About 8 weeks after the end of each year, Publishers Weekly reviews the previous year's sales of books in the United States and reports on the year's best sellers. That data combined with a summary presentation appearing in David Wallechinsky's The Twentieth Century, provides the source of data for the following table.


2002 John Grisham The Summons
2001 Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye Desecration
2000 John Grisham The Brethren
1999 John Grisham The Testament
1998 John Grisham The Street Lawyer
1997 John Grisham The Partner
1996 John Grisham The Runaway Jury
1995 John Grisham  The Rainmaker
1994 John Grisham The Chamber
1993 Robert James Waller The Bridges of Madison County
1992 Stephen King Dolores Claiborne
1991 Alexandra Ripley Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind
1990 Jean M. Auel The Plains of Passage
1989 Tom Clancy Clear and Present Danger
1988 Tom Clancy The Cardinal of the Kremlin
1987 Stephen King The Tommyknockers
1986 Stephen King It
1985 Jean M. Auel The Mammoth Hunters
1984 Stephen King & Peter Straub The Talisman
1983 Joan D. Vinge (Adapted by) Return of the Jedi Storybook
1982 William Kotzwinkle E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial Storybook
1981 James Clavell Noble House
1980 James A. Michener The Covenant
1979 Robert Ludlum The Matarese Circle
1978 James A. Michener Chesapeake
1977 J. R. R. Tolkien The Silmarillion
1976 Leon Uris Trinity
1975 E. L. Doctorow Ragtime
1974 James A. Michener Centennial
1973 Richard Bach Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
1972 Richard Bach Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
1971 Arthur Hailey Wheels
1970 Erich Segal Love Story
1969 Philip Roth Portnoy's Complaint
1968 Arthur Hailey Airport
1967 Elia Kazan The Arrangement
1966 Jacqueline Susann Valley of the Dolls
1965 James A. Michener The Source
1964 John Le Carre The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
1963 Morris L. West The Shoes of the Fisherman
1962 Katherine Anne Porter Ship of Fools
1961 Irving Stone The Agony and the Ecstasy
1960 Allen Drury Advise and Consent
1959 Leon Uris Exodus
1958 Boris Pasternak Doctor Zhivago
1957 James Gould Cozzens By Love Possessed
1956 William Brinkley Don't Go Near the Water
1955 Herman Wouk Marjorie Morningstar
1954 Morton Thompson Not as a Stranger
1953 Lloyd C. Douglas The Robe
1952 Thomas B. Costain The Silver Chalice
1951 James Jones From Here to Eternity
1950 Henry Morton Robinson The Cardinal
1949 Mika Waltari The Egyptian
1948 Lloyd C. Douglas The Big Fisherman
1947 Russell Janney The Miracle of the Bells
1946 Daphne du Maurier The King's General
1945 Kathleen Winsor Forever Amber
1944 Lillian Smith Strange Fruit
1943 Lloyd C. Douglas The Robe
1942 Franz Werfel The Song of Bernadette
1941 A. J. Cronin The Keys of the Kingdom
1940 Richard Llewellyn How Green Was My Valley
1939 John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath
1938 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings The Yearling
1937 Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind
1936 Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind
1935 Lloyd C. Douglas Green Light
1934 Hervey Allen Anthony Adverse
1933 Hervey Allen Anthony Adverse
1932 Pearl S. Buck The Good Earth
1931 Pearl S. Buck The Good Earth
1930 Edna Ferber Cimarron
1929 Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front
1928 Thornton Wilder The Bridge of San Luis Rey
1927 Sinclair Lewis Elmer Gantry
1926 John Erskine The Private Life of Helen of Troy
1925 Arthur Hamilton Gibbs Soundings
1924 Edna Ferber So Big
1923 Gertrude Horn Atherton Black Oxen
1922 A. S. M. Hutchinson If Winter Comes
1921 Sinclair Lewis Main Street
1920 Zane Grey The Man of the Forest
1919 Vicente Blasco-Ibanez The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
1918 Zane Grey The U. P. Trail
1917 H. G. Wells Mr. Britling Sees It Through
1916 Booth Tarkington Seventeen
1915 Booth Tarkington The Turmoil
1914 Harold Bell Wright The Eyes of the World
1913 Winston Churchill The Inside of the Cup
1912 Gene Stratton Porter The Harvester
1911 John Jeffery Farnol The Broad Highway
1910 Florence Charlesworth Barclay The Rosary
1909 Basil King (Anonymous) The Inner Shrine
1908 Winston Churchill Mr. Crewe's Career
1907 Frances Little The Lady of the Decoration
1906 Winston Churchill Coniston
1905 Mary Augusta Ward The Marriage of William Ashe
1904 Winston Churchill The Crossing
1903 Mary Augusta Ward Lady Rose's Daughter
1902 Owen Wister The Virginian
1901 Winston Churchill The Crisis
1900 Mary Johnston To Have and to Hold