Monday, January 10, 2011

The Bestsellers of 2010

A recent Publishers Lunch e-mail contained lists of the top-selling adult fiction and adult non-fiction for the past year, courtesy of Nieslsen BookScan.  The lists are interesting snapshots of what the majority of readers are sinking their brains into, and so I thought I'd shared them with you this morning.  As Publishers Lunch notes: These lists reflect Nielsen BookScan's practice of listing bestsellers by individual editions/ISBNs, rather than combining sales across multiple versions of the same work--hence the multiple slots occupied by books by Elizabeth Gilbert and Stieg Larsson. Some of the other books making the list would also have higher total sales for the year if counted across all editions. We have noted the format and ISBN for each listed edition for clarity. Sales numbers are for print copies, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Adult Nonfiction
1  DECISION POINTS, by George W. Bush (Crown, hardcover: 9780307590619)
2  EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, trade paperback: 9780143038412)
3  WOMEN, FOOD, AND GOD, by Geneen Roth (Scribner, hardcover: 9781416543077)
4  EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, movie tie-in trade paperback: 9780143118428)
5  EARTH: The Book, by Jon Stewart & The Daily Show (Grand Central, hardcover: 9780446579223)
6  CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG, by Chelsea Handler (Grand Central, hardcover: 9780446552448)
7  SH*T MY DAD SAYS, by Justin Halpern (It Books, hardcover: 9780061992704)
8  ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT'S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler (SSE, paperback: 9781416596363)
9  LIFE, by Keith Richards (Little, Brown, hardcover: 9780316034388)
10  THE BIG SHORT, by Michael Lewis (Norton, hardcover: 9780393072235)
11  STRENGTHS FINDER 2.0, by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, hardcover: 9781595620156)
12  THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson (Penguin, trade paperback: 9780143038252)
13  SPOKEN FROM THE HEART, by Laura Bush (Scribner, hardcover: 9781439155202)
14  GAME CHANGE, by John Heilemann and Mark Halpern (Harper, hardcover: 9780061733635)
15  UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House, hardcover: 9781400064168)

Adult Fiction
1  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson (Vintage, trade paper: 9780307454546)
2  THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson (Vintage, trade paper: 9780307454553)
3  THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET, by Stieg Larsson (Knopf, hardcover: 9780307269997)
4  THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett (Amy Einhorn Books, harcover: 9780399155345)
5  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson (Vintage, mass market: 9780307473479)
6  THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson (Vintage, mass market: 9780307476159)
7  LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster, trade paperback: 9781416589648)
8  THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham (Doubleday, harcover: 9780385528047)
9  A RELIABLE WIFE, by Robert Goolrich (Algonquin, trade paperback: 9781565129771)
10  THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, by Garth Stein (Harper, trade paperback: 9780061537967)
11  CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese (Vintage, trade paperback: 9780375714368)
12  SAFE HAVEN, by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central, hardcover: 9780446547598)
13  DEAD IN THE FAMILY, by Charlaine Harris (Ace, hardcover: 9780441018642)
14  THE LAST SONG, by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central, mass market: 9780446570961)
15  SAVOR THE MOMENT, by Nora Roberts (Berkely, trade paperback: 9780425233689)
For the record, I have not read a single title on either of these charts.  Only Unbroken and the Stieg Larsson trilogy are on my short-list of To-Be-Read books.


  1. I'm O-for-the-list as well, David, though I probably will take a look at Stewart's "Earth" at some point.

  2. I would give anything to get into a big historical novel, the type that James Michner was so good at writing, such as Hawaii. I also loved Herman Wouk's Winds of War (2 bks were in this set, I forgot the title(s)). James Clavell's book on PreCommunist China, Tai Pai was wonderful, and in my not-so-humble opinion, better than Shogun! The last hx fiction I read was Ann Rice's Feast of All Saints, a fabulous novel of New Orleans and the French Quarter. I find nothing wrong with reading for entertainment; but I do expect a certain level of talent/creativity on the part of the author. I do hope somebody will revive the Historical Novel, and give it the attention such an effort deserve. Future generations of young people will certainly benefit from more History!

  3. I read Cutting for Stone (memorable and fascinating), A Reliable Wife (riveting and compelling), and The Help (a tear-jerker).