Popular Books Written In The 1980s

Let’s face it- most books just aren’t very good. There’s a reason why most authors don’t make much money.

But every once in a while, an amazing book is written. And believe it or not, that even happened in the 80’s. Here’s just a few of the most popular books written in the 80s. If you haven’t read ‘em yet, get on it!

The Bourne Identity (1980)

Made even more famous by the movies, The Bourne Identity is about a young man who wakes up and has no idea where he is, where he came from, or even who he is. But throughout the story, he picks up clues that identifies him as one of the best secret agents the U.S. has to offer.


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The Bourne Identity By Robert Ludlum 1980

The story is great because you never know what’s coming next. You’re constantly playing through scenarios in your mind, wondering what Mr. Bourne will run into or learn in the next chapter.

Firestarter (1980)

Written by Stephen King, you know it’s going to be good… although a bit different.

This story is about a father-daughter duo that are trying to evade the U.S. government. The premise is that while in college, he and his wife experimented with some drugs that gave them telepathic powers, and he also gained another which he called “the push.”


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Firestarter By Stephen King 1980

Just as you’d expect, there’s a good bit of death, strange things going on, and a movie was made out of it a few years after it was published starring actors still around today such as Drew Barrymore, Martin Sheen, and Heather Locklear. But if you haven’t read the book, start with it before watching the movie. Here’s the original movie trailer:



The Fifth Horseman (1980)

This book had political ramifications that nobody could’ve expected. It actually lead to the French president at the time to cancel a major sale of nuclear reactors to Libya.

The Fifth Horseman is about a Libyan terrorist holding all of New York City hostage. The terrorist, named Gaddafi, threatens to blow up a hidden nuclear bomb if his wishes weren’t granted.


The Fifth Horseman
The Fifth Horseman By Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre 1980

At the time this book was written, books about terrorism were few and far between. So you can imagine that when something very realistic and scary was written, it would get a lot of attention.

But even though there are more similar books out today, this is still a great read and stands out among the rest.

E.T. (1982)

Remember the movie with the weird-looking, short alien from the moon? Yup, it was originally a book.


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E.T. By William Kotzwinkle 1982

E.T. was the name given to the little guy after being found by a young boy. Over the next few weeks, the rest of his family meets E.T. and falls in love with him, and eventually help him get back home.

Just keep in mind that if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it has some parts that are scary for little kids!

The One Minute Manager (1982)

Not all of the greatest books from the 80’s were fiction. The One Minute Manager is one of the greatest books ever written on leadership and managing a team.


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The One Minute Manager By Ken Blanchard 1982

The primary idea is that it only takes one minute to do many of the best things possible as a manager. Taking just one minute to praise someone for good work, make a decision, or reprimand someone who did something wrong is a great way to get things done around your business.


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