Most Popular Fiction Books From The Past 100 Years | Iris Reading
Most Popular Fiction Books From The Past 100 Years

Most Popular Fiction Books From The Past 100 Years

Most Popular Fiction Books From The Past 100 Years

All artists, be it a painter, singer, musician, want the same thing, to be recognized as the best of the best and to go down in history. Fame is more than what one person needs; the fortune happens to be a plus. It’s great to see an author’s success continue to grow throughout their lifetime, starting with their first publication. Think of authors in the past decade where almost all of their books became a movie; Michael Crichton, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Suzanne Collins are a few to name. Plus, Hollywood hasn’t forgotten the many authors who’ve passed on too, turning their masterpieces into box office successes.

These most popular fiction books from the past 100 years have made an impression on our society where we continue to read them and will do so for the rest of time.

1920 Zane Grey, The Man of the Forest

A classic western children’s book, Zane Grey became the first millionaire authors. His books and stories have been adapted into over 100 movies!

1921 Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

Sinclair Lewis became a popular fiction writer in the early 1900s. His Book Main Street portrays any main street in America. Both the good and the uncomfortable whispers that happen in any city.

1922 A.S.M. Hutchinson, If Winter Comes

A book of faith and optimism, If Winter Comes begins in England in 1912. Protagonist Mark Sabre is a misunderstood businessman, especially by his wife. He meets someone new who is able to change his perspective on a sticky situation.

1923 Gertrude Atherton, Black Oxen

Countess Mary Zattiany has discovered the scientific fountain of youth and returns to New York City to fall in love with a man who is half her age. Naturally, all the other women, young and old, despise Mary. That’s just the law of the jungle for you.

1924 Edna Ferber, So Big

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and widely considered to be Edna Ferber’s greatest achievement, So Big is the unforgettable story of the indomitable Selina Peake DeJong and her struggles to stay afloat and maintain her dignity in the face of a challenging marriage, widowhood, and single parenthood during the turn-of-the-century Chicago.

1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

One book that dominates high school classrooms across the US is The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby lives a lavish lifestyle hosting infamous parties. Lavish parties that hope to attract his ex-lover Daisy, who he’s never stopped loving.

1926 John Erskine, The Private Life of Helen of Troy

Inspired by the Greek legend, The Private Life of Helen of Troy tells the story of the Helen and her husband Menelaus and their life in Paris. Helen’s life is full of drama, many go as far as calling it, “the scandal.”

1927 Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry

Sinclair Lewis appears on the bestseller list again with his novel Elmer Gantry. The books outraged so many that he was “invited: to a jail cell in New Hampshire. The state of Virginia went as far as threatening to lynch him!

1928 Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Pulitzer Prize-winner The Bridge of San Luis Rey is a book that had the entire world talking about. In 1714, a bridge in Peru collapses killing many. A monk who sees the horror makes it his mission to help others see this accident as divine intervention versus a tragedy.

1929 Sinclair Lewis, Dodsworth

Sinclair Lewis comes out in front again with Dodsworth. Sam and Fran Dodsworth are touring Europe. He sees the clash between America and the English, as well as the clash between him and his wife. Truly an unforgettable novel.

1930 Edna Ferber, Cimarron

Cimarron is the sweeping tale of the Oklahoma Land Rush. Turned into a movie twice, this wild, wild west story captures American history perfectly.

1931 Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth

Pearl S. Buck’s bestseller and Pulitzer prize-winner novel follows the life of Wang Lung and his family in a pre-World War I Chinese village. For anyone who wants to understand Chinese culture, start by reading this book.

1932 Charles Morgan, The Fountain

The Fountain shows readers the unreality of the life of officer prisoners in the first world war in Belgium, interlaced with the journey towards spiritual peace of the main character (in spite of fleshly temptation).

1933 Lloyd C. Douglas, Magnificent Obsession

An eccentric surgeon gives his life to save protagonist Robert Merrick. Curious to learn more about the surgeon, Robert reads the doctor’s private papers and sets out on a spiritual adventure that moved readers everywhere.

1934 Hervey Allen, Anthony Adverse

Part of a three-volume collection, Anthony Adverse begins with a crying newborn on the. steps of a nunnery. As he grows, he dreams of the world outside the convent’s gates.

1935 Lloyd C. Douglas, Green Light

The story with a biblical thread to it, the Green Light was one of the most popular books in 1935. Dr. Newell Paige, a young surgeon, ruined his career to take the blame of another person’s wrong-doing. The thread of people strung together in this controversy somehow has a happy ending.

1936 Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Set during the Civil War, Gone with the Wind is a complex love story. Southern Bell Scarlet O’Hara always gets what she wants. After years of living on her Georgia plantation, she finds herself in poverty. An interesting take on the effects the war had on the upper class.

