LDS authors who hit No.1 on New York Times

Published: Monday, June 20 2011 8:58 a.m. MDT

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David Stone
Stephenie Meyer has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and boasts three blockbuster films based on her novels and two more set for release in the next two years. In November 2009 Time magazine reported, "Altogether (Meyer's) books have spent 235 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, 136 of them at No. 1."

Aside from her famed Twilight series, her novel "The Host" also hit No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Notable to LDS church members is a review of Meyer's work in BYU Studies titled, "Book of Mormon Stories that Steph Meyer Tells to Me: LDS Themes in the 'Twilight Saga' and 'The Host.'"
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Buena Vista, VA

I was curious who these authors are, but I don't have the time to go clicking through one of these lists. Please, just give me a list all on one page!

Kosciusko, Mississippi

To RG: They didn't list many and don't imagine they'll respond to your request. The 'list' consists of: Stephanie Meyer, Glenn Beck, Jason Wright, Brandon Sanderson, Richard Paul Evans, Brandon Mull and Mitt Romney.


How does Orson Scott Card not make this list? He's far more prolific than any mentioned here.

Santa Monica, CA

This is incredibly sad. I'm not an LDS person, but I know quite a few of them and most of the ones I know would cringe at this list.

Herndon, VA

What about Seven Habits by Stephen R. Covey?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I smell a political bias.

No Orson Scott Card or Stephen R. Covey?

But making sure Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney make the DN list tells me this has all the making of a hidden agenda.


Tracy Hickman is missing.

Idaho Falls, ID

That picture of Glenn Beck soaking in the attention says it all.

Spanish Fork, UT

Yes, this is a surprisingly short list. I can think of a number of active LDS authors (like Card, Covey, Hickman, etc.) who have been on the NY Times bestseller list in recent memory but are not on this list . . .

Judy Ann

You've forgotten Brenda Novak. She is in my ward in Sacramento, CA and is the biggest selling romance novelist in the world.

Salt Lake City, UT

I am so proud to say me or any of my family has never bought any one of these authors books.

Judy Ann

I have bought and read Mitt Romney's book. Why would you say, Johnson72, that you are proud to say you have never bought any one of these authors' books? I do not understand how pride has anything to do with buying a perfectly respectful book.

Anchorage, AK

I wonder what the Deseret book's best sellers list looks like?

LDS have lots of good authors. It's just that they cater to LDS venues and as such not expected to rate well on NYT best sellers list.


I've noticed whenver Beck is included in a list such as this one and the recent DN article on Times/Newsweek covers(?) they include a link to a 4 yr old article on Glenn Beck. Why is this?

Anything with LDS/Mormon and Beck in the same sentence makes me cringe.

Shelley, ID

Have Card or Covey been on the #1 NYT list? I think President Hinckley has been on it(?)


Romney wrote in his book:
"Never before in American history has its president gone before so many foreign audiences to apologize for so many American misdeeds, both real and imagined,"

From politifact reviewing Romney's statements:
"While Obama's speeches contained some criticisms of past U.S. actions, those passages were typically leavened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and he frequently mentioned how other countries have erred as well. We found not a single, full-throated apology in the bunch. And on the new angle Romney (added in the anouncement of his candidacy for Pres.) that the trips were intended to offer the president a forum to apologize to other countries -- we think its a ridiculous charge. Theres a clear difference between changing policies and apologizing, and Obama didnt do the latter. So we rate Romneys statement Pants on Fire."

Ogden, UT

in which Korea misson did Brandon Sanderson serve?

Chandler, AZ

To all those wondering about the omissions: they put an honorable mentions page at the end that lists LDS authors who are notable but have never been #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list. Orson and Covey are two of those.

I've read several of these authors. Mull is pretty good but caters to a very young audience (at least in his Fablehaven series). Sanderson is the most original and one of the best new authors I've read in years. I can't say the same for Meyer.

jj dexter
South jordan, Ut

What about Newbery Award winning Shannon Hale???? President Hinckley? Steven Covey? Orson Scott Card? James Dashner? And even more I'm sure. This is a sadly poor list to not even mention the best actual authors in the group! Poor article.


You have forgotten Anne Perry. She is LDS, too.

Bluffdale, UT

Glen beck writes propaganda and is almost as good as Joseph Goebels. even foe the propaganda machine has gotton rid of him. think about it.


jj dexter and all others who are confused-You seem like you don't understand the article so let me help you out, the title of this article is called, "LDS authors who hit No.1 on New York Times." Not great authors who made the NY times best sellers list. I have books from all those you mentioned, and President Hinckley is a hero of mine, but he still didn't make the list. It's not bias, it's a purely objective article.

