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Top 5 Sidney Sheldon Books

Updated on July 06, 2016

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One of the first books I ever read during my teen years was called "The Stars Shine Down" by Sidney Sheldon. Ever since reading that book, I've been obsessed with collecting the rest of his books.

There is something about the way that he writes, and how he portrays his leading characters that make reading his books so captivating and addictive - it's almost impossible to put down any of his books once you've started reading them!

The Man Behind the Name - Sidney Sheldon

(1917 - 2007)

Sidney Sheldon was one of the world's most loved and highest earning authors - in fact, he is the 7th best selling author of all time.

An author of 18 novels (that have sold over 300 million copies), Sidney Sheldon started his career in writing television scripts - and has written over 200 scripts for various TV shows.

Born in Chicago, Illinois to Ascher "Otto" Schechtel, a Russian Jewish ancestor and Natalie Marcus, he sold his first piece of writing at the age of 10 - charging $5 for a poem that he wrote.

Sidney Sheldon changed his surname from Schechtel to Sheldon to appeal to a bigger audience for his writing.

He writes predominantly for a female audience, as most of his characters are heroines. During an interview, when asked why he mainly writes for women, he was quoted as saying: "I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power — their femininity, because men can't do without it."

A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to him in 1994.

Book Themes and Writing Genre

Sidney Sheldon's books center mainly around a female lead character.

They are built on suspense, and he has confessed in interviews that he writes about interesting people who are caught in dangerous situations.

He tries to keep the reader guessing until the very end of the book, so that it's very difficult to put down.

Have you ever read a Sidney Sheldon book?

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My Personal Favourite Sidney Sheldon Books

The Stars Shine Down
The Stars Shine Down | Source

1. The Stars Shine Down

Hands down, this has to be one of the best books ever written - well, I think so anyway. This story begins in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and you are introduced to the main character of the book, Lara Cameron.

Lara doesn't come from a loving home. She tries in vain throughout her childhood years to gain the love of her father - a drunk, who verbally abuses her and couldn't care less about what happens to her.

However, soon after these opening scenes, you soon realize that Lara is not prepared to live the life that was paved out for her. She's young and beautiful, and uses an inner strength and determination to claw her way to the top, fighting off the demons of her past and the men who try to abuse her, both mentally and physically.

She finds fortune after conquering the male-dominated real estate market, as well as love when she marries a world-famous concert pianist, but Lara is unable to foresee that there is a terrifying, uncontrollable force from her past, bent on destroying everything that she has created, and everything she values in life.

Review Score: 9/10

Rage of Angels
Rage of Angels | Source

2. Rage of Angels

In this book, you're introduced to Jennifer Parker - a brilliant, beautiful and bold lawyer who begins her career in New York, as somewhat of a scatterbrain. Few people take her seriously, and she is almost disbarred due to her innocence in accepting an envelope of information from an unbeknownst member of a large Mafia family.

It isn't long before she begins dominating the courtroom with her sparkling intelligence and persuasive charms. This captures the attention of a very much married Adam Warner who is set to become the next President of the United States. If this love match wasn't complicated enough, she also finds herself attracted to Michael Moretti - leader of one of New York's largest Mafia families, and also the defendant of Jennifer's first case.

You're taken on a roller-coaster of a ride, as you uncover the journey to the top of Jennifer's career, right down to the depths of her depression once she realizes she's pregnant. It soon becomes clear that she's become vulnerable to those that seek out to destroy her, and it's the life of her child that pulls her out of her misery, and gives her the courage to try and take down those who are out to get her.

Review Score: 10/10

The Sands of Time
The Sands of Time | Source

3. The Sands of Time

In this book, you are taken on a journey with four nuns who find themselves thrust into the hostile world - a world that they chose to leave behind - after their convent is attacked. They unwillingly become pawns in the struggle between Jaime Miro, leader of the outlawed Basque nationalists, and Colonel Acoca of the Spanish army.

The four nuns are:

  • Sister Teresa - a nun who is almost 60 years old and who's lived in the convent for 30 years. She chose to convert her life to that of a nun to forget, after her fiancé left her and eloped with her more beautiful sister - a sister who spent her life trying to overshadow Teresa.
  • Sister Lucia - daughter of an Italian Mafia boss, Lucia lost everything when one of her young lovers turned in her father and brothers. She seeks revenge and poisons the judge who put away her family. She attempts to flee the country from the police who are out to capture her, and seeks refuge by hiding in the convent.
  • Sister Graciela - daughter of a whore. Graciela became aware of her exotic and beautiful looks, and at the age of 14 discovered her sexuality when she was caught sleeping with her mother's boyfriend. Graciela joined the convent as she had no other place to live, after her mother attacked and threw her out of the house.
  • Sister Megan - a tomboy, was discovered on a farm after being abandoned and soon afterwards brought up in an orphanage. Megan joins the convent at the age of 15 because she loves going to church. You will learn that Megan's real name is Patricia, and that she has inherited a fortune from her biological family.

