Barack Obama's 'A Promised Land' tops USA TODAY's 100 bestselling books of 2020. See the full list

Mary Cadden, USA TODAY
·7 min read

Former President Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land” is USA TODAY’s bestselling book of 2020.

Published Nov. 17, the first volume in Obama's presidential memoir broke more than 1 million in sales in its first week and has not shown any signs of slowing. It has held the top spot on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list since its debut, an impressive feat considering it has been on the list for only six weeks.

Obama follows in the footsteps of his wife and former first lady Michelle Obama’s success with her post-White House memoir “Becoming," USA TODAY's top-selling book of 2018 and the top nonfiction title of 2019. Michelle Obama's book continues to sell well and is No. 18 on this year's list.

“A Promised Land,” by Barack Obama.
“A Promised Land,” by Barack Obama.

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This was also a year where two nonfiction trends stood out: books on race and books about President Donald Trump.

Books about race and racism dominated the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books list in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in May after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

Books about race have remained a constant presence on the list. Demand for books on race was so high that major online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble ran out of popular titles. And according to the American Booksellers Association, independent book stores sold more books on race and racism than ever before.

Included in the top 100 bestselling books overall are “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson, “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo, “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, and the young-adult title “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” from Kendi and Jason Reynolds.

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Trump had myriad books written about him and his administration in 2020, and many made the top 100, most notably the No. 3 book “Too Much and Never Enough,” by niece Mary Trump, former national security adviser John Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened” and journalist Bob Woodward’s “Rage.

As for fiction, Stephenie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun,” the long-anticipated retelling of "Twilight" from vampire Edward Cullen's perspective, claimed the top spot in fiction at No. 2, followed by last year’s No. 1 book “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Here are the top 100 books of the year, according to data from USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list:

1. "A Promised Land," by Barack Obama

2. "Midnight Sun," by Stephenie Meyer

3. "Too Much and Never Enough," by Mary L. Trump

4. "Where the Crawdads Sing," by Delia Owens

5. "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes," by Suzanne Collins

"Untamed," by Glennon Doyle
"Untamed," by Glennon Doyle

6. "Untamed," by Glennon Doyle

7. "Dog Man: Grime and Punishment," by Dav Pilkey

8. "White Fragility," by Robin DiAngelo

9. "Little Fires Everywhere," by Celeste Ng

10. "American Dirt," by Jeanine Cummins

11. "The Room Where It Happened," by John Bolton

12. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End," Jeff Kinney

13. "The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse," by Charlie Mackesy

14. "How to Be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi

15. "Magnolia Table, Volume 2," by Joanna Gaines

16. "The Splendid and the Vile," by Erik Larson

17. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," by Eric Carle

18. "Becoming," by Michelle Obama

19. "A Time for Mercy," by John Grisham

"The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett
"The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett

20. "The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett

21. "Rage," by Bob Woodward

22. "The Silent Patient," by Alex Michaelides

23. "Camino Winds," by John Grisham

24. "Dog Man: Fetch-22," by Dav Pilkey

25. "Caste," by Isabel Wilkerson

26. "Greenlights," by Matthew McConaughey

27. "The Return," by Nicholas Sparks

28. "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz

29. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle

30. "Then She Was Gone," by Lisa Jewell

31. "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

32. "Educated," by Tara Westover

33. "Atomic Habits," by James Clear

34. "Walk the Wire," by David Baldacci

“If It Bleeds,” .by Stephen King
“If It Bleeds,” .by Stephen King

35. "If It Bleeds," by Stephen King

36. "The 5 Love Languages," by Gary Chapman

37. "Modern Comfort Food," by Ina Garten

38. "The Guest List," by Lucy Foley

39. "Live Free or Die," by Sean Hannity

40. "Love You Forever," by Robert Munsch; art by Sheila McGraw

41. "Goodnight Moon," by Margaret Wise Brown; art by Clement Hurd

42. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," by Bill Martin Jr.

43. "I Love You to the Moon and Back," by Amelia Hepworth; art by Tim Warnes

44. "The Giver of Stars," by Jojo Moyes

45. "The Wonky Donkey," by Craig Smith; art by Katz Cowley

46. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone," by J.K. Rowling

47. "The Sentinel," by Lee Child, Andrew Child

48. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter

49. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball," by Jeff Kinney

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50. "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play," by Kobe Bryant

51. "Just Mercy," by Bryan Stevenson

52. "Cat Kid Comic Club," by Dav Pilkey

53. "The Tattooist of Auschwitz," by Heather Morris

54. "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck," by Mark Manson

55. "1984," by George Orwell

56. "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee

57. "The Guardians," by John Grisham

58. "28 Summers," by Elin Hilderbrand

“The Evening and the Morning,” by Ken Follett.
“The Evening and the Morning,” by Ken Follett.

59. "The Evening and the Morning," by Ken Follett

60. "First 100 Words," by Roger Priddy

61. "The Alchemist," by Paulo Coelho

62. "Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure," by Jeff Kinney

63. "Disloyal," by Michael Cohen

64. "Dune," by Frank Herbert

65. "The One and Only Ivan," by Katherine Applegate; art by Patricia Castelao

66. "Ready Player Two," by Ernest Cline

67. "The Body Keeps the Score," by Bessel van der Kolk

68. "Where the Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak

69. "So You Want to Talk About Race," by Ijeoma Oluo

70. "Room on the Broom," by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

71. "Before We Were Yours," by Lisa Wingate

"Normal People," by Sally Rooney.
"Normal People," by Sally Rooney.

72. "Normal People," by Sally Rooney

73. "The Dutch House," by Ann Patchett

74. "Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls," by Dav Pilkey

75. "The Woman in the Window," by A.J. Finn

76. "You Are a Badass," by Jen Sincero

77. "Killing Crazy Horse," by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

78. "Burn After Writing," by Sharon Jones

79. "The Law of Innocence," by Michael Connelly

80. "Get Out of Your Head," by Jennie Allen

81. "Blackout," by Candace Owens

82. "Daylight," by David Baldacci

83. "The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton

84. "Humans," by Brandon Stanton

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85. "The Nightingale," by Kristin Hannah

86. "The Order," by Daniel Silva

87. "Born a Crime," by Trevor Noah

88. "The Ickabog," by J.K. Rowling

89. "Fortune and Glory," by Janet Evanovich

90. "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald

91. "The Happy in a Hurry Cookbook," by Steve Doocy, Kathy Doocy

92. "Relationship Goals," Michael Todd

93. "Stamped," by Jason Reynolds; Ibram X. Kendi

94. "Rhythm of War," by Brandon Sanderson

95. "Fair Warning," by Michael Connelly

96. "A Very Stable Genius," by Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig

97. "Green Eggs and Ham," by Dr. Seuss

98. "Such a Fun Age," by Kiley Reid

99. "Hideaway," by Nora Roberts

100. "Deadly Cross." by James Patterson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Obama's 'A Promised Land' tops USA TODAY 100 bestselling books of 2020