10 Years, 10 Books—A Look Back at Kindle Best Sellers

Alynda Wheat on November 18, 2017
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Kindle10.jpgIt was 2007, the year Prince rocked the Super Bowl in the rain, Bob Barker hosted his final episode of The Price Is Right, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wrapped up the saga of a boy wizard fighting the ultimate evil. It was also the year Kindle was born. Happy 10th birthday to Kindle, which gave us the ability to read countless books instantly and hold an entire bookshelf in the palm of the hand. Here are the Most Sold Kindle books for each year since Kindle was launched:

Handmaids.jpg2017: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

It’s Margaret Atwood’s year — we’re just living it. The Handmaid’s Tale saw fantastic spikes in sales, and the TV adaptation won eight Emmy Awards. Atwood’s cautionary Tale, in which women are forced into roles as servants, reproductive hosts, or soulless hausfraus, has as much punch today as when it was published in 1985.

Girl.jpg2016 and 2015: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train was such a literary juggernaut that it topped Kindle sales for two years running. The thriller, with its unreliable narrator who doesn’t know what she saw or remember what she did, was fast-tracked onto the big screen within two years of publication.

Fault.jpg2014: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

There’s no getting out of a John Green book tear-free, as his legions of fans, or "Nerdfighters," know. The love story of cancer-stricken teens Hazel and Augustus is believable and inspiring. If you’re still in one piece after this one, try Green’s follow-up, the Amazon Charts best seller Turtles All the Way Down, about a teen struggling with anxiety issues. Keep the tissues handy.

inferno.jpg2013: Inferno by Dan Brown

Dan Brown has a knack for turning art and literature into jaw-dropping criminal escapades. His 2003 blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, launched a literary trend of heart-pounding thrillers in  classical and academic settings, but nobody does it better. In this book, the fourth in the series, symbologist Robert Langdon races to save the world from a nefarious plot cooked up by an obsessive fan of Dante’s Inferno.

50shades.jpg2012: Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

The risqué content might make some blush, but this book, first in a trilogy, was a phenomenon. E L James turned her steamy take on Twilight fan fiction, initially self-published, into an industry. Her other Fifty Shades books are also mega-best sellers, and the two films spawned by the series (a third is due in 2018) have generated more than $950 million in global box office revenues.

help.jpg2011: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett hit a nerve with her book about a group of domestic workers in 1960s Mississippi who contribute to an anonymous tell-all that puts them in unspeakable danger. But while the danger may be unspeakable, the characters find their voices in their secret book, and Stockett found hers in The Help. The book got a boost from the 2011 movie adaptation, which won an Oscar for Octavia Spencer's performance.  

girl-dragon.jpg2010: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (translated by Reg Keeland)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t just bring attention to former journalist Larsson, who died before the books were published. They also proved there was a market — an enormous one, in fact — for books in translation. The series inspired movie versions in two languages and found a role model in Lisbeth Salander, making an American hero out of an antisocial Swede.

lost-symbol.jpg2009: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol, the follow-up to Brown's breakthough novel The Da Vinci Code, continues the adventures of Harvard professor Robert Langdon, this time in Washington, where he is peering into the history of Freemasonry. The next two books in the series also have become huge best sellers, including the recently published Origin, which sits near the top of Amazon Charts' Most Sold fiction list.

complete.jpg2008: The Complete User's Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle by Stephen Windwalker

Oh gosh. Um, this is a surprise. We’d like to thank the Academy. … All joking aside, readers were so excited when Kindle arrived that folks often used their first device to learn more about how to use it. The guidebook by Stephen Windwalker offered tips and tricks to unlocking the full power of the E-reader.

pillars.jpg2007: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Ken Follett was already a best-selling suspense author before publishing The Pillars of the Earth in 1989, but that mighty historical novel (nearly 1,000 pages!) set in 12th century England took him in an entirely new direction. Nearly three decades later he's just published the third book in his Kingsbridge series, A Column of Fire, which sits high on Amazon Charts' Most Read fiction list. This one weighs in at 927 pages, which is still tough to carry — unless, y’know, you have a Kindle.


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