Best selling books of all time – Pt. 2

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Lists, Lists and More Lists, Uncategorized

Here’s the next section of best-selling books to mull over. Part One of the list can be found here.

These have sold between 30 and 50 million since their publication:

The Hite Report by Shere Hite – 48 million

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – 45 million

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – 45 million

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – 44 million

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach – 40 million

A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard – 40 million

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown – 39 million

How the Steel Was Tempered by Nikolai Ostrovsky – 36.4 million in USSR

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy –  36 million in USSR

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – 35 million

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – 35 million

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer – 34 million

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 30 million

In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles M. Sheldon – 30 million

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 30 million

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann – 30 million

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 30 million

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 30 million

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – 30 million

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – 30 million

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – 30 million

The Revolt of Mamie Stover by William Bradford Huie – 30 million

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – 30 million

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – 30 million

My reactions to these? I’ve read:

Charlotte’s Web (The first book I ever checked out of a library!)

Harry Potter (I’ve read all of them, actually)

Angels & Demons (Weak moment, what can I say?)

One Hundred Years of Solitude (One of the greatest books EVER, one I need to re-read)

The Thorn Birds (Teenage fantasy! A priest hot for a woman? SCANDAL.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (To my kids, of course…)

The Diary of a Young Girl (I’ve been to her hiding place in Amsterdam, as well – haunting)

War and Peace

To Kill a Mockingbird (Over and over and over)

Surprises? Valley of the Dolls was interesting. Then again, sex sells. As do drugs and Hollywood celebrity stories. Could Peyton Place be far behind? I have a feeling that’s more my speed.

I’m a little surprised The Very Hungry Caterpillar beat out Goodnight Moon, though I guess my own kids liked the former better. There are holes in the pages you can stick  your fingers through! Bright colors! And lots of foods!

I’m disappointed The Purpose Driven Life sold so well. I was given a copy, decided to be game and give it a try, and I found it one of the most hateful, insufferably sanctimonious books I’d ever read. I think I threw it in our recycle bin, actually. The deciding factor was the reference to Bertrand Russell as being simply an “atheist.” Well, that he was, but first and foremost he was a philosopher, and a great one. Let’s give him credit where it’s due, without the judgmental label.

As for those I’d never heard of:

The Hite Report is a study of sexuality, one volume for men, one for women. Sounds like one I should have heard of, but haven’t. Not that I’m planning to bolt out and buy a copy.

Message to Garcia is about achieving success. It’s a very short book. Maybe I’ve been going about this life stuff the wrong way, because I have volumes and volumes of journals but still haven’t figured out how to be anything but a bum.

How the Steel Was Tempered appears to be a great Russian novel, a fictional autobiography (SEE: Frey, James). Apparently it created more of a splash “over there” than here. I think I’ll stick with War and Peace, thanks.

You Can Heal Your Life, a major self-help book. I already corner the market on those. Think I’ll pass.

In His Steps, obviously religious. Pass!

Think and Grow Rich Hasn’t worked so far. Or maybe for me it’s more “fantasize you are rich.” Subtle difference.

The Revolt of Mamie Stover is a history of Hawaii, and according to at least one Amazon reviewer a “great American story.” Unjustifiably neglected it may be, but nothing about it really blows up my skirt.

Aside from pushing me toward a re-read of One Hundred Years of Solitude this portion of the list didn’t inspire me all that much. Also, it reinforced that I should get around to Stieg Larsson already! Sheesh.

See you next time with another list as we work our way down the ladder.


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