In 2002 an author who hoped to place a book on the Publisher's Weekly nonfiction bestseller list for a long time would have been advised to write about business, dieting, or politics (from either the right or the left). The 11 longest-running nonfiction titles sat on the list for a combined 271 weeks. Spencer Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese had the longest run (51 weeks). It had already been a bestseller for 103 weeks prior to 2002. One other business book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't (22 weeks), had shelf-life.
The staying power of Self Matters (44), Body for Life (36), The Wisdom of Menopause (19), and Get with the Program (18) showed that many Americans are still self-absorbed. Political junkies made hits of Stupid White Men (31), Bias (17), and Slander (15). A Mind at a Time, Dr. Mel Levine's book about how children learn, and John Adams, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by David McCullough of the second president, rounded out the list with 22 weeks and 18 weeks, respectively.