What were people reading in the 2000s? Here are 10 books that dominated the bestsellers lists from 2000-2009. These books impacted popular culture and were ubiquitous in the 2000s.
Methodology: Each week we come up with a list of the Top 10 Weekly Bestsellers by comparing lists from major publications and online sellers, and considering which books are creating buzz & hot at the moment. This Best of the Decade list was compiled from our weekly lists, with both sales and cultural impact considered.
(Just because a book is popular doesn't mean it is great. Find out the Top 10 Books of the 2000s, reviewers' choice).
1. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' by J.K. Rowling
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
was released in 2007, it broke all first day sales records. At the end of the decade, it still held that honor. J.K. Rowling's boy wizard was one of the most popular fictional characters worldwide throughout the 2000s, selling millions of books and drawing people into movie theaters. The anticipation for the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
, was immense.
2. 'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer
The Twilight Saga consists of four books: Twilight
, New Moon
and Breaking Dawn
was published in 2005, and the second half of the 2000s became all about vampires! Stephenie Meyer may not have started vampire romance, but her books took it to a new level of popularity. Meyer's young adult novels were popular with teenagers and adults, and were among the top 10 bestsellers for any genre for several consecutive years.
3. 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown is a fast paced thriller where the main characters have to decipher clues in artwork, architecture and riddles to get to the bottom of a murder and save themselves. Released in 2003, The Da Vinci Code
stirred up controversy because it involved a conspiracy in the Catholic Church, and presented ideas that undermine Christianity. Several books were subsequently published debunking and exploring themes within The Da Vinci Code
. Not only did this book top bestsellers lists for years, but it thrust Brown's previous novels into the limelight and spawned a movie starring Tom Hanks.
4. 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
helped millions around the world understand the Afghan people. Released in 2003, Hosseini's book was a gift in a time when a coalition of troops from around the world spent much of the decade fighting a war in this country. The Kite Runner
is a page turner with complex characters and situations that will make you think hard about friendship, good and evil, betrayal, and redemption. It is intense and contains some graphic scenes; however, it is not gratuitous. A great book by many measures.
5. 'The Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell
Published in 2000, Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point
remained popular throughout the decade. The Tipping Point
answers two questions: "Why is it that some ideas or behaviors or products start epidemics and others don't? And what can we do to deliberately start and control positive epidemics of our own?"
6. 'Three Cups of Tea' by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Three Cups of Tea
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is the true story of Mortenson's work building schools in remote villages in Pakistan. Mortenson moves from a lost climber who promises a school to one small village to a major player in promoting peace through education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Three Cups of Tea
was published in 2006.
7. 'Freakonomics' by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
started as a New York Times Magazine
article in 2003. Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist for The New York Times
, was assigned to write a profile of economist Steven D. Levitt. Levitt and Dubner hit it off, and thousands of New York Times
readers also felt a connection. In 2005, Levitt and Dubner published Freakonomics
, a book that uses straight-forward analysis to turn conventional wisdom on its head. The pair also started a popular blog and published a sequel, SuperFreakonomics
, in 2009.
8. 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy
In 2006 Cormac McCarthy added another novel to his growing list of masterpieces. What separated The Road
from his other works was McCarthy’s ability to capture moments of lyrical and emotional beauty in a father and son’s haunted relationship even as a silent cloud of death covers the world in darkness. Oprah chose The Road
as a selection for her book club in 2007, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007 and in 2009 it hit the big screen.
9. 'The Shack' by William P. Young
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.
10. 'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark
is the first book in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series, which inspired the HBO TV series True Blood
and 8 sequels through 2009. Published in 2001, Dead Until Dark
took off later in the decade with the popularity of the TV series and the Twilight-driven vampire craze.