Tag Archives: bestsellers of the 20th Century

One Nonfiction Bestseller of each year from 1900-1999

Hello Everyone!

This time I have chosen one bestseller from each year of 1900 to 1999 in the Nonfiction genre, although you will notice that for fifteen of those years there were no nonfiction books mentioned for me to add. What I found was books published that were “critically acclaimed and historically significant.” I might post those another time. If you know of any nonfiction bestsellers for those missing fifteen years, please post in the comments.

For two years there was a War Nonfiction Bestseller list from which I have chosen and added here. Also, in the case of a specific book continuing to be on the Bestsellers’ list in other years, I have included an additional book in that same year.

1900-1911- none

1912: The Promised Land by Mary Antin

1913: Crowds by Gerald Stanley Lee

1914 – 1916: none

1917 & 1918: Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service;

1917: War Nonfiction Bestseller: The First Hundred Thousand by Ian Hay

1918: Treasury of War Poetry by G.H. Clark;

1918: War Nonfiction Bestseller: My Four Years in Germany by James W. Gerard

1919: The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

1920: Now It Can Be Told by Philip Gibbs

1921 & 1922: The Outline of History by H.G. Wells

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon

1923: Etiquette by Emily Post

1924 – 1926: Diet and Health by Lulu Hunt Peters

1925 & 1926: The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, ed.

1926: The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton

1927: The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant

1928: Disraeli by Andre’ Maurois

1929: The Art of Thinking by Ernest Dimnet

1930 & 1931: The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe

1931: Education of a Princess by Grand Duchess Marie

1932: The Epic of America by James Truslow Adams

1933 & 1934: Life Begins at Forty by Walter B. Pitkin

1934 & 1935: While Rome Burns by Alexander Woollcott

1935 & 1936: North to the Orient by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

1936: Man the Unknown by Alexis Carrell

1937 & 1938: How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

1938: The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang

1939 & 1940: Days of Our Years by Pierre Van Paasen

1940: I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson

1941: Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer

1942 & 1943: See Here, Private Hargrove by Marion Hargrove

1943 & 1944:Under Cover by John Roy Carlson

1944: I Never Left Home by Bob Hope

1945: Brave Men by Ernie Pyle

1946, 1945 & 1947: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald

1947 & 1948: Peace of Mind by Joshua L. Liebman

1948: Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower

1949: White Collar Zoo by Clare Barnes Jr.

1950 & 1951: Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book

1951: Look Younger, Live Longer by Gayelord Hauser

1952 – 1954: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version

1953 – 1955: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

1954: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1955: Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg

1956: Arthritis and Common Sense, rev. ed. by Dan Dale Alexander

1957 & 1958: Kids Say the Darndest Things! by Art Linkletter

1958 & 1959: Twixt Twelve and Twenty by Pat Boone

1959 & 1960: Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis

1960: Better Homes and Gardens First Aid for Your Family

1961 & 1962: The New English Bible: The New Testament

1962 & 1961: Calories Don’t Count by Dr. Herman Taller

1963 & 1962: Happiness Is a Warm Puppy by Charles M. Schulz

1964: Four Days by American Heritage and United Press International

1965: How To Be a Jewish Mother by Dan Greenburg

1966: How to Avoid Probate by Norman F. Dacey

1967: Death of a President by William Manchester

1968: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1969 & 1970: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language by William Morris, ed.

1970: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex but Were Afraid To Ask by David Reuben

1971: The Sensous Man by “M”

1972 & 1973: The Living Bible by Kenneth Taylor

1973: Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins

1974: The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan

1975 & 1976: Angels: God’s Secret Agents by Billy Graham

1976: The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

1977 & 1976: Roots by Alex Haley

1978: If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck

1979: Aunt Erma’s Cope Book by Erma Bombeck

1980: Crisis Investing: Opportunities and Profits in the Coming Great Depression by Douglas R. Casey

1981: The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel

1982 & 1983: Jane Fonda’s Workout Book by Jane Fonda

1983: In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr.

1984 & 1985: Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca with William Novak

1985: Yeager: An Autobiography by Gen. Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos

1986: Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

1987: Time Flies by Bill Cosby

1988: The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure by Robert E. Kowalski

1989: All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum

1990: A Life on the Road by Charles Kuralt

1991: Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn

1992: The Way Things Ought To Be by Rush Limbaugh

1993: See, I Told You So by Rush Limbaugh

1994: In the Kitchen with Rosie by Rosie Daley

1995 (1993 – 1997): Men Are from Mars, Women are From Venus by John Gray

1996: Make the Connection by Oprah Winfrey, and Bob Greene Hyperion

1997: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

1998: The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman

1999 & 1998: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I hadn’t heard of most of the above 87 bestsellers, and I can remember reading only 6 of the ones that I recognized: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version; Roots; If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?; Aunt Erma’s Cope Book; Angela’s Ashes; Tuesdays with Morrie; and some of Men Are from Mars, Women are From Venus. One I have had on my to-read list for some time is The Egg and I.

