Monday, March 14, 2016

Bestselling Books From 1930 to 1949

Another exciting installment of my six-part series! Find the last two entries here: 1895-1909 and 1910-1929.

Here are the top ten books sold in the United States according to Publisher's Weekly for 1930 through 1949.

I have read 7 books from the 1930s and 7 from the 1940s (marked in red below). Many of the titles are familiar because so many were made into movies.

The biggest author during these two decades seems to be Lloyd C. Douglas. I have never heard of him but I definitely recognize the titles of a couple of his books: The Robe and Magnificent Obsession (I haven't seen the films of either). The Robe was on the Top Ten list for FOUR YEARS, 1942 to 1945, and will also reappear in 1953, the year of the film version's release.

The story is a fictional account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Douglas was a Lutheran minister and began writing moralistic novels when he retired. I'm guessing the war years had to do with the popularity of The Robe?

But despite the popularity of his books for two decades he is completely forgotten today. The movie is still remembered but mainly because it starred Richard Burton.

Other popular authors with multiple bestsellers include John Steinbeck, Edna Ferber, A.J. Cronin, Sholem Asch, and James Hilton.

Some of the books won Pulitzer Prizes as noted below and Peal S. Buck was a Nobel Prize winner in literature in 1938. Apparently a Pulitzer Award doesn't necessarily coincide with the bestseller lists.

Nobel Prize winners on the list are Sinclair Lewis, John Galsworthy, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Pearl S. Buck.

How many have you read? Next up: The 1950s and 1960s!