Russ N.

You'd think the Deseret News could have spelled President Hinckley's name right.


Iket-"even foe the propaganda machine has gotton rid of him. think about it." Yikes!! You really should use spell check, it only takes a minute but makes a world of difference. Also, I would be willing to bet that you haven't even read one word from any of his books.

Mesa, AZ

It cracks me up that people in the comments state that it must be biased because Card and Covey didn't make the list. Like DN is the propaganda machine of Glen Beck or conservitism

Your own bias is showing.

First, read the title again. It has a qualifier on the list. If you are too dumb to not know what that qualifier was, and why those authors were mentioned in the honorable mention list, then it just goes to show that you have axe to grind with DN and look for any reason to tell people.

Second, by putting them in the honorable mention, are they not on the list?

Next time read the entire thing.

Maricopa, AZ

I like what LDSareChristians said, that many LDS authors do not cater or attempt to appeal to the typical NY times venue.

Also,many of NY times so called #1 picks are total trash, so it's not like it's the end all of quality reading by any stretch.

Russ N.

Thanks, Deseret News, for fixing the typo. Much appreciated.

jj dexter
South jordan, Ut

Defcon1 Thanks for the explaination but it wasn't necessary. My point was that a better article would have included the better authors who had made the list even if not at the #1 spot but thanks so much. Even on the HM page they managed to miss a Newbery award winner.

Snohomish, WA

There are many mainstream authors who are LDS.
I'm sure others can add to this list but here are a few more NY Times bestsellers that I've read:
YA authors:
Ally Condie - "Matched"
Aprilynne Pike - the "Wings" series
James Dashner - the "Maze Runner" series
Shannon Hale - "Princess Academy" which is also a Newbery Honor book, +others
Romance writers include Lynn Kurland and Brenda Novak. What about mystery writer, Anne Perry? I don't think she's been mentioned. Fantasy writer, Tracy Hickman, too.
There are more, these just come to mind right now.

Beaverton, OR

The rankings of books on the NYT Best Seller list reflect weekly sales around the country. It has nothing to do with any specific audience or 'venue'.

Lake Havasu City, AZ

I sell books in my bookstore, and many of the great ones may not make the best seller list, but the books that are sold in my store, are for people who like to read, are interested in what is right and what is wrong, and also have a testimony that there is a living prophet that leads the church today. We don't need to read only best sellers to read great books.

Ogden, UT

How one can be among those of NYTimes best sellers and write a book such as G Beck with as many misrepresentations and lack of proper and valid documentation speaks volumes.

It goes to show that even millions will purchase trash, and authors will likewise sell such with no compunction.

Sandy, UT

The one common theme running through all of these authors and their books is fantasy land, ie detachment from reality.

Amy's Mom

I just love Glenn Beck and the books he writes. I believe he is a true patriot and am glad he and his family have sacrificed so much to try and educate the populace about true principles that will us go forth in a positive way to propect our nation, communities and homes.
Thank you Glenn.

Payson, UT

How do all you guys know these authors and the fact they are LDS? When I buy a book, I don't screen it to make sure it was written by a mormon, I just read the preface or summary on the cover.
After the Harry Potter series, has there been a bigger series than Twilight? I'm pretty amazed at how vampire and werewolf tales can still attract so much attention. I thought we were through with that stage after Van Helsing and that horrible tom cruise movie (can't even remember the name).

Cedar Hills, UT


You will have to look for the truth and accept it when and where you find it. Obama has done a great deal of apologizing for the supposed misdeeds of the US. He has also bowed deep before many tirants aroud the globe. Obama is an embarassment to the US. If you can't see the truth in that then you are not searching. Perhaps the most influential person in Obamas life is Georgie Soros. A known America hater. Does that resonate with you at all?

Salt Lake City, UT

Orson Scott Card has never been #1 on the list... the headline says those who have been #1 on the list. Anne Perry is not on the list, but I'm pretty sure she's been #1 on the list before, though.

Mom of 2
Eagle Mountain, UT

Congrats to Stephenie Meyer for proving that a heroine doesn't have to be strong or interesting at all to sell books!

Salt Lake City, UT

This article proves you can have poor reading comprehension skills and/or poor grammar and still comment.