The faith, beliefs and morals of each of these four women are tested as they fight for survival, discover love and build life-long friendships during their time on the run.

Review Score: 9/10

The Sands of Time
The Sands of Time | Source

4. Windmills of the Gods

In this book, you will meet Mary Ashley - a professor at Kansas State University who is offered an ambassadorship by the President of the United States. She turns down the position because her husband doesn't want to leave his medical practice and she doesn't want to be separated from him.

Her husband dies suddenly in a (suspicious) traffic accident, and she decides to accept the position in order to fill the void in her life.

Sent to Romania, she finds herself being conspired against by almost everyone she meets. Although she is the new US Ambassador to an Iron Curtain country, she soon realizes that she's been marked for death by the world's most skilled assassin.

She's forced to fight for her life, as she is plunged into a world of kidnapping, espionage and terror.

Review Score: 8/10

Master of the Game
Master of the Game | Source

5. Master of the Game

Kate Blackwell is the lead character in this story. You'll be introduced to her in the first scene as she looks back on her life at her lavish 90th birthday party.

Spanning six generations, you will be taken on a journey with Kate that begins with her Scottish father, Jamie McGregor who travels to South Africa to make his fortune in diamonds.

You will get a sense of who Kate is - a beautiful, strong willed and manipulative woman, as she reminices about the great loves of her life, her struggle to dominate her empire, the ghosts of her past, and a life of blackmail, deceit and murder in a series of flashbacks.

Review Score: 9/10

Sidney Sheldon's Novels

Book Title
Year Published
The Naked Face
The Other Side of Midnight
A Stranger in the Mirror
Rage of Angels
Master of the Game
If Tomorrow Comes
Windmills of the Gods
The Sands of Time
Memories of Midnight
The Doomsday Conspiracy
The Stars Shine Down
Nothing Lasts Forever
Morning, Noon and Night
The Best Laid Plans
Tell Me Your Dreams
The Sky is Falling
Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Which is your favourite Sidney Sheldon book?

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    • sriparna profile image

      sriparna 4 years ago from New Delhi

      Interesting hub, thanks for putting the top Sidney Sheldon novels in one hub. I have read The Sands of Time and Windmills of the Gods while in my teens and wish to read once more after reading this hub. Yeah, I like the way he portrays his female lead character, very talented, smart and confident and has the courage to take on challenges in the male-dominated society. I have also liked his "The Best laid Plans" starring Leslie Stewart as the smart protagonist.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

      I have seen his name but never thought to read his books. Next time in the library I'll take a look for him.

      Voted up, useful and interesting, Joyce.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sidney Sheldon is a familiar name to me having owned book shops over the years and knowing he was one of the most popular ones with men and women.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Good report, good reviews, good picks. Thanks

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi sriparna - Thanks for reading! I haven't read "The Best Laid Plans" yet, and there are a few others that I want to read and add to my collection. Great to meet another SS fan :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Joyce - You won't be disappointed, there are still so many of his books that I haven't read yet - and I promise you, they are near impossible to put down once you start, so make sure you have a full day open for reading! :) Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Jackie - That's interesting, even though his books appealed more toward women, the fact that men enjoyed reading them just as much goes to show just how good of an author he truly was. Thanks for your comment!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Mhatter99 - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the book pics :) Thanks for stopping and commenting, much appreciated.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      I love Sidney Sheldon novels. I think I've read all novels of him on our library. amazing writer.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi unknown spy - Good to meet a fellow Sidney Sheldon book lover! Thanks for stopping in to comment :)

    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 4 years ago

      I love Master of the Game, but also Rage of Angels, Bloodline, A Stranger in the Mirror, If Tomorrow Comes, and Memories of Midnight...thanks for the list. I believe I will be checking Sidney Sheldon out of the library soon :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi justgrace1776! It sounds like you're an even bigger Sidney Sheldon fan than what I am! :) Enjoy the books, and thanks for dropping in to comment! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, I'm feeling just a wee bit stupid! I read voraciously and I have never read one of these books. I do trust you, however, so I might have to break down and pick one of these up at the used book store. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha Bill, don't worry - I don't think I would have known about these books if my parents didn't have one or two of them first, that's how I got hooked. I highly recommend Rage of Angels as a first read if you're new to Sidney Sheldon....but any of his books are brilliant :) Thanks for checking in - and happy reading!

