Remembering 9/11: A single morning in September overshadowed all other events of 2001.Many books about that day would be published--memoirs, political studies, photographic tributes, even a graphic novel--each trying to record the history of that day. In the days following 9/11, two 1999 books, Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center and Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City's World Trade Center, were among the titles people were seeking out (along with a renewed interest in Nostradamus' prophecies), and three years later The 9/11 Commission Report would be published and become a national bestseller.
Oprah v. Franzen: Ding! Ding! In this corner, Oprah Winfrey, media mogul whose official Book Club selections mean instant bestsellerdom for authors. In the opposite corner, the very literary, perpetually unshaven, bespectacled Jonathan Franzen, who famously snubs Ms. Winfrey's pronouncement. Winfrey withdraws her invitation, but The Corrections survives, and achieves critical and popular success. (Note: this won't be Winfrey's last Book Club pick that makes the news cycle.)
History Lessons: David McCullough rehabilitated an oft-underrated foundering father in John Adams (our No. 2 bestselling title of 2001, and later made into an HBO mini-series), and the glorious HBO adaptation of Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers sent his chronicle of back of Easy Company and the D-Day invasion back to the bestseller list.