1993: A Good Year for Books

Today we take a glimpse at early 1993 and the books defining culture and thought twenty-five years ago. It’s impossible to know where you are going if you don’t know from where you came…in life or publishing!

The January 3, 1993 New York Times Bestseller List:


  1. DOLORES CLAIBORNE, by Stephen King. (Viking) A 1995 film starring Kathy Bates and a 2013 opera…yes, an opera.
  2. MIXED BLESSINGS, by Danielle Steel. (Delacorte)
  3. MEXICO, by James A. Michener. (Random House)
  4. THE PELICAN BRIEF, by John Grisham. (Doubleday) Very successful film released in late 1993 starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.
  5. THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF, by Anne Rice. (Knopf) Despite several attempts at a movie, none have come to fruition.
  6. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, by Robert James Waller. (Warner) A 1995 film starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep and a Tony Award winning musical opened on Broadway in 2014.
  7. THE STARS SHINE DOWN, by Sidney Sheldon. (Morrow)
  8. SABINE’S NOTEBOOK, by Nick Bantock. (Chronicle Books)
  9. GERALD’S GAME, by Stephen King. (Viking) Film premiered on NetFlix in 2017.
  10. THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER, by Nelson DeMille. (Warner) A 1999 film starring John Travolta.
  11. GRIFFIN & SABINE, by Nick Bantock. (Chronicle Books)
  12. MOSTLY HARMLESS, by Douglas Adams. (Harmony) Fifth volume of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series. Author wrote several “Dr. Who” episodes among other things. Died in 2001 at age 49.
  13. WHERE IS JOE MERCHANT? by Jimmy Buffett. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  14. DINOTOPIA, written and illustrated by James Gurney. (Turner Publishing) Illustrated book won Hugo award and sold over two million copies.
  15. DRIVING FORCE, by Dick Francis. (Putnam) Author had a prolific career spanning over fifty years.


  1. THE WAY THINGS OUGHT TO BE, by Rush H. Limbaugh 3d. (Pocket)
  2. IT DOESN’T TAKE A HERO, by H. Norman Schwarzkopf with Peter Petre. (Linda Grey/Bantam) The autobiography of the general.
  3. EVERY LIVING THING, by James Herriot. (St. Martin’s)
  4. TRUMAN, by David McCullough. (Simon & Schuster)
  5. WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. (Ballantine)
  6. I CAN’T BELIEVE I SAID THAT! by Kathie Lee Gifford with Jim Jerome. (Pocket)
  7. THE TE OF PIGLET, by Benjamin Hoff. (Dutton)
  8. JFK: Reckless Youth, by Nigel Hamilton. (Random House)
  9. SEX, by Madonna. (Warner)
  10. GENIUS, by James Gleick. (Pantheon)
  11. MY LIFE, by Earvin (Magic) Johnson with William Novak. (Random House)
  12. YOUNG MEN & FIRE, by Norman Maclean. (University of Chicago)
  13. DAVE BARRY DOES JAPAN, by Dave Barry. (Random House)
  14. HANG TIME, by Bob Greene. (Doubleday) Bio of Michael Jordan.
  15. I HAVEN’T UNDERSTOOD ANYTHING SINCE 1962, by Lewis Grizzard. (Villard)

A sampling of the thousands of new books in the Christian market which released in 1993 are:

The Message Bible (Eugene Peterson)

Boundaries (Henry Cloud and John Townsend)

My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers, updated edition by Jim Reimann)

A Voice in the Wind (Francine Rivers)

Developing the Leader in You (John Maxwell)

When God Doesn’t Make Sense (James Dobson)

Tender Warrior (Stu Weber)

Roaring Lambs (Bob Briner)

Finding God (Larry Crabb)

Other bestselling authors in the Christian market twenty-five years ago were:

Larry Burkett
Charles Colson
Bill Hybels
Barbara Johnson
John MacArthur
Janette Oke
JI Packer
Frank Peretti
Michael Phillips
Gary Smalley
Joni Eareckson Tada
Bodie and Brock Thoene
Lori Wick
Warren Wiersbe

7 Responses to 1993: A Good Year for Books

  1. Rebekah Love Dorris January 9, 2018 at 5:16 am #

    Well this certainly illustrates the power of the pen! What a lineup. Some timeless classics yet to be paralleled came from this little slice of history teetering between All That Came Before and the age of the internet when suddenly everyone can write but nobody can focus. Like A Voice in the Wind. Peretti’s Darkness books. And the Thoene books that I’ve never seen equaled for beauty, passion, suspense, or historical accuracy. This makes me want to turn off the internet and write!

  2. Loretta Eidson January 9, 2018 at 6:53 am #

    I remember a lot of these. Amazing authors!

  3. Anna January 9, 2018 at 9:59 am #

    How cool! Having been only a year old in ’93, I don’t actually recognize most of these names. I did read Francine Rivers a couple of years ago and I loved her Mark of the Lion series!!

  4. Brennan McPherson January 9, 2018 at 10:46 am #

    I’m with Anna. I was born in 1991. Pretty crazy to think Francine Rivers was publishing best-sellers back when I was 2.

  5. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D January 9, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    That was, indeed, a very good year for books!

  6. Linda Riggs Mayfield January 9, 2018 at 11:30 am #

    Wow, Dan! When that list was released in January, 1993, I had been back in the States from the mission field for five months. My husband and I were trying to settle into a new city, house, church, and jobs, and our kids, 6, 9, 13, and 16, were trying to settle into life in a city in which they had never lived before. I’m quite certain I had not had time to read any of the books when were published in ’92! ;-D But since then, I’ve read a surprising number of them, and enjoyed “The Pelican Brief” movie several times. I’ve also read something by most of the Christian best-seller authors on the list since then. Good writing and good writers have staying power, don’t they?

  7. Vanessa Burton January 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

    Like many others above have said, its crazy to think some of these literary giants have been writing and publishing since I was only 1!

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