12/20/2010 02:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hits, Misses And Sleepers Of 2010

Dead men were big sellers in 2010, from Stieg Larsson and his Millennium trilogy to Mark Twain and the autobiography he wanted withheld until 100 years after his death.

Among the living, George W. Bush's "Decision Points" became a quick million seller and defied expectations for the former president, who left office two years ago amid a collapsing economy and bearish approval ratings. Among younger readers, Jeff Kinney's latest "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" was another big hit and Suzanne Collins memorably completed her "Hunger Games" trilogy with "Mockingjay."

Some books were broadly announced and fell fast, such as "Ape House" by "Water for Elephants" author Sara Gruen, and "Imperial Bedrooms," Bret Easton Ellis' sequel to "Less Than Zero." But there were quiet successes, too, books that exceeded expectations through steady sales and the blessings of critics, retailers and readers.

Here are some "sleepers" of 2010, one of them called, appropriately, "The Quiet Book."