Monday, March 21, 2016

Bestselling Books from 1950 to 1969

And now, Part 4 of a 6-part series. Prior entries can be found here: 1895-1909, 1910-1929, and 1930-1949.

Since I am copying these lists from Wikipedia but I check it against the Publisher's Weekly site, I noticed that a couple of titles were added by random editors. Catcher in the Rye was added to 1952. This book has sold a zillion copies since but it was apparently not a bestseller at its release. And someone added To Kill a Mockingbird to 1960 even though it didn't make the top 10 list until 1961 when the movie came out. Books aren't always "classics" right out of the gate. And editing something into a Wikipedia article does not make it so!

I've read 15 of the titles in these two decades (marked in red below). Many of these have been made into films. From Here to Eternity came out in 1951 and made the top ten and then reappeared in 1953, the year of the film's release. The Robe, a huge seller during World War II, made a reappearance when the film came out in 1953.

Pulitzer prize winners are noted below and the Nobel laureates include William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Boris Pasternak, John Steinbeck, and Saul Bellow.

Authors with multiple titles include Daphne du Maurier, Herman Wouk, James Michener, Ernest Hemingway, Frances Parkinson Keyes, John Steinbeck, Irving Wallace, John O'Hara, Kay Thompson, Ian Fleming, Taylor Caldwell, JD Salinger, Nevil Shute, Mary Stewart, Jacqueline Susann, Harold Robbins, Chaim Potok, Leon Uris, Arthur Hailey and a few others.

It looks like the most popular types of books are historical fiction, potboilers, WWII stories, and religious stories. I notice an appearance of more Jewish writers, no doubt a direct result of the founding of Israel in the late 1940s.

I was wondering where Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1966) was because I know it was a huge bestseller. It was, however, non-fiction (called a "non-fiction novel" by Capote) and in 3rd place on that list, right after How to Avoid Probate and Masters' and Johnson's Human Sexual Response! No doubt the probate book was a real page-turner!

We have the first appearances of Michael Crichton and James Clavell on the lists near the end of the 1960s. They will also be seen on the lists of future decades.

Next up: Part 5 and the 1970s and 1980s.

1950
  1. The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson
  2. Joy Street by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  3. Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway
  4. The Wall by John Hersey
  5. Star Money by Kathleen Winsor
  6. The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
  7. Floodtide by Frank Yerby
  8. Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow
  9. The Adventurer by Mika Waltari
  10. The Disenchanted by Budd Schulberg
1951
  1. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
  2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk (Pulitzer)
  3. Moses by Sholem Asch
  4. The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson
  5. A Woman Called Fancy by Frank Yerby
  6. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
  7. Melville Goodwin, U.S.A. by John P. Marquand
  8. Return to Paradise by James A. Michener
  9. The Foundling by Cardinal Spellman
  10. The Wanderer by Mika Waltari
1952
  1. The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
  2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
  3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  4. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  5. Steamboat Gothic by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  6. Giant by Edna Ferber
  7. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Pulitzer)
  8. The Gown of Glory by Agnes Sligh Turnbull
  9. The Saracen Blade by Frank Yerby
  10. The Houses in Between by Howard Spring
1953
  1. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
  2. The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
  3. Desirée by Annemarie Selinko
  4. Battle Cry by Leon M. Uris
  5. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
  6. The High and the Mighty by Ernest K. Gann
  7. Beyond This Place by A. J. Cronin
  8. Time and Time Again by James Hilton
  9. Lord Vanity by Samuel Shellabarger
  10. The Unconquered by Ben Ames Williams
1954
  1. Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
  2. Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
  3. Love Is Eternal by Irving Stone
  4. The Royal Box by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  5. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
  6. No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman
  7. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
  8. The View from Pompey's Head by Hamilton Basso
  9. Never Victorious, Never Defeated by Taylor Caldwell
  10. Benton's Row by Frank Yerby
1955
  1. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
  2. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  3. Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor (Pulitzer)
  4. Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
  5. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson
  6. Something of Value by Robert Ruark
  7. Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
  8. No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman
  9. The Tontine by Thomas B. Costain
  10. Ten North Frederick by John O'Hara
1956
  1. Don't Go Near the Water by William Brinkley
  2. The Last Hurrah by Edwin O'Connor
  3. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  4. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  5. Eloise by Kay Thompson
  6. Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
  7. A Certain Smile by Françoise Sagan
  8. The Tribe That Lost Its Head by Nicholas Monsarrat
  9. The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
  10. Boon Island by Kenneth Roberts
1957
  1. By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
  2. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  3. Compulsion by Meyer Levin
  4. Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! by Max Shulman
  5. Blue Camellia by Frances Parkinson Keyes
  6. Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson
  7. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  8. On the Beach by Nevil Shute
  9. Below the Salt by Thomas B. Costain
  10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
1958
  1. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  2. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
  3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  4. Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  5. From the Terrace by John O'Hara
  6. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson
  7. Ice Palace by Edna Ferber
  8. The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
  9. The Enemy Camp by Jerome Weidman
  10. Victorine by Frances Parkinson Keyes
1959
  1. Exodus by Leon Uris
  2. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  3. Hawaii by James A. Michener
  4. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
  5. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  6. The Ugly American by Eugene L. Burdick
  7. Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell
  8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  9. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
  10. Poor No More by Robert Ruark