1930
  1. Cimarron by Edna Ferber
  2. Exile by Warwick Deeping
  3. The Woman of Andros by Thornton Wilder
  4. Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes (Pulitzer)
  5. Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley
  6. The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  7. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole
  8. Chances by A. Hamilton Gibbs
  9. Young Man of Manhattan by Katharine Brush
  10. Twenty-Four Hours by Louis Bromfield
1931
  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (Pulitzer)
  2. Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
  3. A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
  4. Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
  5. Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
  6. The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque
  7. The Bridge of Desire by Warwick Deeping
  8. Back Street by Fannie Hurst
  9. Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche
  10. Maid in Waiting by John Galsworthy
1932
  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  2. The Fountain by Charles Langbridge Morgan
  3. Sons by Pearl S. Buck
  4. Magnolia Street by Louis Golding
  5. The Sheltered Life by Ellen Glasgow
  6. Old Wine and New by Warwick Deeping
  7. Mary's Neck by Booth Tarkington
  8. Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas
  9. Inheritance by Phyllis Bentley
  10. Three Loves by A. J. Cronin
1933
  1. Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen
  2. As the Earth Turns by Gladys Hasty Carroll
  3. Ann Vickers by Sinclair Lewis
  4. Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas
  5. One More River by John Galsworthy
  6. Forgive Us Our Trespassers by Lloyd C. Douglas
  7. The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
  8. Miss Bishop by Bess Streeter Aldrich
  9. The Farm by Louis Bromfield
  10. Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada
1934
  1. Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen
  2. Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller (Pulitzer)
  3. So Red the Rose by Stark Young
  4. Good-bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
  5. Within This Present by Margaret Ayer Barnes
  6. Work of Art by Sinclair Lewis
  7. Private Worlds by Phyllis Bottome
  8. Mary Peters by Mary Ellen Chase
  9. Oil for the Lamps of China by Alice Tisdale Hobart
  10. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
1935
  1. Green Light by Lloyd C. Douglas
  2. Vein of Iron by Ellen Glasgow
  3. Of Time and the River by Thomas Wolfe
  4. Time Out of Mind by Rachel Field
  5. Good-bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
  6. The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel
  7. Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder
  8. Lost Horizon by James Hilton
  9. Come and Get It by Edna Ferber
  10. Europa by Robert Briffault
1936
  1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Pulitzer)
  2. The Last Puritan by George Santayana
  3. Sparkenbroke by Charles Langbridge Morgan
  4. Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds
  5. It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
  6. White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas
  7. The Hurricane by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
  8. The Thinking Reed by Rebecca West
  9. The Doctor by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  10. Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley
1937
  1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  2. Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts
  3. The Citadel by A. J. Cronin
  4. And So—Victoria by Vaughan Wilkins
  5. Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds
  6. The Years by Virginia Woolf
  7. Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  9. The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield
  10. We Are Not Alone by James Hilton
1938
  1. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  2. The Citadel by A. J. Cronin
  3. My Son, My Son! by Howard Spring
  4. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  5. Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts
  6. All This, and Heaven Too by Rachel Field
  7. The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield
  8. And Tell of Time by Laura Krey
  9. The Mortal Storm by Phyllis Bottome
  10. Action at Aquila by Hervey Allen
1939
  1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  2. All This, and Heaven Too by Rachel Field
  3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  4. Wickford Point by John P. Marquand
  5. Escape by Ethel Vance
  6. Disputed Passage by Lloyd C. Douglas
  7. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Pulitzer)
  8. The Tree of Liberty by Elizabeth Page
  9. The Nazarene by Sholem Asch
  10. Kitty Foyle by Christopher Morley
1940
  1. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
  2. Kitty Foyle by Christopher Morley
  3. Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (Pulitzer)
  5. The Nazarene by Sholem Asch
  6. Stars on the Sea by F. van Wyck Mason
  7. Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts
  8. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Pulitzer)
  9. Night in Bombay by Louis Bromfield
  10. The Family by Nina Fedorova
1941
  1. The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin
  2. Random Harvest by James Hilton
  3. This Above All by Eric Knight
  4. The Sun Is My Undoing by Marguerite Steen
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  6. Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts
  7. H.M. Pulham, Esquire by John P. Marquand
  8. Mr. and Mrs. Cugat by Isabel Scott Rorick
  9. Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber
  10. Windswept by Mary Ellen Chase
1942
  1. The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfel
  2. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
  3. Dragon Seed by Pearl S. Buck
  4. And Now Tomorrow by Rachel Field
  5. Drivin' Woman by Elizabeth Pickett
  6. Windswept by Mary Ellen Chase
  7. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
  8. The Sun Is My Undoing by Marguerite Steen
  9. King's Row by Henry Bellamann
  10. The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin
1943
  1. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
  2. The Valley of Decision by Marcia Davenport
  3. So Little Time by John P. Marquand
  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  5. The Human Comedy by William Saroyan
  6. Mrs. Parkington by Louis Bromfield
  7. The Apostle by Sholem Asch
  8. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier
  9. The Forest and the Fort by Hervey Allen
  10. The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfel
1944
  1. Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
  2. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
  3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  4. Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
  5. The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  6. The Green Years by A. J. Cronin
  7. Leave Her to Heaven by Ben Ames Williams
  8. Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge
  9. A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
  10. The Apostle by Sholem Asch
1945
  1. Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
  2. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
  3. The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain
  4. The White Tower by James Ramsey Ullman
  5. Cass Timberlane by Sinclair Lewis
  6. A Lion Is in the Streets by Adria Locke Langley
  7. So Well Remembered by James Hilton
  8. Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger
  9. Earth and High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham
  10. Immortal Wife by Irving Stone
1946
  1. The King's General by Daphne du Maurier
  2. This Side of Innocence by Taylor Caldwell
  3. The River Road by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  4. The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
  5. The Hucksters by Frederic Wakeman, Sr.
  6. The Foxes of Harrow by Frank Yerby
  7. Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque
  8. The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain
  9. B.F.'s Daughter by John P. Marquand
  10. The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward
1947
  1. The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
  2. The Moneyman by Thomas B. Costain
  3. Gentleman's Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson
  4. Lydia Bailey by Kenneth Roberts
  5. The Vixens by Frank Yerby
  6. The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck
  7. House Divided by Ben Ames Williams
  8. Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis
  9. East Side, West Side by Marcia Davenport
  10. Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
1948
  1. The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
  2. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  3. Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  4. The Bishop's Mantle by Agnes Sligh Turnbull
  5. Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
  6. The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby
  7. Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr.
  8. Shannon's Way by A. J. Cronin
  9. Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge
  10. The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
1949
  1. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
  2. The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
  3. Mary by Sholem Asch
  4. A Rage to Live by John O'Hara
  5. Point of No Return by John P. Marquand
  6. Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  7. High Towers by Thomas B. Costain
  8. Cutlass Empire by Van Wyck Mason
  9. Pride's Castle by Frank Yerby
  10. Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter

4 comments:

  1. Two: The Good Earth and The Grapes of Wrath

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  2. This one was harder for me because I've seen so many of the movies... and I can't really remember if I then read the book. Mrs. Miniver, Leave Her to Heaven, A Rage to Live?? I think yes, but I truly cannot remember. I do own Father of the Bride but haven't read it. (Grand Hotel and Cass Timberlane and Kitty Foyle were books?? Who knew?! Well, I guess you.)

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just requested Grand Hotel and Kitty Foyle from my library - I'm so curious! I'll let you know how they are. And maybe I'll read Father of the Bride this afternoon while I do my nails.

      Such a glamorous life I lead! I spent the morning wiping a pound of dust off shelves in the utility room. In other words, Glamour is my middle name.

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    2. There are so many books on these lists that I'd love to read! Grand Hotel and Kitty Foyle would be good starts. I'll have to see if my library has them too!

      "Lady Glamour Chardonnay" has a nice ring to it! XOXO

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