What do Michelle Obama and Harry Potter have in common? Their ability to cast a spell over readers, of course. Both have enchanted readers long enough to hold rather extended streaks as the top-selling book on Amazon.com. Looking at all formats sold on Amazon.com ever, these 10 titles hold the longest daily sales streaks at the top. Let's work our way from the bottom to the top.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
In Kathryn Stockett's debut novel set in 1960s Mississippi, two black maids, Aibileen and Minny, collaborate with Skeeter, a white journalism graduate and local socialite, to reveal the lives of "the help" — an especially fraught experiment in the anti-Civil Rights South, where resistance to the status quo could mean death. While The Help released in 2009, buzz for the film adaptation is what propelled the book to its top-selling streak in 2011.
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
In Dan Brown's 2009 hit The Lost Symbol, renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon flies to Washington, DC, where a mysterious group forces him to find two items of great worth — or be responsible for a good friend's death. Langdon's symbology expertise and knowledge of Freemasonry propel him across the capital and into the nation's most famous buildings in search of the long-missing Masonic Pyramid and Lost Word. The sole Langdon novel to take place mostly in the U.S., The Lost Symbol exposed readers to mysterious nooks of American history.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
While many predicted that Michelle Obama's memoir, Becoming, would be a big seller upon its release in November 2018, few anticipated that the former First Lady would be firmly fixed in the No. 1 Most Sold spot on Amazon Charts for eight weeks running. Becoming also won the heart of Oprah, who declared, "I loved it so much I've already read it twice," as she picked it for Oprah's Book Club.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code was not the first time Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon scampered about to solve cryptic mysteries — Dan Brown’s previous book Angels & Demons saw Langdon running around Rome to stop a secret society from overtaking the Papacy. But it was 2003’s The Da Vinci Code that mesmerized readers as if it was Mona Lisa's smile, as Langdon uncovered a millennia-long conspiracy surrounding the hidden descendants of Jesus Christ.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
In book four of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, shenanigans are afoot as the magical Goblet of Fire picks 14-year-old Harry to be a competitor in the perilous Triwizard Tournament, despite the rule that all contestants must be 17 years of age. Dragons, Death Eaters, a falling-out with BFF Ron, and a Yule Ball all keep Harry off center, and a terrible crisis during the final tournament event forces Harry — and his readers — to leave childhood behind. Goblet of Fire was one of the books to read in 2000.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Deathly Hallows cast petrificus totalus on the top spot of the Amazon.com book sales list for a spell in 2007. The Boy Who Lived risks death again at the hands of Lord Voldemort in J.K. Rowling's series conclusion, as Harry and friends embark on a search-and-destroy mission for the hidden Horcruxes that contain Voldemort's soul. But the final Horcrux is located somewhere at Hogwarts, and Voldemort is on his way there as well. The Harry Potter series finale also holds the Guinness World Record for being the “Fastest selling book of fiction in 24 hours,” selling a total of 8.3 million copies across the U.S. in its first day of sale alone.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle taught millions how to be truly present with The Power of Now (1997), but it was his self-improvement book A New Earth that really made its presence known with readers. Oprah selected it for Oprah's Book Club in early 2008, three years after its initial publication. Tolle's message to find joy and purpose by looking inward instead outward at material possessions was embraced by readers, who kept the book on top for a good chunk of 2008.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
In book six, 2005’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the boy wizard returns to Hogwarts as events in the Wizarding World take a very dark turn. Harry begins his quest to find and destroy all of the Horcruxes that each contain part of Voldemort's soul, starting Harry on his fated collision course with He Who Must Not Be Named in book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey's sexy and emotional roller-coaster ride tied readers to the page as the first book in E. L. James's trilogy became the must-read book of 2012. The sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, cemented a new cover look that signaled "steamy inside" to discerning readers, even as they held true to their promise of pulse-pounding encounters almost everywhere but between the sheets.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
You’re a winner, Harry! The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's series owns the top spot for sales streaks with a record that has held fast since the book’s release in 2003. After Harry claims that he was attacked by a dementor, Dolores Umbridge is sent to Hogwarts to crack down on rumors that Voldemort has returned. Harry and friends' decision to secretly learn defensive spells on their own signals Harry's transition from magical celebrity to leader of a movement, and readers discover what the real prophecy is concerning him and Voldemort.
This article was originally published on Amazon Charts on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.