Although there have been many versions of The Bible over the centuries, Gutenberg's Bible has particular significance. The Gutenberg Bible was one of the first books to be printed in Europe. Begun in 1450 in Mainz, Germany by Johannes Gutenberg, the first copies were available five years later. It is believed that 180 copies of the bible were produced. The Gutenberg Bible closely resembles the manuscript Bibles of the time and has iconic status in the West as the text that started the age of the printed book.
The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is a detective novel sequel to one of Brown's earlier works, Angels and Demons, featuring the character of Robert Langdon. Works by Leonardo DaVinci, The Louvre and the Vatican figure prominently in this winding tale. The book caused controversy with its discussion of the Holy Grail and its portrayal of the Catholic church, but still went on to become a worldwide bestseller.
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
Also known as The Little Red Book, this book was comprised of quotations from various speeches and works by Chairman Mao. Published from 1964 to 1976, nearly every person in China owned a copy, and it became one of the enduring symbols of the Cultural Revolution and features in much of the propoganda of the time.
The Book of Mormon
First published in 1830 with the subtitle, An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi, which refers to Smith's own account of his discovery of the text (in which he was guided to by an angel-prophet named Moroni) written in reformed Egyptian inscribed on golden plates buried in a hill in upstate New York.
Islam holds that the Qu'ran (or Koran) was first revealed to Muhammed by the angel Gabriel in 610 CE, and was handed down through the oral tradition until being written down some twenty years later when it first began being produced in large numbers.
The seven part fantasy series, centering around a young wizard's trials and tribulations at the Hogwarts School, have proved incredibly popular with both children and adults alike. The last four books have all set records as the fastest selling books in history.
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia, published between 1950-1956, is a seven part children's fantasy series that takes place in the parallel, magical world of Narnia. Each tale features children who are magically transported to Narnia - a world of talking animals, magic and the age old battle between good and evil. Although the themes borrow heavily from Christianity, there are also characters and ideas from Greek and Roman mythology and traditional fairy tales.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Both novels are fantastical tales that take place in a mythical land called Middle-Earth. The Lord of the Rings began as a sequel to The Hobbit and eventually expanded to become a much larger trilogy. Published between the 1930s and 1950s, Tolkien's books are credited with increasing demand for fantasy fiction - an influence that grew to other media including games and films.
The American Spelling Book
Webster was a lexicographer who altered the spelling of many English words from their British version. He also wrote many books, including the best selling The American Spelling Book which was originally titled, The First Part of the Grammatical Institute of the English Language, and designed for use in elementary schools.
Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship
Robert Baden-Powell was the founder of the Scout Movement. This book drew on his own experience in the second Boer War and was a revision of his earlier military manuals but designed for boys. It was originally released in 6 bi-weekly installments.
***Bridgeman's top 10 list was compiled using various top selling book lists. All of the books included above exist in some form of top ten bestselling list and all books have sold at least 50 million copies worldwide.