1937 John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

George and Lennie, an unlikely pair, are laborers in California’s vegetable fields. The two men land a job at a ranch in the Salinas Valley, their dreams are finally within reach.

1938 Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

One of the most suspenseful mystery novel of the decade, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is still a crowd favorite today. Recently widowed Maxim de Winter sweeps a woman off her feet and soon they marry. Once they move in together at Maxim’s massive estate does his new wife realize how much of the old Mrs. de Winter is still alive.

1939 John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

In the midst of the Great Depression, the Joad family is like everyone else in America. Willing to travel whatever distance is needed to sustain a normal life. They set off to California in an American classic novel that is always on the reading list of any high school’s English curriculum.

1940 Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

Huw Morgan’s home valley was beautiful and prosperous until one day when the mines came to town. Now, with everything in disarray and the community dispersed, Huw reminisces on the gold ‘ol days.

1941 Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Young American Robert Jordan is overseas in Spain attached to an antifascist guerilla unit during the Civil War where he finds love and learns about defeat.

1942 Franz Werfel, The Song of Bernadette

Based on the experiences of author Franz Werfel’s WWII escape from the Nazis in Austria, The Song of Bernadette is one of the greatest novels about religion and faith. They find themselves in Lourdes where it is said a woman by the name of Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary. Inspired by Bernadette’s story, Werfel describes his own spiritual experiences in these trying times.

1943 Lloyd C. Douglas, The Robe

Llyod C. Douglas is on the bestseller list once again with his book, The Robe. Set in ancient Rome, a solider is on a quest to find out the truth about a newly discovered Nazarene’s robe.

1944 Lillian Smith, Strange Fruit

One of the most controversial books for its time, Strange Fruit explored racial conflicts of a tightly knit southern town. Readers say that it is as accurate then as it is today.

1945 Kathleen Winsor, Forever Amber

Often compared to Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber is set in England when the country was in turmoil. From the plague to the Fire of London, 16-year-old Amber St. Clare handles it all on top of being poor and pregnant.

1946 Frances Parkinson Keyes, The River Road

The River Road by author Frances Parkinson Keyes  mighty chronicle of a fabulous family, the d’Alverys. People know the family to be the hot-heads of the town and less than desirable to socialize with. The town also knows that something fishy happened in the home that they were born in. but what?

1947 Frank Yerby, The Vixens

After all recently liberated African Americans have dealt with for years in the grueling south, history has come full circle. And. thieving Carpetbaggers from the north aren’t helping the current situation at all. For 1947, this book brought to light how the South continues to struggle with racism.

1948 Betty Smith, Tomorrow Will Be Better

Set in New York during the roaring 20s, Margy Shannon and her family have endured a life of pain and poverty. Now that Margy is out of school she is off to find a husband and start the next chapter of her life.

1949 Mika Waltari, The Egyptian

Based on a character in an ancient Egyptian text, Mika Waltari’s bestseller is the only Finnish novel adapted into a Hollywood film. Sinuhe is the royal physician, who tells the story in exile after Akhenaten’s fall and death. He then goes into stories beyond Egypt into Egyptian-dominated Syria, in Mitanni, Babylon, Minoan Crete, Mitanni, and among the Hittites.

1950 John Hersey, The Wall

The Wall tells the riveting story of how 40 men and women made it out of the Warsaw ghetto during WWII.

1951 Henry Morton Robinson, The Cardinal

An instant bestseller, The Cardinal also became an Academy-Award nominated movie. Even today in its most recent released edition, Henry Morton Robinson’s novel of how one American priest becoming a Cardinal in the Catholic Church has readers captivated.

1952 John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Mirroring the story of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Able, East of Eden follows the destinies of two families intertwined. Adam Trask moves his family to a farm in California. At the birth of his twin sons, his wife is driven to madness and Adam is left to nurture the two boys on his own.

1953 Lloyd C. Douglas, The Robe

10 years later after The Robe made it to the bestseller list, it made it again!

1954 Morton Thompson, Not as a Stranger

Not as a Stranger follows a young man through medical school and the devotion he has for his wife. At the time, it was a bit explicit due to the strong language and sex scenes. A big no, no for the period of time in history.

1955 Herman Wouk, Marjorie Morningstar

Herman Wouk had audiences captivated across America and his romantic comedy topped the bestseller charts. Marjorie Morningstar moves to New York when she turns 19-years-old to work for an acclaimed stockbroker. She meets a young married man and soon finds herself trapped in a love affair that has turned her whole world upside down.

