ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Books & Novels

Bestsellers of 2011

Updated on June 14, 2012

Part of what I do online is review books and sell them through various websites. This has allowed me to see which books rightly belong on the bestsellers list for 2011. To choose a top 10 best selling list, most book sellers tell you what they sell most of that week, or perhaps just list the books they wish to promote in that week.

As I have been selling hundreds of books weekly, I can now bring you an accurate list of the actual bestsellers of 2011.

Not all of those books have I got listed. When someone clicks on any of my Amazon capsules to go through to Amazon, I get notified of their purchase, which is quite often a book I hadn't thought of promoting.

As the year has gone on, I have seen a week on increase in the sale of kindle books, so when you read that Amazon Kindle sales are now outnumbering traditional print books sales, there is some truth in that.

Read on to see the bestsellers list of 2011.

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

Heaven Is For Real: The Book Isn't: An Astounding Refutation Of A Story About A Trip To Heaven And Back

Heaven is For Real

Runaway success of the year has got to Heaven by Todd Burpo.

It is written by the father of Colton Burpo, who at the age of 4 'died' for a few minutes while under anaesthesia undergoing surgery.

During his near-death experience, he visited Heaven, and later told his parents snippets of what he had seen. As he grew older he remembered more fascinating tidbits, including meeting God himself, his miscarried sister than he had known nothing about, his great grandfather who had died 30 years before he was born.

He was able to give his family details that he couldn't possibly have known.

Later, his father, Pastor Todd Burpo from Nebraska, sat down and wrote what became this book, with many quotes from Colton himself.

It has been a hugely inspirational book to many.

However, a follow-up book has been written by Pastor and writer D Eric Williams which looks at the Biblical aspects of Heaven is for Real, and critiques many parts of the story.

Heaven Is For Real: The Book Isn't: An Astounding Refutation Of A Story About A Trip To Heaven And Back should make an ideal book to read afterwards.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is an absolutely amazing book that no library should be without.

It tells the fantastic but true tale of a young man, Louie Zamperini, who had to give up his dreams of winning gold in the 1940 Olympics due to the outbreak of World War II.

He joined the Army Air Corps, and the story follows his exploits which include being shot down over the Pacific ocean, 1000s of miles from land.

Himself and two surviving crew members spent many weeks at sea in a tiny raft during which time they suffered horrendous thirst and starvation, fought off sharks, survived a typhoon and even a machine gun attack from a Japanese bomber.

Finally, they reached land, but the island tuned out to be under Japanese control and they found their adventures had only just begun.

Brilliantly written book that will draw you in and keep you there until you have finished. Unbroken has been a massive bestseller in 2011 and will no doubt stay in the top bestselling list for many years to come.

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Deluxe Boxed Set: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Plus

Steig Larrson's Millennium Trilogy

Bought singly, or all together as a boxed set, there can be no denying that the books The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest have been a huge posthumous success for tragic Steig Larrson.

The author may be sadly gone forever, but what a legacy he has left behind!

In the Millennium Trilogy we follow the story of the wonderfully likeable anti-heroine character, Lisbeth Salander and equally unorthodox companion journalist Mikael Blomqvist in a political thriller destined to lead the reader through a maze of murder, deceit and degradation leading eventually to a suitably unexpected climax that will not disappoint.

These books are superb and highly acclaimed, and if you haven't read any of them yet, I strongly suggest you do.

Room: A Novel


Room by Emma Donogue is an incredible book that was huge in 2010 and even bigger in 2011. This is one for every bookcase as it will be popular for years to come.

Simply entitled Room: A Novel, we follow the story of Jack, aged 5.

Jack has lived his whole life in the one room, which he calls 'Room', and the bed, 'Bed' and every other inaminate object in the room gets called by its proper title.

Jack has never seen the outside world. he does not know it exists.

The story is written from Jack's perspective and commences on the morning of his 5th birthday.

He describes nightly visits from 'Old Nick' who comes to see Ma while he is safely hidden in the wardrobe.

Gradually, we as readers come to realise that Jack is in fact a prisoner inside this tiny 11' x 11' room where his mother is held against her wishes.

However, as he has never known anything else, he is happy, until he comes to realise there is something more to life, and with that realisation comes a healthy curiosity, which leads to an explosive climax.

You will not want to put this book down once you start reading.

