Book Sense Announces Best of the First Five Years

Here are the titles indie booksellers most enjoyed handselling
Book Sense -- the campaign that embodies the passion, personality, character, community, and knowledge of independent bookstores -- has announced their Best Books: The Best of Book Sense From the First Five Years winning titles. The list is the result of voting by independent booksellers across the country, who cast ballots for "the titles they most enjoyed handselling over the past five years."

"Independent booksellers, because of Book Sense, are once again being recognized as a vital way of identifying and connecting great books and passionate readers," noted ABA Vice President Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida.

The Best Books ballot included 223 adult and 148 children's titles culled from the Book Sense 76 lists of the past five years, as well as any Book Sense Book of the Year winners not already included. The final list consists of 10 Adult fiction, 5 Adult Nonfiction, and 10 Children's titles:

Adult Fiction: P<>

  • Atonement by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (HarperPerennial)
  • The Da Vinci Code: A Novel by Dan Brown (Doubleday)
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo (Knopf)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Harcourt)
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown)
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly)
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperPerennial)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Picador)
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking)

Adult Nonfiction:

  • Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson (Crown)
  • Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (Random House)
  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (HarperPerennial)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan)
  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine)


  • The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (HarperTrophy)
  • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
  • Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague (Scholastic)
  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss (Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins)
  • Eragon Inheritance: Book 1 by Christopher Paolini (Knopf)
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Del Rey)
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (Houghton Mifflin)
  • The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins)
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer (Atheneum)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (Delacorte)