book cover of Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction

Ronnie F. Lee Author Of Know Money No Problem: A Guide to Positive Personal Economics

From the list on creating a better you.

Who am I?

I'm an ordinary person who was able to achieve an extraordinary life for myself. My parents, who currently do not own a home, have always struggled to make ends meet. When I left the US Army at 23 with only $3,000 in savings, I quickly spent it while trying to adjust to civilian life in a foreign country. With a limited college education, I turned to books for inspiration. These books provided me with insights into the details behind success stories and changed my mindset. I was motivated to write my own book, Know Money No Problem, to pay it forward and help others achieve their own version of success. 

Ronnie's book list on creating a better you

Discover why each book is one of Ronnie's favorite books.

Why did Ronnie love this book?

As social creatures, humans place great value on what is widely accepted. Hit Makers is a fascinating study on the mechanisms that drive popularity.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as it provided unique insights into the factors that contribute to the success of music, trends, and markets. Derek's detailed analysis and review of the underlying motives and principles make for a thought-provoking read.

The captivating stories shared in this book offer a deeper understanding of how popularity can be leveraged in business. This book is a valuable study on how hits are made, and it is sure to be an asset to anyone looking to understand the dynamics of popularity.

By Derek Thompson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Hit Makers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Book of the Year Selection for Inc. and Library Journal

"This book picks up where The Tipping Point left off." -- Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

Nothing "goes viral." If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today's crowded media environment, you're missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history-of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity…

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney,

Book cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Jessica Brody Author Of Amelia Gray Is Almost Okay

From the list on for tweens to make parents wonder what’s so funny.

Who am I?

Most people are surprised to hear I wasn’t a reader growing up. All the books I was assigned to read in school were too serious or sad. It wasn’t until I started reading comedy, that I really got into reading. Now, I read everything under the sun, but comedy is still what I love to write. I write the kind of books that I wish I had found as a tween. And to this day, the best compliment I receive is when a parent tells me one of my books made their kid laugh or better yet, turned their reluctant reader into a reader. As a writer, there’s no better feeling! 

Jessica's book list on for tweens to make parents wonder what’s so funny

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

Underdogs unite! I can’t resist a story of an underdog and there’s no better than one than Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

As a fellow middle school “wimpy kid,” I could definitely relate to Greg’s quest to fit in. This book has so many LOL moments, I’ve lost count. All I can say is thank goodness my middle school didn’t have anything called “the cheese touch,” because I surely would have caught it! 

By Jeff Kinney,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Diary of a Wimpy Kid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boys don't keep diaries-or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley's star…

The Prettiest

By Brigit Young,

Book cover of The Prettiest

Shelly X. Leonn Author Of The Ghost and the Wolf

From the list on girl MCs who are owning life.

Who am I?

My novel choices were part of the Afterschool Literacy & Building Modules for an organization called LitShop. It encourages growth in literacy, making, building, and leadership in girls ages 10-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m honored to lead the writing classes. All of the LitShop books feature strong girls who believe they can make and build their way to a better world, and I aim to include similar characters in my stories. Stories can provide us with motivation, inspiration, and companionship, and all of these books have done just that… for the girls of LitShop as well as myself.

Shelly's book list on girl MCs who are owning life

Discover why each book is one of Shelly's favorite books.

Why did Shelly love this book?

I remember struggling with body image when I was the age of these characters. (Actually, if we’re being totally honest, I still do.) The main characters in this novel, however, triumph over the physical expectations placed upon young women by finding kinship and support from one another. The characters themselves are diverse, realistic, and smart. It’s difficult not to see yourself or the young people in your life in them.

By Brigit Young,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Prettiest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A list appears online, ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade.

Eve Hoffman is disgusted by the grating, anonymous text messages she's been receiving ever since she was ranked number one.

Sophie Kane is sick of the bullying she's endured after being knocked down a peg by the list.

And Nessa Flores-Brady is tired of the outside world trying to define who she is.

Reeling from the rampant sexism and objectification in their school, the three girls attempt to track down the list's creator. But are they prepared for what they might find?

The Invisible Boy

By Trudy Ludwig, Patrice Barton (illustrator),

Book cover of The Invisible Boy

Michelle Kaiser Author Of Special Ed and the Bull-ies

From the list on children’s stories teaching kindness and inclusion.

Who am I?

I joined the anti-bullying crusade late in life. After writing my first book, entities were contacting me and asking if I would share their anti-bullying messages on my website. I learned so much about the increasing problem of bullying and how its tentacles reach out to other social issues such as teen suicide, school shootings, and drug use. I thought that Special Ed and the Bull-ies would be my only book but decided that it was important to make it into a series. With each book I can focus on a different aspect of this growing problem and hopefully make a difference in this world.

Michelle's book list on children’s stories teaching kindness and inclusion

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

There are too many children out there who feel lonely and isolated – just like the character in my book. These kids want to be included but are just too shy to step forward, so they often get left out. I chose this book because of the sweet story that demonstrates how one person can change another person’s life with an act of kindness. I also periodically check Amazon’s top 100 Children’s Books on Bullying to see what I want to read (which is where I found this book) and it is currently #1.