Water for Elephants: A Novel

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is a delightful novel by Sara Gruen that has been selling tremendously well all year.

This is definitely one for your library, as you will want to re-read it again at a future date.

It follows the life story of an unhappy old man, Jacob Jankowski, who is stuck in the antiseptic environment of an old peoples home but who in his younger days worked for one of the many travelling circuses that were rife in post-Depression America.

The story flashed seamlessly between the present day and the past.

We learn how a young Jacob, almost finished vet school, suffers the loss of both parents and the shock realization that they were heavily in debt, effectively leaving him nothing to live on.

We follow him as he leaves school and joins a travelling circus, looking after the animals - hence the book title - Water for Elephants.

His life, loves and exploits are carefully researched by Sara Gruen to give us a true feel for what life was really like in that era.

Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is a great read that you will find hard to put down once you have started.

Inner Space Books 1,2 and 3

Inner Space Books 1, 2 and 3

Not yet released as a trilogy, author Merlin Fraser's debut books are not to be missed.

Following the tale of police detective inspector Nick Burton as he finds himself entwined in a paranormal murder mystery that takes an absolutely believable and refreshingly new twist to anything you may have read before.

It's a thriller, romance, paranormal mystery and every day police action story all combined into one, all engagingly written in such a way that draws you, the reader, in, wanting to know what happens next.

Book 1, simply called Inner Space, introduces the characters and storyline and is tremendously well-written. It will certainly make you think, and wonder if the plot revealed within the book really is possible, because it certainly sounds as if it could well be.

Book 2, The Reluctant Nemesis continues with the same characters and develops them further with great new storylines based around the original. If you enjoyed book 1, book 2 is even better.

Book 3, The All Seeing Eye, is much deeper and darker than the first two books with yet another concept added that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In my opnion, this is the best book of the 3.

Book 4.........? Come on Merlin, get writing, we are waiting!! <fingers drumming>

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins has really managed to capture the teen imagination beautifully with her Hunger Games Trilogy.

And not just the teen market, indeed anybody who cares to delve inside any of the books in The Hunger Games Trilogy will walk away a changed person.

The basic outline of the story is that in the future America as we know it today is destroyed. Instead we have a place called Panem, which consists of 13 districts and a Capitol city.

The districts have revolted against the Capitol, and lost.

Now Capitol is showing its displeasure by forcing the districts to take part in an annual event called The Hunger Games.

It's a brutal real life televised reality show in which two young participants from each district must fight to the death.

The book is brutal in that the characters are so well-woven, they come alive, and so their deaths, when they come, hit you harder. In the series, you will find that in each book, Capitol City change the rules of this game, each time to the detriment of the young participants.

By the final book, the people have had enough and are ready to revolt against their corrupt government.

But the final outcome isn't what you would expect.

This is an incredible trilogy of books which fires up imaginations young and old, shows the horrors of war, and the damage caused by corrupt governments.

Highly recommended reading.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

The 4 Hour Body

Timothy Ferriss's 4 Hour Body is something of a surprise bestseller.

You would think folk are fed up by now with exercise, fitness and weight loss books, but Timothy Ferriss has obviously struck a chord with a lot of people who have rushed out and bought this book.

Well, they didn't, they sat on their computer chair and ordered it online. Perhaps they should go shopping because they are maybe not getting enough exercise!

That said, if you click on the Amazon link here and read the customer reviews, there are many happy customers who really felt the 4 hour body offered them something, and have given the book positive feedback.

Except for one doctor chappie.He wasn't happy, but no one wants to argue with him because he is a black belt in some martial art or other. Nip over and read it.

Described as a detailed step by step guide to healthy living with many useful tips, practical ideas and common sense, it would seem that the 4 hour body is best read by those of us who don't actual exercise or watch our diets very well.

That's got to be most of us!

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

The Glass Castle

I hadn't reviewed this book, The Glass Castle, in any of my sites, yet I sold a huge number of copies.

It is only now, after I had totted up the number of sales of each book, that I realised this was a huge seller, and it is easy to see why.

Freelance writer Jeannette Walls, regular contributor to, and wife of writer John Naylor has written a memoir of her own unusual upbringing.

With her three siblings, they were born to two parents who seemed unable to settle down to family life, always on the move and mostly unable to provide for their offspring.

