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These are the bestselling books of 2020.

Dan Sheehan

January 11, 2021, 12:37pm

You guessed it: A Promised Land, the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs, was always going to lay waste to the competition. We called it back in September, and it has now been confirmed.

Yes, as reported by Publishers Weekly earlier today, A Promised Land was the top print title in 2020, moving nearly 2.6 million copies in just six weeks—a staggering number, though notably less than Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which sold 3.4 million copies in the same period back in 2018 (and which quietly moved another 600,000 copies this year alone).

Stephanie Meyer’s Midnight Sun, Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man, Mary L. Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing, and Glenn Doyle’s Untamed all shifted over 1 million copies in 2020, while social justice books (Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste, Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility) tomes about Donald Trump and his presidency (John Bolton’s The Room Where it Happened, Bob Woodward’s Rage), and popular children’s titles (The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse) also had strong showings.

Here’s the full list, from Publishers Weekly:

1. Barack Obama, A Promised Land (2,574,531 copies sold)
2. Stephenie Meyer, Midnight Sun (1,311,147 copies sold)
3. Dav Pilkey, Dog Man (1,240,277 copies sold)
4. Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough (1,235,924 copies sold)
5. Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (1,235,099 copies sold)
6. Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing (1,132,973 copies sold)
7. Glennon Doyle, Untamed (1,018,536 copies sold)
8. Jeff Kinney, The Deep End (920,709 copies sold)
9. Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility (866,709 copies sold)
10. Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (834,204 copies sold)
11. Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Table, Vol. 2 (808,542 copies sold)
12. Big Preschool Workbook (789,891 copies sold)
13. Crystal Radke, My First Learn to Write Workbook (703,176 copies sold)
14. Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist (697,249 copies sold)
15. John Bolton, The Room Where it Happened (675,140 copies sold)
16. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (610,032 copies sold)
17. Dav Pilkey, Dog Man (601,337 copies sold) [This is on the original list twice, though it’s unclear if it refers to different versions or volumes.]
18. Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere (596,937 copies sold)
19. Michelle Obama, Becoming (595,814 copies sold)
20. Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights (564,110 copies sold)
21. Sean Hannity, Live Free or Die (563,698 copies sold)
22. Isabel Wilkerson, Caste (542,579 copies sold)
23. Bob Woodward, Rage (539,111 copies sold)
24. Ann Whitford Paul, If Animals Kissed Good Night (532,454 copies sold)
25. Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile (525,501 copies sold)

Alas, as is often the case, this year’s Top 25 is almost completely devoid of literary fiction. Maybe next year…

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