By Trudy Ludwig, Patrice Barton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invisible Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gentle story that teaches how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish, from esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton.

A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend...

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian…

Diamond Willow

By Helen Frost,

Book cover of Diamond Willow

Natalie Rompella Author Of Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners

From the list on middle grade sled-dogs.

Who am I?

Sled dog racing? I knew nothing about it most of my life. I became interested after writing a nonfiction book on the history of sled dog racing. So interested, I wrote a novel on it—Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners. I attended local sprint races and even traveled to Alaska to see the start of the Iditarod. I learned so much watching the mushers prepare and the excitement of the dogs. I still enjoy watching the Iditarod, the Yukon Quest, and local sprint races. I’m excited to share a list of great sled-dog books. What I like about my list is that all the books are so different! 

Natalie's book list on middle grade sled-dogs

Discover why each book is one of Natalie's favorite books.

Why did Natalie love this book?

This is my new favorite book. It takes place in a remote town in Alaska where residents must travel by dog sled. Each page has a poem written in a diamond shape that contains a hidden message. Not many books have such a unique format. But what really made the book exciting were the many twists and turns in the plot. (I also learned about diamond willow, but I won’t spoil it for you!)

By Helen Frost,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diamond Willow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

more to me than
most people

Twelve-year-old Willow would rather blend in than stick out. But she still wants to be seen for who she is. She wants her parents to notice that she is growing up. She wants her best friend to like her better than she likes a certain boy. She wants, more than anything, to mush the dogs out to her grandparents' house, by herself, with Roxy in the lead. But sometimes when it's just you, one mistake can have frightening consequences . . . And when Willow stumbles, it takes a surprising group of…


By Hope Larson,

Book cover of Chiggers

Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan Author Of Brain Camp

From the list on scary books for kids.

Who am I?

Both of us grew up in the suburbs, which were honestly kind of boring, especially in the summer—so early on, we turned to books and telling stories to entertain ourselves and others. Susan writes stuff that relies on imagination, fantasy, and creepy stuff—and because she’s kind of immature (what nice people call “a kid at heart”), she also writes a ton of kids’ TV. Laurence’s imagination is more about mysteries and humor—he’s written detective novels and short stories. Writing together is awesome: despite minor differences, we share anxiety, similar senses of humor, and a love of storytelling. In addition to Brain Camp, we wrote the graphic novel City of Spies, as well as the YA dystopian trilogy, Wasteland.

Susan's book list on scary books for kids

Discover why each book is one of Susan's favorite books.

Why did Susan love this book?

Chiggers is both funny and painful in the way it captures that terrifying turning point of growing up: when your former besties become strangers, when you go out on a limb befriending someone new, and when falling in love complicates everything. (Oh, and it teaches you how to make a friendship bracelet!) Camp was intense for both of us: Laurence went to one where they forced the kids to watch a horror movie and when he tried to cover his face with his sweatshirt, a counselor literally yanked it away. Susan went to Korean-American camp, where everyone was supposed to be learning about their culture, but instead focused on what all kids do: first crushes, ghost stories, and intense friendships and betrayals. 

By Hope Larson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chiggers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Abby thinks the new girl at summer camp, Shasta, is great because they both like all the same things, but Abby's friends can stand her, leaving Abby in the middle of a tough situation. Simultaneous.


By Jerry Spinelli,

Book cover of Stargirl

Bob Krech Author Of Love Puppies and Corner Kicks

From the list on featuring girls who are overcomers.

Who am I?

I was an elementary classroom teacher for more than thirty years and my favorite thing to do with my students was “read alouds,” which of course meant I got to read a lot of books. Then I read them to my kids and now my grandkids. I always wanted to read the best because time is so precious in a classroom. My daughter was born very premature and only survived thanks to God and her innate feistiness. She is an overcomer and inspires me to share similar stories. Of the books I’ve written for kids, 2 of the 3 protagonists are girls!

Bob's book list on featuring girls who are overcomers

Discover why each book is one of Bob's favorite books.

Why did Bob love this book?

I know there’s a movie, a play, and a comic book at this point. But read the original book – Stargirl! It’s still the best. “Stargirl” Caraway shows up at Mica High School after being home-schooled her whole life. She does her own thing in an honest, uninhibited way. She brings her pet rat and ukulele to school every day and plays and sings “Happy Birthday” to any and every student on their birthday. She wears kimonos and pioneer clothes. At first everyone else is not sure what to make of her and she is kept at a distance, but eventually she wins people over. Then things go terribly wrong and Stargirl has to decide if it’s best to fit in or be true to herself. 

By Jerry Spinelli,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Stargirl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be an original film on Disney+ streaming service!

Before ELEANOR AND PARK, there was STARGIRL. The seminal life-affirming YA novel celebrating first love and self-acceptance - now in a beautiful new edition for the next generation of readers.

She's as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo's heart with just one smile.

STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read…