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FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

Only one book has made the Amazon Top 10 every year for the past decade

Unsplash/Carl Cerstand
What are my strengths?
By Dan Kopf
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

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