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 4 years ago from Madurai, India

      Thanks for the update. Sydney Sheldon is really master story teller. Your hub revives memories of the stories that he wrote. All the best in your future endeavors.


    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi snerfu - Glad to meet a fellow Sidney Sheldon fan :) Thanks for reading and for your comment!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Though I'm not a fan of this genre, I have read some books by Seldon, and from what I read, I loved his writings.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks Vinaya - That says a lot about an author, if you don't enjoy the genre but read their books and you love their writings....what a compliment to them! Thanks for reading and for your comment :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hunter - Thanks for stopping in to read and comment. It's great to meet another fan, I absolutely LOVE his books!

    • tattuwurn 3 years ago

      MelChi, just like you it's also "The Stars Shine Down" which was the first Sheldon book I read. I've read all the top 5 titles you've listed, and loved them all! "The Sands Of Time" is (for now) my most fave, followed by "The Doomsday Conspiracy" (whose lead character is a guy, unlike in all other novels). There are other Sidney Sheldon novels that I still haven't read, but of course I would love to decide to do that someday.

      Anyway, are there any television/movie adaptations from his novels? If there are, it's a shame I haven't seen them. I know the book is, needless to say, way better than movies in general. But I only wanted to see them nevertheless, how they would turn out. Voted up and awesome! :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi tattuwurn! It's great to come across another Sidney Sheldon fan. Aren't his books fantastic? I could read them over and over again. As far as I know, there was a movie based on his book "Rage of Angels", starring the lovely Jaclyn Smith in 1983. I'm not sure about the others, I'd love to see "The Stars Shine Down". Thank so much for reading, and I hope you get to read many more of his books!

    • hamu 3 years ago

      no other author competes with his writing skills

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hamu, I have to agree with you. Out of all the authors whose books I read, his are my favourite. Thanks for reading!

    • mind 3 years ago

      Ive read all of Sheldon's books, many of them at least twice. And while I love almost all of them, one always stood out for me. "Master of the Game". Its just an epic story about whole family generation with very vivid characters and lots of events. Id really love to see TV series based on this book.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi mind! That was a fantastic book. I think I just recently read it, wouldn't mind giving it a read again soon. I agree with you, a TV series would be incredible based on the book!

    • BS.Dharshini 3 years ago

      Thanks for listing out the books of Sidney Sheldon. i had read four books of Sidney Sheldon. In that my favorite novel is If Tomorrow comes..i liked Tracy Whitney Character very much...

    • charles_robert_coloma 3 years ago

      I am a guy and I am a very big fan of Sidney Sheldon. I have read all his novels except for one, but I don't to read it yet until next year because I have this one-Sidney-Sheldon-book-a-year policy for he won't be able to write new books anymore. I hate the feeling of not having something to look forward to anymore, the way I felt after reading the last Harry Potter book.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      @Charles - That's a good idea! His books are really that good... I've started reading Morning, Noon and Night this month and am trying to drag it out but I can't... I need to know what happens! :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi B.S Dharshini... That was a great book! LOVED it! :)

    • Rafay Rathore 19 months ago

      I have read two novels of Sidney Sheldon “Winmdmills of the Gods" and “The Doomsday Conspiracy" and its really hard to put to them if you started them to read.

      “Windmills of the Gods" is a great combination of suspense,action,politics,romance all in one story,and reading this novel helps me in both of my university subjects English Literature and Political Science.There's also a miniseries from 1988 based on this novel,but its somewhat old fashioned.I would love to see a modern TV series based on “Windmills of the Gods" like The Mentalist or Castle.

      “The Doomsday Conspiracy" is also another marvelous novel by Sidney Sheldon and this is the novel that inspired Dan Brown to write “The Da Vinci Code".I would love to see a movie based on “The Doomsday Conspiracy" like “The Da Vinci Code".

    • deepthi 17 months ago

      I have read Nothing last forever,Tell me your dreams,The sky is falling,Windmills of the gods and Sands of time..can't stop with just one time...hope to complete all his novels within this year..

    • Pooja 10 months ago

      I started with Rage of angels. This book has been so well written with unexpected twists and turns. Even when I finished it I can't stop thinking about the plot and specially the end. Its tragic :( and it hurts :(

    • jayson dela fuente 4 months ago

      I Love most IF TOMORROW COMES

      the best ever made for me

      tracy whitney so clever and the scenes very well done

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