Jackie Collins, Christos Tsiolkas, and the best-selling foreign books in China

by |October 21, 2013

Last week Booktopia’s John Purcell sat down, on separate days, with Jackie Collins and Christos Tsiolkas (two very different authors) to chat about their life, work, and new books Confessions of a Wild Child and Barracuda. It was a wonderful fly-on-the-wall experience to see these two writers at very different periods of their careers.

One resounding impression was that, while the world is getting smaller and smaller, the effect a book reaching a worldwide audience has on a writer is still excitingly tangible. These days Jackie Collins could sneeze onto a notepad and it would become a worldwide bestseller (thank goodness she hasn’t, her latest book is a thoroughly entertaining read), whereas Tsiolkas wrote acclaimed novels like Loaded and Dead Europe before finding recent global success with The Slap (copies of which he has been kind enough to sign, so don’t miss out if you haven’t read it yet).

John asked both of them about their popularity in unlikely territories, to which they both had the same answer.

Both Jackie Collins and Christos Tsiolkas, authors that at times have fallen foul of certain conservative sections of society, are both published and have found unlikely success in China.

Which got us thinking. What are the most popular foreign books in China? And low and behold, we’ve dug up the 2012 best-selling foreign books in China.

There’s some predictable titles, and some surprises…

Best-Selling Foreign Books in China


1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez

2. Before I Go to Sleep, by S. J. Watson

3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

5. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

7. Byakuyako (“Into the White Night”), by Keigo Higashino

8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger

9. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez

10. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown


1. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

2. The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

3. The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino

4. Rip It Up: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life, by Richard Wiseman

5. Youth, It’s Painful, by Rando Kim

6. On China, by Henry Kissinger

7. Dale Carnegie’s Lifetime Plan for Success, by Dale Carnegie

8. Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, by Nick Vujicic

9. A Global History: From Prehistory to the 21st Century, by L. S. Stavrianos

10. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking


1. Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window, by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

2. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

3. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling

5. The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden

6. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl

7. Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney

8. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

10. Tiger Team: Witch Swamp & Ghost Castle, by Thomas Brezina

Click here to see Booktopia’s 100 Bestselling titles this week
all discounted by at least 30%

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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