Hunger Games come and Fifty Shades go, but StrengthsFinder 2.0 is here to stay.
The popular self-assessment book has made the Amazon Top 10 bestseller list every year for the past decade. No other book appears even three times—though a volume from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series shows up in six of ten years. (Hover with your mouse on desktop or swipe on mobile to see all the rankings through 2016.)
|1||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows||A New Earth||The Lost Symbol||The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest||Steve Jobs||Fifty Shades of Grey||StrengthsFinder 2.0||StrengthsFinder 2.0||First 100 Words||Harry Potter and the Cursed Child|
|2||The Secret||Breaking Dawn||The Shack||The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo||Heaven is for Real||Fifty Shades Darker||Lean In||Frozen Little Golden Book||The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up||StrengthsFinder 2.0|
|3||Eat Pray Love||The Shack||Liberty and Tyranny||Decision Points||Diary of Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever||Fifty Shades Freed||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck||Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids||Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids||First 100 Words|
|4||A Thousand Splendid Suns||The Last Lecture||Breaking Dawn||The Help||StrengthsFinder 2.0||The Hunger Games||Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims||The Fault in Our Stars||Secret Garden||The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up|
|5||The Dangerous Book for Boys||The Tales of Beedle and Bard||Going Rogue||The Girl Who Played With Fire||The Hunger Games||StrengthsFinder 2.0||Jesus Calling||Diary of Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul||StrengthsFinder 2.0||Oh, the Place You’ll Go|
|6||Deceptively Delicious||Eclipse||StrengthsFinder 2.0||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth||Unbroken||Fifty Shades Trilogy||Inferno||Killing Patton||Go Set a Watchman||Diary of Wimpy Kid: Double Down|
|7||Good to Great||Twilight||The Help||StrengthsFinder 2.0||Inheritance||Catching Fire||The House of Hades||What If?||Enchanted Forest||Giraffes Can’t Dance|
|8||Water for Elephants||New Moon||New Moon||Mockingjay||Go the F**k to Sleep||Mockingjay||Things That Matter||The Blood of Olympus||All the Light We Cannot See||The 5 Love Languages|
|9||StrengthsFinder 2.0||StrengthsFinder 2.0||The Twilight Saga||Women Food and God||Mockingjay||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The 3rd Wheel||The Great Gatsby||Jesus Calling||The Girl on the Train||When Breath Becomes Air|
|10||You on a Diet||Three Cups of Tea||Outliers||Publication Manual of the APA||A Song of Ice and Fire||No Easy Day||Killing Jesus||Unbroken||Adult Coloring Book||The Whole30|
StrengthsFinder 2.0, written by senior Gallup scientist Tom Rath, was released in 2007. Following on the success of its predecessor Now, Discover Your Strengths, it was an immediate hit. The publisher ambitiously claims the book “will change the way you look at yourself–and the world around you—forever.”
The book contains a code for an online self-assessment to identify your five major talents, plus about 180 pages explaining the 34 possible talents you might have. Such talents include straightforward skills like being “strategic” and “analytical,” but also more opaque abilities, like “intellection” and being “futuristic.”
The StrengthsFinder talents and assessment were developed by American psychologist Donald Clifton. The current version of the test is made up of multiple-choice questions, in which respondents are asked to choose between two descriptions of themselves—for example “I am a sensitive person” versus “I am a logical person.” The book has been criticized for being unfalsifiable and confusing, but this does not seem to have diminished sales.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 tells us, “You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” It turns out that this is the message the book-buying public really wanted to hear.