Salt Lake City, UT

Other Honorable Mention candidates for business books that were best-sellers but not #1 would include:

Clayton Christensen for his "Disruptive" series of books, and

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan for Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations and Influencers.

Vancouver, BC

@AZRod - the number 1 ranking on the NYT list is based on sales, NOT some arbitrary choice.

Note to many others: I've never seen such a high proportion of comments that would indicate the commenters have not read or comprehended the article...

Lindon, UT

It's interesting how many people use forums such as this to continually bash others and spout odd, uninteresting facts about themselves and their political views (the article makes no mention of political views or aspirations). Why not stick to relevant comments about the article and what it represents, and attempt to actually add something of value to the discussion, rather than expose yourself and your obvious insecurities? (Just in case you haven't learned, it takes very little courage or intellect to consistently attack people online.)

Kudos to those who actually chose to add some valid names to the list, in a positive way, without vilifying the author, or those mentioned in the article!

The Judge
Kaysville, UT

Read the whole list. It's about NUMBER ONE on the list...Card, Covey, Hinckley have been on the list, but never at #1.


Orson Scott Card has a much wider variety of books and better quality writing and the protagonists have better standards for young readers to follow. Perhaps the morality of the books have kept them from #1 status but I'd rather read Orson Scott Card than any of the others any day.

Layton, UT

DefCon1 | 1:56 p.m

Kent Larsen
New York, New York

It looks like this list is limited to those who appeared on the list in the last decade or so. Was any research done in compiling this list? Was there any intention to make it comprehensive? If not, it would have been nice if that had been said.

How about Betty Eadie -- didn't her book hit #1? Would have been in the 1980s - before anyone on this list.

Deborah Brent

Christine Feehan isn't on this list either. She and Brenda Novak and Rebecca Winters are romance writers who have been #1 on the NYT list.

Akron, OH

@Kent Larsen

I am not sure if Betty Eadie is still LDS.

Herndon, VA

For all those who doubted me, and some who declared me 'dumb':

"His book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was number one on the New York Times Bestseller List with more than 1.5 million copies sold."

From Sterlingspeakers.com, referring to Stephen R. Covey.

Facts are stubborn things.

Richland, WA

At a time when there are so many people who vociferously attack Mormons in general, and some Mormons in particular (Beck and Romney), it is nice to see that millions of Americans who read (and presumably think) are voting with their bucks in favor of authors who are, in most cases, well known as Mormons.

This is not to say that it is all deathless prose that will be read well into the next century. But some of it may get there. Since the pearl-to-potatoes ratio is always low, the important thing is get lots more of our potatoes out there so we can find more pearls.

One aspect of this is that some of Card's prolific books are clearly extrapolations on LDS themes, yet they are very popular with many non-LDS readers.

Another point to observe is how much of this writing is in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre. Do Mormons excel in finding meaning and significance in worlds that are not mundane?

Ogden, UT

I refuse to read a book just because it was written by an LDS author. I love all kinds of books, but I am very picky. I want them clean, and without sexual references. I will not read any more by Stephanie Meyer. It was intended for young teens, but is too sexual for that age, or even me. Just because the author is LDS does not mean it is a wholesome book.

Kearns, UT

Yes, what about the bestselling mystery author, Anne Perry?

I think one thing that helped Mitt Romney's book become a bestseller was that he bought thousands of books himself and offered them for free for each person who came to his speaking tours last year with a ticket.

We went to his speaking engagement and also bought 2 additional books to give away as gifts. Romney is a smart man. He not only knows how to make a book appear to be a best seller and thus sell more to those who buy "bestsellers," but he also wrote a great book. He really knows what he's talking about. It would be awesome to have him as president.

Kearns, UT

You know what, instead of complaining to the Deseret News for printing the facts, this list of #1 best selling authors, who became best selling authors because people bought their books, sit down and try to write your own best sellers.

Must most of the posts be so negative? Waa Waa Waaa. It's not a list of someone's favorite authors, it's just an objective list of tangible facts.

And let me repeat along with a few others that Card, Covey, Skousen, and Hinckley were best selling authors too and were mentioned at the end, but their books were not at #1.

It is not a right-wing conspiracy to have Beck and Romney on the #1 list, they just happened to have #1 best-selling books. The DN cannot help that.


Richard and Linda Eyre's book, Teaching Your Children Values, was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the early 90's. Too bad they left that off. It was the first book about parenting or families to top the bestseller list since Dr Spock's book topped the list back in the 1950's.