1960
  1. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (Pulitzer)
  2. Hawaii by James A. Michener
  3. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  4. The Chapman Report by Irving Wallace
  5. Ourselves to Know by John O'Hara
  6. The Constant Image by Marcia Davenport
  7. The Lovely Ambition by Mary Ellen Chase
  8. The Listener by Taylor Caldwell
  9. Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute
  10. Sermons and Soda-Water by John O'Hara
1961
  1. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
  2. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Pulitzer)
  4. Mila 18 by Leon Uris
  5. The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins
  6. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  7. Winnie Ille Pu by Alexander Lenard (translation of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne)
  8. Daughter of Silence by Morris West
  9. The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor (Pulitzer)
  10. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
1962
  1. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  2. Dearly Beloved by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  3. A Shade of Difference by Allen Drury
  4. Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
  5. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  6. Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
  7. Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II
  8. The Prize by Irving Wallace
  9. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
  10. The Reivers by William Faulkner (Pulitzer)
1963
  1. The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West
  2. The Group by Mary McCarthy (only read a few chapters)
  3. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour by J.D. Salinger
  4. Caravans by James A. Michener
  5. Elizabeth Appleton by John O'Hara
  6. Grandmother and the Priests by Taylor Caldwell
  7. City of Night by John Rechy
  8. The Glass-Blowers by Daphne du Maurier
  9. The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna
  10. The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden
1964
  1. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
  2. Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg
  3. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  4. Armageddon by Leon Uris
  5. The Man by Irving Wallace
  6. The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
  7. The Martyred by Richard E. Kim
  8. You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming
  9. This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
  10. Convention by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II
1965
  1. The Source by James A. Michener
  2. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
  3. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  4. The Looking Glass War by John le Carré
  5. The Green Berets by Robin Moore
  6. Those Who Love by Irving Stone
  7. The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming
  8. Hotel by Arthur Hailey
  9. The Ambassador by Morris West
  10. Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk
1966
  1. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  2. The Adventurers by Harold Robbins
  3. The Secret of Santa Vittoria by Robert Crichton
  4. Capable of Honor by Allen Drury
  5. The Double Image by Helen MacInnes
  6. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud (Pulitzer)
  7. Tell No Man by Adela Rogers St. Johns
  8. Tai-Pan by James Clavell
  9. The Embezzler by Louis Auchincloss
  10. All in the Family by Edwin O'Connor
1967
  1. The Arrangement by Elia Kazan
  2. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (Pulitzer)
  3. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  4. Topaz by Leon Uris
  5. Christy by Catherine Marshall
  6. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
  7. Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
  8. The Plot by Irving Wallace
  9. The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
  10. The Exhibitionist by Henry Sutton
1968
  1. Airport by Arthur Hailey
  2. Couples by John Updike
  3. The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes
  4. A Small Town in Germany by John le Carré
  5. Testimony of Two Men by Taylor Caldwell
  6. Preserve and Protect by Allen Drury
  7. Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal
  8. Vanished by Fletcher Knebel
  9. Christy by Catherine Marshall
  10. The Tower of Babel by Morris L. West
1969
  1. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
  2. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  3. The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann
  4. The Inheritors by Harold Robbins
  5. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  6. The Seven Minutes by Irving Wallace
  7. Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe
  8. The Promise by Chaim Potok
  9. The Pretenders by Gwen Davis
  10. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

2 comments:

  1. TWO: Airport by Arthur Hailey and The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Is there any relation to "A Woman Called Fancy" and the song, "Fancy," by Bobbie Gentry? Was Caroll O'Connor related to Edwin O'Connor, both of All in the Family?

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1959 and 1968 were very good years for me and publishing, as I've read four best-sellers from each year. I'm mortified by how much Arthur Hailey I've read!!! But he does write a page-turner. I highly recommend a couple you haven't read: Marjorie Morningstar, Christy, and Mila 18. I do NOT recommend Lolita, ugh ugh ughy-pew. I used to read Jubilee Trail over and over when I was a kid, but I don't think I'd like it as much now; who knows.

    Still haven't read Father of the Bride, but it's on my stack. Hope springs eternal! And both Grand Hotel and Kitty Foyle are "in transit," according to my library. A reading orgy awaits!

    ReplyDelete