This is a list of the ten best-selling books of the past decade, covering genres ranging from erotica and psychological thrillers to dystopian and classic novels. It includes E.L. James’s “Fifty Shades of Grey”, which ignited worldwide conversations about female desire, and George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones”, renowned for its complex characters and political plots. The list also features the poignant, heart-wrenching love story depicted in John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, and Gillian Flynn’s gripping psychological thriller “Gone Girl”. Harper Lee’s timeless “To Kill a Mockingbird” is also included for its enduring relevance and increased readership.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Arguably one of the most contentious entries on this list, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is nonetheless an undeniable bestseller of the decade. The book is the first in a trilogy that follows the unconventional romance between Anastasia Steele, a literature student, and the wealthy and tormented Christian Grey. Despite its polarizing reviews, the erotic novel enthralled many readers worldwide, and at its peak, a copy of this trilogy was sold every second. E.L. James’s exploration of power dynamics in a sexual context redefined the erotica genre for the 21st century and opened up conversations around female desire.
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The dystopian novel that kickstarted a global franchise, “The Hunger Games,” has long reigned supreme on bestseller lists across the globe. The series centers on Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who becomes an unlikely hero in a dystopian society where children are forced to fight to the death on live television. Collins’s gripping narrative and sharp critique of society’s obsession with reality television captivated millions.
3. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Following the success of HBO’s adaptation, the “A Game of Thrones” books have enjoyed hugely renewed interest over the past decade. This fantasy series is known for its complex characters, intricate political plots, and shocking story twists. Set in a world where winter lasts for years, and every noble family is a pawn in the game for the throne, George R.R. Martin’s series has acclaimed worldwide readership.
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” has touched millions of readers worldwide with its poignant narratives. The book follows the heartbreaking yet uplifting love story of teenage cancer patients Hazel and Gus. The deep contemplation of life, death, and love sparked conversations among young adults worldwide, and the book has become a classic, must-read novel of the decade.
5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
“Gone Girl,” a psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn, remained on the bestseller list for an impressively long time after its release. The book, with its deeply flawed characters and suspenseful plot, explores the dark side of a marriage gone terribly wrong. With its shocking twist and thought-provoking exploration of modern relationships, this novel has kept readers on the edge of their seats.
6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
“The Alchemist” is a metaphoric tale about following your dreams and listening to your heart. It follows Santiago, a simple shepherd who dreams of a treasure waiting for him in the Egyptian desert. Originally published over two decades ago, sales of this book surged in the last ten years like never before, driven by a new generation of readers attracted to its inspiring message and spiritual wisdom.
7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This psychological thriller is yet another testament to the rise of the crime fiction genre this decade. “The Girl on The Train” follows an alcoholic woman who becomes embroiled in a missing person’s investigation that she herself might have caused. Its unreliable narrators and gripping whodunit plot have ensured its place on the bestseller list.
8. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
The second installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy, “Fifty Shades Darker,” continued to ride the wave of interest ignited by its predecessor. It further explores the complexity of the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, delving deeper into their lives and the struggles they face. The series has remained as divisive as ever, but its popularity is undeniable.
9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
This third and final book in The Hunger Games series continued the gripping narrative, pushing Katniss Everdeen into a full-fledged uprising against The Capitol. Collins’ ability to keep readers hooked through this thrilling and engaging saga makes “Mockingjay” one of the best-selling books of the decade.
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was first published in 1960. Still, its message about racial inequality, the loss of innocence, and the power of empathy remained poignant and relevant this past decade, experiencing a resurgence in sales and readership. Although this timeless piece needs no introduction, its thought-provoking content and popularity make it worthy of a place on this list.