Books by four Irish authors were among the 50 bestselling books in the UK in 2009. Marian Keyes’ book This Charming Man was in 7th place on the overall list and secured the top place on the list of bestselling paperback books of 2009. Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture, Maeve Binchy’s Heart and Soul and Cecelia Ahern’s The Gift were the other books by Irish authors that secured a place on the bestseller chart.
According to Nielsen’s Bookscan, the bestseller list in 2009 was topped in the UK, as expected, by Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Brown’s book smashed the previous record (held by Thomas Harris’ Hannibal) for the most books sold in the initial five days after publication by selling 550,900 copies. But it was Stephenie Meyer who dominated the list with 6 titles in the top 50 list. The four books in Meyer’s Twilight series have proved popular with both adults and children. Her first novel specifically aimed at adults , a sci-fi novel entitled The Host, published in 2008, secured 22nd place on the list. The first two books from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy also featured on the list. The eagerly awaited finale to the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, was published in English in October 2009 and failed to make the top 50 list despite selling an impressive 152,000 copies in three months. Noticeably absent from the 2009 bestselling list was the 'Mis Lit' category – books describing a miserable childhood - which has been very popular in recent years. Celebrity biographies failed to attract anticipated sales figures but still were the most popular books in the non-fiction category. Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father was the bestseller in this category.