We picked our Reviewers' Choice Top 10 Books of 2008; however, just because a book is well reviewed does not mean it sells well. Here are the books that were truly the top 10 bestsellers of 2008. These are the books that dominated the bestsellers lists. Unlike the Reviewers' Choice Top 10, not all these books were released in 2008 -- that's just the year on which they made an indelible mark.
- Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
(sci-fi, children books, fantasy series, fantasy, teens)
"Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga, came out in September 2008. The release of the final book in the saga, along with the release of the Twilight movie, spawned huge interest in all four books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. They were the most talked about books of the year! "
- Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
(children books (Ages 9-12), children books, sci-fi, children books series)
"Although Tales of Beedle the Bard was not released until December 2008, online pre-orders made this book a bestsellers months before it was released. Indeed, Harry Potter fans were thrilled to have another book from his world, and anticipated the release of this volume for much of the year."
- The Shack by William P. Young
(literature and fiction, mystery and thrillers, religion and spirituality)
"The Shack by William P. Young was first released in 2007, but it became a phenomenon in 2008. 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. "
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
(motivational, self-help, happiness)
"Each year a Carnegie Mellon University faculty member is asked to deliver what would hypothetically be a final speech to their students before dying. When Randy Pausch, a 47-year-old computer science professor and father of three, was asked to speak in the Last Lecture series in September 2007, he did not have to imagine what he would say if he were dying. In fact, he had been diagnosed with cancer and given three to six months to live. The video of Pausch's lecture became popular over the Internet and spawned the book, The Last Lecture, which was released in April 2008. Pausch lived longer than expected, but died in July 2008"
- A New Earth by Echkart Tolle
(happiness, self-help, religion and spirituality)
"Although Tolle released A New Earth in 2005, its popularity soared after Oprah chose it for her book club in January 2008. In A New Earth, Tolle advocates present moment awareness and the dismantling of the ego as the path towards awakened living. "
- Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
(children books, sci-fi, children books series, adventure, teens)
"Brisingr, the final book in Christopher Paolini' Inheritance series was released in September 2008, but it immediately dominated bestsellers lists as fans of Eragon and Eldest rushed to find out how the trilogy would end."
- The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
(literature and fiction)
"David Wroblewski's debut novel, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, came out in June 2008 and was chosen for Oprah's Book Club in September 2008. We also chose this fabulous story about a man who is born mute and raised on a farm where his parents breed and train dogs for one of our Reviewers' Choice Top 10 of 2008. "
- The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
"The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama first made waves in 2006, but the U.S. Presidental election was the story of 2008, and Obama's book about policy in America drew interest from those who wanted to learn more about the candidate. After Obama was elected President, sales of his books shot up once again."
- The Appeal by John Grisham
(literature and fiction, mystery and thrillers)
"The Appeal was first released in January 2008 and came out in paperback in November 2008. Although Grisham did not break any new ground in The Appeal, he made fans happy with a return to the legal fiction he writes so well after a foray into other genres in 2007 (Playing for Pizza) and 2006 (The Innocent Man)."
- Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
(mystery and thrillers)
"Janet Evanovich remained the queen of beach reading with the release of the fourteenth book in her Stephanie Plum series of thrillers. Evanovich's mysteries are not high brow reading, but they sell like crazy. I guess it is no surprise that readers want sexy, thrilling, mindless adventures every now and then."