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Top 10 Books of 2009 - People's Choice

Hottest Bestsellers from 2009


We picked our Reviewers' Choice Top 10 Books of 2009; however, just because a book is well reviewed does not mean it sells well. Here are the books that were truly the top 10 bestsellers of 2009. These are the books that dominated the bestsellers lists. Unlike the Reviewers' Choice Top 10, not all these books were released in 2009 -- that's just the year on which they made an indelible mark.

1. 'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown

'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The Lost Symbol was the most hyped book of 2009. It broke previous records for one day sales of adult fiction when it was released in September 2009. Fans of Dan Brown's previous novels, such as The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, had to wait six years for this third Robert Langdon thriller. Although The Lost Symbol was generally not as well reviewed as Brown's other books, copies still flew off shelves in 2009.

2. 'Breaking Dawn' by Stephenie Meyer

'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer
Little, Brown
Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga, came out in September 2008. The first movie in the Twilight Saga was also released in late 2008, spawning further interest in all four Twilight books. Breaking Dawn was the most popular of the books in 2009, probably because fans new and old were finishing reading the saga in the same year.

3. 'Eclipse' by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown
Eclipse, the third Twilight Saga book, was released in 2007 and continues the story of Edward and Bella. As with Breaking Dawn, Eclipse maintained its place on bestsellers lists thanks largely to the release of the Twilight movie in late 2008.

4. 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man' by Steve Harvey

'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man' by Steve Harvey
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey was released in January 2009 and immediately took a place at the top of bestsellers lists. It stayed there for months, and continued to sell throughout the year. It seems people appreciated relationship advice mixed with humor.

5. 'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell

'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell
Grand Central
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell was released in November 2008. The book investigates the causes of extreme success (outliers). Gladwell’s claim is that it is not primarily individual talent, hard work, or merit of any kind that causes success, but sheer circumstances and luck. Gladwell's books always sell well, and the late 2008 release of Outliers meant that many did not get their hands on it until 2009.

6. 'The Shack' by William P. Young

'The Shack' by William P. Young
Windblown Media
The Shack by William P. Young was first released in 2007, became a phenomenon in 2008, and continued to top bestsellers lists in 2009. This book -- originally written by Young for his kids -- was rejected by mainstream and Christian publishers alike. Young and friends started their own publishing house -- Windblown Media -- to produce it, and in 2008 they teamed up with Hachette Book Group to help meet the demand for more than a million copies of the book. The Shack is the story of a man who confronts God about the tragic death of his daughter.

7. 'New Moon' by Stephenie Meyer

'New Moon' by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown
New Moon is the second of the popular, dark romance Twilight Saga, and was first released in 2006. The movie version of New Moon was released in November 2009, keeping this book on the charts.

8. 'Dead and Gone' by Charlaine Harris

'Dead and Gone'(Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #9) by Charlaine Harris
Penguin Group
Charlaine Harris' beloved telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, returned in May 2009 in Dead and Gone, the ninth installment in Harris' Sookie Stackhouse vampire series. In Dead and Gone, the weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world. But when a were-panther is found dead in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works, she feels compelled to investigate.

Harris' Southern Vampire series is the inspiration for HBO's TV series, True Blood.

  • Read a complete review of the first book in the Southern Vampire series, Dead Until Dark.

9. 'Finger Lickin' Fifteen' by Janet Evanovich

'Finger Lickin' Fifteen' by Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press
Janet Evanovich's series about sassy New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum clearly has readers addicted. Starting with One for the Money and continuing with numeric titles, Finger Lickin' Fifteen was Evanovich's June 2009 addition to the beach bags of America.

10. 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child

'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child was first released in 1961. The 40th anniversary revised edition, which was released in 2001, is the one that flew off the shelves in 2009 thanks to the release of the movie Julie & Julia, which followed the stories of Julia Child and a woman who decided to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year.
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