A new trend has been highlighted within this year's Whitcoulls Top 100 Book List, showing Kiwis love to read inspiring stories and life-changing books.

The list, which was announced today, received submissions from more than 25,000 New Zealand readers who voted for their favourite books.

Once more, JK Rowling's Harry Potter series was voted the number one book in the Top 100, despite it being 21 years since the first book was released.

Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series came in at number two and Jojo Moyes' bestselling novel Me Before You took out number three.


The Lord of the Rings was also a popular choice with Kiwi readers, as the fifth most voted for book – it has been on the list since it began, 22 years ago.

However, the interesting new trend shown from the list is New Zealanders' interest in books that either motivate them to improve their lives or true stories that inspire.

Whitcoulls book manager Joan Mackenzie said a good number of these books made the list.

"Self-help bestseller 12 Rules for Life by Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and The Choice, a book by an Auschwitz survivor who took the lessons of that horror and made it her life's work to help people in trauma, have proved popular with Kiwi readers.

"Others, such as Educated and In Order to Live are simply inspiring stories from other people's lives – you can only read in wonder," Mackenzie said.

One of the surprise new entrants was American blogger and author Mark Manson, whose bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*** was a hit with Kiwi readers, storming straight into the number four spot.

There were 29 new books in the Top 100 this year, many of them recent releases, including quirky fiction title Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine at number 8; thriller The Woman in the Window at number 17; and sci-fi/fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses at number 20.

One collection of poetry made the list; poet Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey; along with one cookbook The Edmonds Cookbook; and The Bible made its annual appearance.

The perennial influence of major movies made from books also remained a hallmark of the Top 100, with sci-fi thriller Ready Player One and Love, Simon chief among them.

Classics were also popular, with Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby all making an appearance.

The most read and voted for authors over the past 22 years are: JK Rowling, Lee Child, Jodi Picoult and Diana Gabaldon.

J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was voted the number one book in the Top 100. Photo / File
J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was voted the number one book in the Top 100. Photo / File

"I think that the Top 100 is a reflection of the wide-ranging tastes of our customers, who appear to enjoy a diet of great fiction, fantasy/science fiction, biography and memoir, inspirational and life changing titles, and the classics," Mackenzie said.

"In other words, we're a very broad church."

Full top 100 list: