The Bestselling Books on Campus

Student enjoying some pleasure reading time

Top 10 Books

Every couple of months, The Chronicle of Higher Education surveys college bookstores around the country to find out what students are reading on their own time - or at least what they're buying. The following is a list of the top 10 trade books, aka not-textbooks, sold at bookstores at almost 20 different colleges and universities, from SUNY Buffalo to UC Berkeley. Survey respondents run the gamut of school type, including big state universities, ivy league institutions and private liberal arts colleges. Click here to see the full list.

Dan Brown The Lost Symbol The Da Vinci Code

1. Dan Brown, 'The Lost Symbol'

A thriller-novel follow-up to Dan Brown's immensely successful The Da Vinci Code.


2. Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, 'Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything'

The authors of Freakonomics bring the supposedly dry discipline of economics to exciting topics like violent crime, drug gangs and the sex industry. (Scroll down to #6 for their second book on the list.)

Pride Prejudice and Zombies

3. Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith, 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

Billing itself as 'the classic regency romance - now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem!' this novel inserts 'bone-crunching zombie action' into Jane Austen's original text. Genius or gimmick? You decide.

Sarah Palin Going Rogue

4. Sarah Palin, 'Going Rogue: An American Life'

A memoir by former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Stephen Colbert I Am America

5. Stephen Colbert, 'I Am America (And So Can You!)'

From one of TV's most popular comedy news hosts, this book 'contains all of the opinions that Stephen doesn't have time to shoehorn into his nightly broadcast.' The New York Times felt it wasn't quite as funny as his television show, The Colbert Report, but college students appear to disagree.


6. Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, 'SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance'

A sequel to the immensely popular Freakonomics, this book uses economic theory to explore contemporary hot-button issues like global warming, terrorism and... patriotic prostitution?

Sapphire Precious Jones Push

7. Sapphire, 'Precious (Push Movie Tie-in Edition)'

Originally published as the novel Push, this book is a tie-in to the movie version of Push that explores the brutal childhood and inspiring recovery of 'Precious Jones.'

The Time Traveler

8. Audrey Niffenegger, 'The Time Traveler's Wife'

This bestselling novel about a time-traveling librarian and his improbable love affair has resurged in popularity since it was made into a movie in 2009.

Michael Lewis Blind Side Michael Oher

9. Michael Lewis, 'The Blind Side'

The Blind Side, originally published as The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, is another book re-published as a movie tie-in. It tells the inspiring story of Michael Oher's rise from a brutal childhood with a crack-addicted single mother to success with a new family and a blossoming college football career. The film tie-in version also includes an afterword describing Oher's college years and recent entry into the NFL.

Harvard Lampoon Nightlight Twilight Parody

10. The staff of Harvard Lampoon, 'Nightlight'

Tired of Twilight mania? Check out this parody starring 'Belle Goose' and 'Edwart' by the classic comedy team at Harvard Lampoon.

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