I found it fascinating how interests changed during times of war, including the few years before and after.

How did you do this time? How many have you read, and are there any you would now like to find to enjoy?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! – Lynn

One Fiction Bestseller of each year from 1900 to 1999

Hello Everyone!

I have chosen one popular book from each year of 1900 to 1999, and there were many I did not include but might another time. Note: Winston Churchill on this list is the American novelist, not the British prime minister – although Sir Winston Churchill was a prolific writer and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.

Many of these I had not known of and only a few I have read.

1900To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston
1901: The Crisis by Winston Churchill
1902: The Virginian by Owen Wister
1903: Lady Rose’s Daughter by Mary Augusta Ward
1904: The Crossing by Winston Churchill
1905: The Marriage of William Ashe by Mary Augusta Ward
1906: Coniston by Winston Churchill
1907: The Lady of the Decoration by Frances Little
1908: Mr. Crewe’s Career by Winston Churchill
1909: The Inner Shrine by Basil King
1910: The Rosary by Florence Barclay
1911: The Broad Highway by Jeffrey Farnol
1912: The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter
1913: The Inside of the Cup by Winston Churchill
1914: The Eyes of the World by Harold Bell Wright
1915: The Turmoil by Booth Tarkington
1916: Seventeen by Booth Tarkington
1917: Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H.G. Wells
1918: The U.P. Trail by Zane Grey
1919: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by V. Blasco Ibanez
1920: The Man of the Forest by Zane Grey
1921: Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
1922: If Winter Comes by A.S.M. Hutchison
1923: Black Oxen by Gertrude Atherton
1924: So Big by Edna Ferber
1925: Soundings by A. Hamilton Gibbs
1926: The Private Life of Helen of Troy by John Erskine
1927: Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
1928The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1929: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
1930: Cimarron by Edna Ferber
1931: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1932Light in August by William Faulkner
1933: Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen
1934I, Claudius by Robert Graves
1935: Green Light by Lloyd C. Douglas
1936: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1937Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts
1938: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1939: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1940: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
1941: The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin
1942: The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfel
1943: The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
1944: Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
1945: Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor
1946: The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier
1947: The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney
1948: The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
1949: The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
1950: The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson
1951: From Here to Eternity by James Jones
1952: The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
1953: The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
1954: Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
1955: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
1956: Don’t Go Near the Water by William Brinkley
1957: By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
1958: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
1959: Exodus by Leon Uris
1960: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1961: The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
1962: Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
1963: The Shoes of Fisherman by Morris L. West
1964: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre
1965: The Source by James A. Michener
1966: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
1967: The Arrangement by Elia Kazan
1968: Airport by Arthur Hailey
1969: Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
1970: Love Story by Erich Segal
1971: Wheels by Arthur Hailey
1972: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
1973Once is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann
1974: Centennial by James A. Michener
1975: Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
1976: Trinity by Leon Uris
1977The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
1978: Chesapeake by James A. Michener
1979: The Matarese Circle by Robert Ludlum
1980: The Covenant by James A. Michener
1981: Noble House by James Clavell
1982: E.T. the Extraterrestrial Storybook by William Kotzwinkle
1983: Return of the Jedi Storybook by Joan D. Vinge
1984: The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
1985: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel
1986: It by Stephen King
1987: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
1988: The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy
1989: Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
1990: The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
1991Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” by Alexandra Ripley
1992: Dolores Claiburne by Stephen King
1993: The Bridges of Madison County by James Robert Waller
1994: The Chamber by John Grisham
1995: The Rainmaker by John Grisham
1996: The Runaway Jury by John Grisham
1997: The Partner by John Grisham
1998: The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
1999: The Testament by John Grisham

I hope you’ve done better than I. Of the 100 listed I’ve read only these 6: All Quiet on the Western Front; Gone With the Wind; The Grapes of Wrath; Doctor Zhivago; The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Of the many I have not read on the list, I think I have only two in my personal library: Ship of Fools; The Runaway Jury.

How many of the above have you read? Are there others on the list that you plan to read?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! Lynn