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Culture | The five best-selling hardback nonfiction books according to Publisher's Weekly's annual survey (not included: self-help titles and record books)

Issue: "Showing the alternative," April 21, 2001
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY'S Scoring system:"Rankings are determined by sales figures provided by publishers; the numbers generally reflect reports of copies 'shipped and billed' in calendar year 2000.... None of the sales figures should be considered final net sales."
1
Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson 3.1 million sold in 2000
CONTENT
A parable about the inevitability of change and the need to embrace it.

GIST
In the parable, cheese is that which makes us happy. We get accustomed to it, develop an entitlement attitude toward it, and don't notice when it begins to smell bad. When we fight to hold on to cheese, we hurt ourselves and our organizations. Cheese, however, doesn't show how to discern when it is wise or necessary to resist change to uphold a higher principle.

WORLDVIEW
Relativism.

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CAUTION
N/A

2
Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom 1.27 million sold in 2000
CONTENT
Conversations of a middle-aged sportswriter searching for purpose and the articulate, witty, caring professor who taught him 20 years before.

GIST
Morrie Schwartz, dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, probes Mitch Albom's motivations: "Are you giving to the community? Are you at peace with yourself?"

WORLDVIEW
Smorgasbord. Chasing material things is shallow, and the answer lies in a mix of Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism on an agnostic base.

CAUTION
N/A

3
The Beatles Anthology
The Beatles 1.04 million sold in 2000
CONTENT
Encyclopedic book about the Beatles written by the Beatles.

GIST
Group members try to make sense out of the Beatles phenomenon. John Lennon's thoughts are taken from many sources, including published interviews. The book includes candid photographs, memorabilia, and recollections from friends and associates.

WORLDVIEW
Nostalgic radicalism.

CAUTION
Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll.

4
The O'Reilly Factor
Bill O'Reilly 975,000 sold in 2000
CONTENT
Bill O'Reilly is a talk show pugilist and his book is full of his opinions on just about everything.

GIST
The Fox News Channel's O'Reilly prides himself on scolding both right and left. On religion he says, "Religion is primarily a way to examine my conscience and spend some time thinking about something more important than my own existence."

WORLDVIEW
Libertarian curmudgeon.

CAUTION
N/A

5
The Millionaire Mind
Thomas J. Stanley 752,000 sold in 2000
CONTENT
The results of a study of the way millionaires think about work, home, family, and success.

GIST
This follow-up to The Millionaire Next Door shows the blessings of living a Proverbs-centered life. The 900 millionaires who are the subject of the book testify to the value of hard work, honesty and integrity, marriage, frugality, common sense, and the pursuit of a calling that uses a person's gifts.

WORLDVIEW
Biblical.

CAUTION
N/A

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Last year a smart writer who wanted to write a best-selling nonfiction book would have followed two bits of advice: Write short and write about some aspect of spirituality. Bruce Wilkinson's Prayer of Jabez followed that advice perfectly and finished at No. 11 with sales of 591,002. Maria Shriver's graduation speech/book did even better, selling 650,957 copies and grabbing spot No. 9. Anna Quindlen's lightweight A Short Guide to a Happy Life, also a graduation speech, managed to make it to No. 13 and sell 500,871 copies in the last three months of 2000. Books needed to sell over 300,000 copies to make PW's Top 30 list. Overall, five of the top 15 titles (including No. 1 Who Moved My Cheese and No. 4 Tuesdays with Morrie) and 12 of the top 30 were pop spirituality/inspiration/wisdom titles. Christian titles like Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado (452,836) and Payne Stewart: The Authorized Biography (303,151) made the top 30, as did new age books like Soul Stories (463,511) and Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife (307,495). Mormon leader Gordon Hinkley's Standing for Something (455,463) and the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness (303,000) both had healthy sales.

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