The Most Popular Books and Audiobooks on NetGalley in 2021

As we bid goodbye to 2021, it’s exciting to reflect back on our reading year. Earlier this month, we shared some of the best books the NetGalley team read this year and our most-anticipated reads of 2022. Now we’ve determined which books you—our members—loved the most. In 2021, ​members submitted nearly 1 million Feedback/Reviews for over 22,500 books and audiobooks—that’s a lot of reading! Let’s take a look at some of your favorites.

The books below were the most popular on NetGalley this past year based on total member activity (including approved requests, widget invites, Read Now access, and auto-approved access). This includes both 2021 releases and upcoming 2022 books which were active on NetGalley during 2021!

These books in the top 15 categories had the most activity on NetGalley. How many have you read?

Most Popular Books

Teens & YA

General Fiction (Adult)

Mystery & Thrillers

Sci Fi & Fantasy


Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

New Adult

Women’s Fiction

Biographies & Memoirs

Literary Fiction

Historical Fiction

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Nonfiction (Adult)

Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga




Maiden Voyages by Siân Evans

After the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Most Popular Audiobooks

Members couldn’t get enough of audiobooks this year—especially these 10 audiobooks that had the most activity in 2021! Which did you listen to?

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee

The Therapist by B.A. Paris, narrated by Olivia Dowd and Thomas Judd

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, narrated by Natalie Naudus

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones, narrated by Clare Corbett

Mother May I written and narrated by Joshilyn Jackson

False Witness by Karin Slaughter, narrated by Kathleen Early

No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Sophie Amoss, and Chris Andrew Ciulla

From our August 2021 survey for NetGalley members, we learned that your top five favorite audiobook narrators are: Julia Whelan, Bahni Turpin, Andi Arndt, Cassandra Campbell, and Scott Brick!

Most Liked Covers

Do any of these look familiar? Here are the most liked covers on NetGalley in 2021!

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

We want to know the authors, books, narrators, and covers that stood out to YOU this year! Join us on Instagram for #MyNetGalleyYear story templates and to discover what your fellow readers loved this year.

  1. Thank you so much for sending this. I hope to do much more with NetGalley in the coming year.
    The ability to read and review helps my own creative juices flow. One day, I hope my novel will be listed on NetGalley.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year, Elizabeth A. Havey

  2. I am absolutely loving NetGalley with all the wonderful books and authors! A couple of my favourite tiles were False Wutness by Karin Slaughter and The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis. Thank you for letting me be a part of this girl wonderful community.

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