The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1989

Radical, dude! We’re looking back to 1989, which is the year ‘yours truly’ graduated from high school (ouch – that ages me). In fact, 1989 was a memorable year for independence, and not just that of the graduation kind. In the spring, we saw the protests at Tiananmen Square in China and, later that fall, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. It was also the year that:

  • The Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska (March).
  • The Menendez Brothers shot and killed their parents in California (August).
  • The Simpsons television series debuted (December).

And what were we reading that year? Interestingly enough, some of the same authors we still read today. Check out one of these titles from the New York Times Best Sellers list from the week of May 21, 1989.



1. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

2. The Negotiator by Frederick Forsyth

3. While My Pretty One Sleeps by Mary Higgins Clark

4. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

5. The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

6. Star by Danielle Steel

7. Playmates by Robert B. Parker

8. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

9. We Are Still Married by Garrison Keillor

10. Stranger in Savannah by Eugenia Price

11. The Diamond Throne by David Eddings

12. Killshot by Elmore Leonard

13. The Naked Heart by Jacqueline Briskin

14. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

15. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood



1. A Woman Named Jackie by C. David Heymann

2. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum

3. Love and Marriage by Bill Cosby

4. Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother by Lois Wyse

5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen W. Hawking

6. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama

7. The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw by Patrick F. McManus

8. About Face by David H. Hackworth And Julie Sherman

9. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences by John Allen Paulos

10. Wordstruck by Robert MacNeil

11. Goldwyn by A. Scott Berg

12. Out of the Blue by Orel Hershiser with Jerry B. Jenkins

13. Yogi: It Ain’t Over . . . by Yogi Berra with Tom Horton

14. Not That You Asked . . . by Andrew A. Rooney

15. Blind Faith by Joe McGinniss


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