With an alcoholic father and a dreamy, artistic mother, The Glass Castle is strangely unembittered and is instead a beautifully written, heart-warming and at times, funny, tale of 4 children dragged instead of brought up, yet who have turned out normal, loving adults.

Well worth a read.

Most reviewers said that they couldn't the book put down until it was finished.



I think this might be Laurel Dewey's first novel, and what a cracking tale it tells.

It's a murder/mystery suspense type of book in which a policewoman who is almost at the end of tether with personal issues, finds herself taking on the role of protector to child witness in a case she was assigned to.

They share a bond that they are not at first aware of, but as the story deepens, it becomes clear that the youngster's life is in danger.

This book will keep you engrossed for hours, desperate to know what happens next and how it all pans out.

A rough, tough, street action story-line that will leave you gasping for more.

Great stuff! Not surprised that Protector has become a bestseller.

Alone: A Novel of Suspense


Alone is a psychological thriller that will hold you on the edge of your seat while you turn the page after page as the mystery deepens, then unravels, then deepens again.

A superb plot, beautifully written by Lisa Gardner.

A police sniper shoots dead the wealthy husband of a prominent socialite during a stand-off in which it appears the victim is about to kill his wife and child.

But did the wife engineer the whole thing?

The plot thickens as the police sniper finds himself in trouble with his own bosses, and the resulting investigation into the shooting reveals some troublesome evidence.

Described as a real page-turner, it is not surprising this book is selling so well.

How many of the above books have you read?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Sandun 3 years ago

      My personal oiiopnn is that both series are great. The Hunger Games is a bit darker than the Matched books, but both deal with excitement, adventure, mystery, danger, and of course, a hint of romance. Put one on hold through Destiny today and see what you think! Don't forget, you can do that at home now too!

    • profile image

      Arthur 3 years ago

      Hi Lindsay and Amy I really hope you reply even thuogh it has been 2 years since you've posted on here I'm so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of My friends went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I've tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be ok one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can't you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache It's become a way of life and althuogh I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I'm sorry those did not help you either NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can't work as much, I can't run around and just be free, I can't take a full load of classes at a time Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I'm not the only one to suffer from this and that I'm not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

    • rednickle profile image

      rednickle 6 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

      loved the hunger game and i cannot wait for the movie to be released. Apart from that though i have to confess that i have any other book from your list.


    • Isabel Melville profile image

      Isabel Melville 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      You're welcome, marin :)

    • marimccants profile image

      marimccants 6 years ago

      Thanks for the review Isabel.

    • Isabel Melville profile image

      Isabel Melville 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      These are brilliant books! Please read and come back and tell me what you think of them :)

    • lpanfil profile image

      lpanfil 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      I actually start to itch, if I’m not knee deep in a good book. I’m going to add these to my must pick up list! Thanks.

    • Isabel Melville profile image

      Isabel Melville 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Yes he definitely has the talent, hasn't he? I was just doing a bit of editing here (there was/is the odd typo - sorry folks) when it occured to that folk might be wondering why I have a top 11 instead of a top 10. That is simply because I can't count. I thought I had 10, until they were all written up and I added the table of contents at the top, then discovered I had 11. Shame to throw writing away so left them all as they were. It would also have been a shame to drop #11 which is an excellent book too.

    • Loveslove profile image

      Loveslove 6 years ago from England

      I have read all Merlins books and like you Izzy eagerly await book 4 !!

    • Isabel Melville profile image

      Isabel Melville 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      You're welcome Merlin, and can I add that this list is accurate. Your books have been selling like hotcakes recently which just goes to show that people have taste when it comes to choosing reading matter! I went through all my sales over the whole year and manually counted the numbers and then put them in to order.You came out at position 6! Yes I did notice that the ebook version price is a steal - you are practically giving them away!

      I would be delighted for you to kill off the prime minister. Pity you didn't do it when Maggie was in power, but there we go!

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      To make it onto your list in the first place Izzy is a great compliment and to know you enjoy the stories is an even better one.

      Where is book four you ask ? It is coming albeit not in a rush, it very loosely follows on from the All Seeing Eye although with a completely new set of characters and starts with me killing the Prime Minister !

      As usual the mystery is as much in the Why as the Who !

      Can I just add a foot note that all 3 Inner Space books are also available as E Books at Bargain Basement prices until Christmas....

      Thanks again Izzy great review.