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Best Books of the Decade - People's Choice

Bestsellers of the 2000s


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

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Scholastic, Inc.
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

'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown
The Twilight Saga consists of four books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Twilight 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
Anchor Books
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
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini helped millions around the world understand the Afghan people. Released in 2003, Hosseini's book was not only a page turner with well developed characters and situations; it was also a way for the American people to feel connected to a war far away.

5. 'The Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell

'The Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell
Little, Brown
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
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is the story of Mortenson's work building schools in remote villages in Pakistan.Three Cups of Tea was published in 2006 and became controversial years later when it came out that Mortenson had fabricated some of the story.

7. 'Freakonomics' by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

'Freakonomics' by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
William Morrow
Freakonomics started as a New York Times Magazine article in 2003. The pairing of Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist for The New York Times, and economist Steven D. Levitt. Levitt worked well. 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

'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy
In 2006 Cormac McCarthy added another novel to his growing list of bestsellers. 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

'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.

10. 'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris

'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris
Ace Books
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.
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