Ogden, UT

The list is only those LDS authors who have hit number one on the New York Times Bestseller Lists. By that standard, Orson Scott Card and Steven Covey haven't, which is sad. That's why they're mentioned as honorable mentions. Unlike many of the others who posted comments, I'm familiar with all of the authors mentioned. I really like Stephanie Meyer's work, with _The Host_ being my favorite of hers, and Brandon Mull's "Fablehaven" series. I'm currently reading Mull's recent: _A World Without Heroes_ and find it very enjoyable.

Ad Rem
Falls Church, VA

I'm surprised that most people who commented on this list missed one rather important item - the list is for Mormons who were NUMBER ONE on the NYTimes Best Sellers list. In other words, Orson Scott Card was NEVER number one on the NYT Best Seller list, thus, he was listed in notables only.

It is rather shocking to see comments that demonstrate how poorly people pay attention to what they are reading.

York, SC

We love Deseret News but sometimes it seems as if the articles are not well thought out.
the Siffords

Relocated Southerner
Logan, UT

Oh, please. Go back and read the entire article before commenting. Eadie is on the list, Covey is listed as having a #1 bestseller, Richard & Linda Eyre are listed, etc. Please don't make comments based upon what others have said before you. Go back and read the article if you want to comment on who should and should not have been on the list. And I agree with an earlier poster -- this article only proves that very few read what has been printed (or posted) and have less reading comprehension than is expected. It is not a biased article -- just factual -- about LDS authors who have actually hit #1 on the NYT bestsellers list. But PLEASE go back and read the article before you start complaining about who didn't make the list (when most of the ones about which you are complaining are actually already listed in the article).

Mom_Geologist Dave
Kearns, UT

And what happened to Heimerdinger????

Belgrade, Serbia

I know, I know. Card has not been atop the list as a NYT #1 bestseller, but I just want to say he is the most creative and talented author of all those on the list. Without a doubt, IMHO.

I like to read his stuff on him writing his stuff. I know that sounds pretty dull, but any story can be a story that is interesting if it is well written.

His breadth and depth are incredible. Fairy tales, fantasy, Sci-Fi, romantic tales, shorts, suspense. He can do it all and each is satisfying and well-crafted. I think that might be the best word to describe it. He crafts his art. There is quality in his books and you can feel his thought that went into making the story, not to please for the $$$ but to tell a good story. Thanks OSC.


I can verify that I have never been in the #1 position on the NYT Best Seller list. I have been as high as #3 and I have been on the list approximately eight times or so ... but never in the #1 position.

What I tell new authors in our writing seminars is that it isn't about being PUBLISHED ... it's about being READ. It isn't about best-sellers ... its about the one individual on the other side of the page, the reader in whose mind the actual performance of the book takes place. That is where meaning is created and discovered. That is where lives are changed.

We make our living from our words ... but that's not why we write.

Bobby Roscomere

In high school, so many of my non-LDS friends were surprised (shocked wouldn't be too strong a word) when I casually mentioned that Tracy Hickman and Orson Card were members of the Church. We grew up on their stuff.

Another honorable mention should be Ben English, author of the Jack Be Nimble thriller series (Gargoyle, Tyro, etc). Not on the NY bestseller list, but I see people reading his stuff all the time.

Am hoping next time DN publishes this list, it's twice as long.


soooo... why do they Say Romney is "currently considered the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination"?

according to who? last heard Mitt dropped out of the number 1 slot as soon as Perry got in the race.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Being number one on the NYT list means that you manage to make you book release in a way that it captures the public all at once, or have a really popular book. Other authors may sell even as many books, but not in one big rush.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

What is with the complaints about Covey, Feehan, Eadie and the Eyre's all not being on the list, when in fact they all are on the list?


Differentiating between fiction and nonfiction would of course put Glenn Beck at the top of your non fiction best sellers list which would makes him #1 in subjects that influence the political landscape.

I'm sure this should shake out a few Beck haters to add to this comment page.


Christine Feehan's LDS??! I never would have guessed!

Herriman, UT

The key words in the list is #1 on NYT Bestseller list. This is not a list of who writes the best, it is a list of who sells the best. I would think that Covey must have hit #1 sometime with 7 Habits. But maybe not. Agenda? Geez folks, read the title of the list.

Temecula, CA

Covey is on the list!

Heather Moore
Lehi, UT

Dian Thomas? Other notables are James Dashner, Aprilynne Pike, Kiersten White, James Michael Pratt, etc.

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