Books in News a Decade ago (2004) – Part 1


As the year 2014 comes to a close, everyone is busy preparing their best of 2014 list. We decided to go back by a decade and create a list of books that made news in 2004. Do you want to add to this list?

  1. The Last Juror by John Grisham: In 1970s Mississippi, Willie Traynor, a 23-year old college dropout protagonist who owns a local newspaper gets sucked into the middle of a storm after a murderer on parole starts killing every member of the jury that convicted him. This legal thriller was one of the best sellers of 2004 and is considered one of Grisham’s best works.
  2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: The central plot of the Da Vinci Code is that the Merovingian kings of France were descendants from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. Although it was published in 2003, the Da Vinci Code topped the charts in 2004 and became one of the best sellers. The book explores an alternative religious history and Dan Brown faced the wrath of Christian communities. The book triggered plenty of lawsuits and controversies.
  3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom: This 2003 novel is about the life and death of a maintenance man named Eddie. Eddie is killed on his 83rd birthday while trying to save a little girl from being killed by an amusement park ride. Eddie is killed and sent to heaven where he meets five people who significantly impacted him while he was alive. The Five People You Meet in Heaven was one of the best sellers of 2004 and was eventually adapted into a film in 2004.
  4. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: The Notebook was published in 1996 and was Nicholas Sparks’s first novel. The novel begins with Noah, an old man, reading out their love to story to Allie, now his wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember him. The notebook was made into a movie in 2004 and it grossed a total of $115.6 million worldwide making it the 14th highest-grossing romantic drama film of all time. The success of the movie affected the book sales too and The Notebook became one of the best sellers of 2004.
  5. The Dark Tower (Series) by Stephen King: The Dark Tower is a series of books whose sixth and seventh parts were published in 2004. The series tells the story of a gunslinger and his quest for a magical tower. It contains multiple genres, including fantasy, science fantasy, horror, and Western. Stephen King considers the series his magnum opus. The two books published in 2004 were best sellers.
  6. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of a time traveling man and his wife. The book deals with their love story and the complications in their relationship. This book was Audrey Niffenegger’s debut novel, published in 2003. After popular crime writer Scott Turow endorsed it on The Today Show, the first print run of 15,000 sold out and 100,000 more copies were printed. It became one of the best sellers of 2004 and was made into a movie in 2009.
  7. America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show:This non-fiction humor parodied and satirized American politics and worldview. The book is written as a parody of a United States high school civics textbook. The book generated a lot of controversies but was well received by the audience and became one of the best sellers of 2004. Publishers Weekly chose it as its “Book of the Year” in 2004 and the audio book version won the Grammy for “Best Comedy Album” in 2005.
  8. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay: This was the first of the series of novels by Jeff Lindsay about a serial killer, Dexter Morgan, who kills criminals he believes have escaped, are escaping, or will ultimately escape justice. The book features a first-person story narrated by Dexter with a hint of dark humor. The book was adapted into a TV series (in 2006) which was well received by the audience.

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