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Best Selling Authors

Updated on October 9, 2014

Best Selling Books by Best Selling Authors

I'm a big reader, but when I get stuck for what book to read next, I check out the list of The New York Times best selling books by best selling authors. I don't always want to read every book on the list, but I can always find a book or two that I want to read.

I've attended numerous author book signings to get an up close look at authors and hear them speak about writing. A few of the authors I've gone to see are Elizabeth Berg, John Irving, James Lee Burke, Ann Rule, C.J. Box, Laura Lippman, and Kent Haruf.

I'm always fascinating to see the authors in real life and listen to them answer questions about their writing from the audience.

This is a photo of me (the dorky one standing) with Ann Rule, best selling true crime writer, at a book signing in Denver several years ago.

Photo from Peggy Hazelwood personal collection.

Best Selling Author Laura Hillenbrand - Unbroken and Seabiscuit

Laura Hillenbrand is a best selling nonfiction author of two books: Seabiscuit and Unbroken. I just finished reading Unbroken, and it was wonderful. I'd recommend it to anyone. It's part history, part biography, all terrific. I've seen the movie Seabiscuit but will read it now after having read Unbroken.

Jane Lynch -- Best Selling Nonfiction Author - Need a laugh? Take a look!

Jane Lynch - Happy Accidents

Jane Lynch is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester, cheerleading coach. But watch out! She's written a book, Happy Accidents.

I recently read Happy Accidents, and it was a happy accident running across it!

Are you a big reader?

What do you prefer reading?

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Ann Rule -- True Crime Writer - Books into Movies

True crime books aren't for everyone, but I love them. I fondly call them slashers. And Ann Rule is the queen of slashers. She digs deep into one story of a murder (or murders) and tells the nitty gritty details.

Several of her books have been made into television movies, such as Too Late to Say Good-Bye, And Never Let Her Go, Dead by Sunset, and Small Sacrifices.

First Time Non-fiction Author Rebecca Skloot - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The story of the immortal HeLa cells is told in the fascinating book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The name of cells comes about from taking the first two letters of the person's names (He for Henrietta and La for Lacks, HeLa) that the cells come from. HeLa cells were the first immortal human cell line grown in culture.

Jodi Picoult, Popular Novelist - Author of 18 Novels

Some of the quotes praising her writing from her Web site:

Picoult writes with unassuming brilliance." - Stephen King; "It's hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes." - Financial Times; "Picoult is a master of the craft of storytelling " - Book Review, AP news wire.

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn's book Gone Girl is currently

(as of August 2015) No. 5 on the

New York Times Bestsellers List and has

been on the list consistently since its debut in 2012.

Gone Girl is excellent reading!

Erik Larson, Master Storyteller - Nonfiction Writing at Its Best

I am a huge fan of Erik Larson. He wrote Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck, Isaac's Storm, and now his nonfiction book In the Garden of Beasts is on the New York Times best sellers list.

Best Selling Author J.A.Jance - Best Selling Mystery Writer

J.A. Jance is a mystery writer who writes novels in four series: J.P. Beaumont, Ali Reynolds, Joanna Brady, and The Walker Series. Her novel Betrayal of Trust debuted at number nine on the New York Times best sellers list.

Best Selling Authors on Book Signings - They Write About Speaking About Writing

I scope out my favorite authors online. As I come across best selling authors writing about their book tours, I'll post a link here.

- Ann Patchett

James Patterson, Best Selling Author - Author of More Than 70 Books

James Patterson is a popular best selling author. He often works with a co-author. When asked by Time magazine how the collaboration process with co-authors works, he said, "If I'm working with a co-writer, they'll usually write the first draft. And then I write subsequent drafts."

Stephen King, Master Storyteller - Best Selling Author of Fiction Books

Stephen King is a best selling author of horror books that are highly readable. He is quoted as saying, "I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud."

And another fine Stephen King quote is "I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries."

Current New York Times

Best Sellers (August 2013)

All Fiction:

BURN, by Maya Banks

MISTRESS, by James Patterson and David Ellis

THE CUCKOO'S CALLING, by Robert Galbraith

HIGH HEAT, by Lee Child

HOTSHOT, by Julie Garwood

All Nonfiction:

ZEALOT, by Reza Aslan

PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander


THIS TOWN, by Mark Leibovich

LEAN IN, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell

Stan and Jan Berenstain - Yes, The Berenstain Bears Authors

It shouldn't be surprising that Stan and Jan Berenstain make it here. They were the husband / wife team that wrote and illustrated the beloved Berenstain Bears books. Stan died in 2005, and Jan continued to work with their son, Michael, until her death in 2012.

Which of these best sellers is your favorite?

Pick your favorite best-selling author highlighted here.

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Book Signings

Have you ever gone to hear an author speak at a book signing?

See results

Do you read best selling authors? - Let us know who your favorite author is.

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    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Lots of good books here. James Patterson is one of my favorites along with Jodi Piccoult. I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn...great read!!

    • RichLeighHD profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens; definitely a good few books here that I'm yet to check out myself!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      I never go to this list, I think I will check it out.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Lately, I have been enjoying Vince Flynn, which is atypical for me, because he writes fiction. But, darned, he's GOOD!

    • Bercton1 profile image


      7 years ago

      nice collections!

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @Joan Haines: Oh, good to hear. I'm always on the lookout for new writers!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      Of those on your list, I like Jodi Picoult the best. I am enjoying David eagleman lately, though. He writes about the brain and how it works. Incognito is definitely worth reading, and ever so readable. His observations about the nature of life and mankind are insightful!


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