Romance novels reign in Miami. Houstonians unwind with Fifty Shades of Grey. Angelenos go to the beach with Frankenstein. Those are the findings of our new study of summer reading preferences over the past decade, which revealed that the top overall genre was science fiction and fantasy. To learn how tastes in summer books differ across the country, we analyzed 218,000 reviews on the website Goodreads, identifying the most distinctively popular titles in 12 cities since 2007. (For example, Eat, Pray, Love was a hit everywhere, but it accounted for a larger share of summer reading in Washington, D.C. than it did nationwide.) Digital tools helped spur the new dominance of sci-fi and fantasy, according to Andrew Albanese, a senior writer for Publishers Weekly: “Where those genres might have been on a shelf at your local bookstore, now they are prominent online and on social media, and new titles can be pushed to readers.”
What was the most distinctively popular book in your city?
For six weeks, luna moth caterpillars gorge themselves on the leaves of the marula tree. Then, when they're ready, they instinctively weave giant cocoons around themselves in preparation for their stunning metamorphosis.