Author：Verbena C. W，Elaine Yang
Amazon China unveiled its 2015 fiction bestseller list in December 2015. The books in the fiction top 10 could be considered classics whether they are Chinese books or translation.
As early as 2014, Unworried Store, a fantasy novel by Japanese writer Higashino Keigo, was already on Amazon China’s fiction top 10 list, while The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by the American writer Gabrielle Zevin was a surprise hit. These two excellent books taking the first and second place on the list may be expected, however, Everything I Never Told You, the debut novel by the Chinese-American writer Celeste Ng ranking third place has stunned many people. The novel was an Amazon bestseller in 2014; the story explored family secrets after a girl’s death and featured serious themes of race and gender. The book had won praises from The New York Times and other mainstream media.
Ranked fourth in the top 10 is The Three-Body Problem, a Hugo Award fiction winner by Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin. In the book, a Chinese scientist and nanophase materials expert, Wang Miao, discovered a planet’s real location inside a complex online game with three hard-to-find Suns. When the planet’s Three Body aliens decimated Earth technology with their hi-tech weapons to invade Earth 400 years later, the new civilization forced humans into the battle of their lives. According to ABC, an American media outlet, even President Obama read the English version of The Three-Body Problem during his New Year vacation in Hawaii.
Number five on the list, Web of Deceit, is also a Chinese book. It is a thriller set in the antiques industry by the renowned historical writer Ma Boyong. The novel uses the famous Song Dynasty painting, Along the River during the Qingming Festival, its forgery, sale, and all related intrigue as the backdrop, as well as the suspense surrounding an infamous theft during the Republic of China period. There is so much rich history and cultural background behind every piece of antique, while each item of forgery has endless machinations and plot-within-a-plot as well. The book has already sold more than a million copies in China. Because the author likes to use phrases such as “the legendary so-and-so” in his writing, his fans have jokingly coined the term, “Ma Boyong-style writing.”
The Kite Runner, a classic by Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini, is a regular on top 10 lists, and it’s listed sixth on Amazon China. Another classic story with a longer history, Siddhartha, jumped to number seven here. German writer Herman Hesse, a Nobel Prize winner beloved by Americans ever since the 1960s, used his unique style to describe the Indian prince Siddhartha’s long and arduous journey in becoming the founder of Buddhism.
Book number eight and nine on the list are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s long-running bestseller, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the American sci-fi tale, The Martian. The eponymous movie was a North American blockbuster at the end of 2015, making the novelist Andy Weir a commercial favorite too.
The Qing Dynasty by Chinese historian Sun Haohui ranked tenth, and has the potential of going even higher. The book depicted the epic saga of generations of emperors in the Qing Dynasty trying to survive devious enemies in the Warring States Period (3rd century b. c.), and eventually uniting the Qing Kingdom. The book was made into a TV show of the same name in 2009, was reprinted many times, and numerous readers have called it a “book of enlightenment.”