Tag s | Publishing History

Bestselling Books of 2003

Another in a twice-yearly offering looking back at a certain year and its bestselling books. There’s no better way to get an idea where we are now than looking back to see from whence we came. Fifteen years ago this week:

New York Times Bestseller List, July 6, 2003


  1. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown. (Doubleday) Mega-selling book which became a blockbuster film in 2006 starring Tom Hanks with weird hair.
  2. THE LAKE HOUSE, by James Patterson. (Little, Brown) A 2006 film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
  3. WHITE DEATH, by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos. (Putnam)
  4. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, by Lauren Weisberger. (Doubleday) Film released in 2006 starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.
  5. THE LOVELY BONES, by Alice Sebold. (Little, Brown) Film released in 2009.
  6. THE FACE, by Dean Koontz. (Bantam)
  7. DIE IN PLAIN SIGHT, by Elizabeth Lowell. (Morrow)
  8. THE GUARDIAN, by Nicholas Sparks. (Warner)
  9. THE KING OF TORTS, by John Grisham. (Doubleday)
  10. THE DOGS OF BABEL, by Carolyn Parkhurst. (Little, Brown)
  11. NAKED PREY, by John Sandford. (Putnam) Fourteenth book in the “prey” series by Sandford. In April 2018, book #28 released.
  12. ARMAGEDDON, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale) The 11th volume of the “Left Behind” series.
  13. FLIRTING WITH PETE, by Barbara Delinsky. (Scribner)
  14. THE SINISTER PIG, by Tony Hillerman. (HarperCollins)
  15. DEAD RINGER, by Lisa Scottoline. (HarperCollins)


  1. LIVING HISTORY, by Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Simon & Schuster)
  2. A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, by Bill Bryson. (Broadway)
  3. MONEYBALL, by Michael Lewis. (Norton) Classic baseball book. Film starring Brad Pitt released in 2011.
  4. BEYOND BELIEF, by Elaine Pagels. (Random House) Author of “The Gnostic Gospels.”
  5. AN UNFINISHED LIFE, by Robert Dallek. (Little, Brown) A biography of John F. Kennedy.
  6. WHO’S YOUR CADDY? by Rick Reilly. (Doubleday) A sportswriter recounts his experiences caddying for famous people.
  7. THE TEAMMATES, by David Halberstam. (Hyperion) Baseball book focused on the Boston Red Sox in the 1940’s.
  8. OPEN, by John Feinstein. (Little, Brown) Book about golf.
  9. DERELICTION OF DUTY, by Robert (Buzz) Patterson. (Regnery) A retired Air Force colonel tell-all from his time in the Clinton White House.
  10. CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR, by George Crile. (Atlantic Monthly) Political intrigue in the 80’s made into a 2007 film starring Tom Hanks with a better haircut.
  11. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, by Dick Morris. (ReganBooks/HarperCollins) Former White House insider.
  12. LEAP OF FAITH, by Queen Noor. (Miramax) An autobiography by the widow of King Hussein of Jordan.
  13. A PATRIOT’S HANDBOOK, selected by Caroline Kennedy. (Hyperion) Essays, letters, speeches, poems and song lyrics about America.
  14. REEFER MADNESS, by Eric Schlosser. (Houghton Mifflin) A study of society’s dark side.
  15. THE CLINTON WARS, by Sidney Blumenthal. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Political memoir by a senior adviser to President Clinton.

Best Selling and other significant nonfiction Christian books in 2003 included:

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
Beauty for Ashes, Joyce Meyer
The Servant Leader, Ken Blanchard
Point Man, Steve Farrar
I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris
Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
Something Beautiful for God, Malcom Muggeridge
Max Lucado, several titles

Christian novelists doing well in 2003 included:

Lynn Austin
Terri Blackstock
Robin Jones Gunn
Liz Curtis Higgs
Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
Karen Kingsbury
Beverly Lewis
Janette Oke
Frank Peretti
Tracie Peterson
Francine Rivers
Bodie & Brock Thoene

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