Years ago, I made a habit of reading on the train to work. It was hard to decide what to read, so I decided to read what everyone else was reading. Using the weekly New York Times Best-seller lists, I compiled a list of “modern classics” to read. These are books that have consistently been on the best-seller lists since 2000. Even when these books are no longer on the new arrivals rack at the bookstore, people still keep buying them.
Since 1950, only about 30 books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list for more than 100 weeks. These are books that consistently sell well for years. People can manipulate the best-seller lists, but not for an extended period. Here are the eleven books that have been best-sellers for over 100 weeks over the past 16 years. Note that the New York Times recently made major changes to their list structure. Also, note that my data is imperfect and I didn’t include children’s books.
- Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom (206 weeks)
- Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (191 weeks)
- The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (166 weeks)
- The Shack, by William P. Young (145 weeks)
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (127 weeks)
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (119 weeks)
- Conversations with God: Book 1, by Neale Donald Walsch (118 weeks)
- Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (111 weeks)
- The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw (110 weeks)
- The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (108 weeks)
- The World is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman (106 weeks)
- Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (102 weeks)
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom (101 weeks)
The book from this list with the best reviews is Unbroken. This book has over 23,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.com!
Mitch Albom is insanely successful as an author. Two of his books appear on this exclusive list.
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