1956 Kay Thompson, Eloise

Kay Thompson’s beloved children’s book shares the story of Eloise, a girl who lives in The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is beloved by all of the greats; Lewis Carroll, Henry James, Queen Victoria, and The New York Jets. Once you get to know her, you’ll be glad you did!

1957 Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

At first,  the list of characters in Ayn. Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is intimidating to readers. Once you get to know the premise behind each one’s tale, it makes for a terrific read.

1958 Edna Ferber, Ice Palace

Ice Palace brings you to a time before Alaska was the Alaska as we know it today. Where men dealt with the elements and used their survival skills to make it in the wild. See how they did it in the award-winning book from Edna Ferber.

1959 Leon Uris, Exodus

Set in Isreal, Leon Uris portrays the birth of a nation. The main characters, an American nurse and an Israeli freedom fighter, show the effects of the most dramatic geopolitical had on not only a nation but the entire world.

1960 Allen Drury, Advise and Consent

Another book surrounding the topic of politics is Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent. After much debate in Washington regarding Senate confirmation hearings for a liberal Secretary of State, turns into a national crisis. No other book portrays what politics in America is like.

1961 Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird went from bestseller to one of the top banned books in classrooms. Despite current day’s controversies, the book preaches the message to be careful to judge your fellow man by the color of their skin.

1962 J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

Interestingly enough, short stories can make it to the bestseller list. Franny is a short story and Zooey is a novella J.D. Salinger wrote in 1955 and 1957 respectively. Franny Glass and Zoey Glass are sisters dealing with similar spiritual and societal issues. Similar to Catcher in the Rye, the two college-aged women are struggling with everyday life as a young person in America.

1963 Morris L. West, The Shoes of the Fisherman

The pope has died and the Catholic Church is looking for a successor. It surprises everyone, including Kiril Lakota, when Kiril is selected. He is the youngest cardinal of the church, and a Russian none the less. Watch as a new leader takes over the church and handles all the responsibilities that come with being the leader of one of the largest religions on earth.

1964 John Le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

British agent Alec Leamas is ready to end his career but before he does, he takes on one last exciting assignment.

1965 James A. Michener, The Source

James A. Michener found an exciting way for readers to learn about the origins of the Jewish faith. Taking you back to the very beginnings, Michener goes through history chronologically ending with the current wars in the Middle East.

1966 Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls

Three women become best friends in New York City as they navigate their way to the top of the entertainment industry.

1967 Elia Kazan, The Arrangement

Eddie Anderson is well off and lives in a nice home with his adoring wife. He is living the American Dream, with the disapproving addition of having a mistress.

1968 John Updike, Couples

In a time in the U.S. where sex was becoming a more publically talked about subject, comes John Updike’s novel Couples. In Couples, Updike draws back the curtains and reveals the graphic portrait of love, marriage & adultery in America.

1969 Mario Puzo, The Godfather

Before The Godfather was turned into a movie trilogy, it was a bestselling book by Mario Puzo. The Corleones are America’s first crime family. The dynamics between them and their business partners makes this read a forever classic.

1970 Irwin Shaw, Rich Man, Poor Man

In this bestselling saga, two brothers in postwar America during the 1940s confront the perils and pleasures of a world devastated by conflict. Together with their family, they find a way to adjust to the new normal in the U.S.

1971 Arthur Hailey, Wheels

Here’s a book car aficionados will love. Wheels by Arthur Hailey covers America’s richest businesses during the 1970s, automobiles.

1972 Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is just that, a seagull. He is unlike any other bird you’ve ever met before in a fiction piece. His free spirit inspires him to teach his younger gulls to follow their dreams. What better book to give a recent graduate?

1973 Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Breakfast of Champions

War, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America were all hot topics during the 1970s. In true Kurt Vonnegut fashion, he makes a bold statement about these hot topics in Breakfast of Champions. 

1974 James A. Michener, Centennial

Written to commemorate the Centennial State, Colorado, the bestselling novel by James A. Michener does an excellent job showing how all the major social groups in. the state interacted with one another many years ago.

1975 Michael Crichton, The Great Train Robbery

The first Michael Crichton book readers fell in love with was The Great Train Robbery. This won’t be the last time you see Crichton appear on the bestseller list!

1976 Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder

Ghost hunter Miss Marple teams up with new homeowner Gwenda to uncover what spirits linger in her new home. Together, the two discover the shocking evidence of a crime that haunts Gwenda’s home and set out to make things right.

1977 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Long before Bilbo Baggins lived in the shire was the Silmarillion. In this bestseller, you learn more about Middle Earth and the one war over jewels created by gifted elves. This won’t be the only war that ever takes place in Middle Earth.

1978 Ken Follett, Eye of the Needle

An enemy spy knows how to take down the Nazi’s for good, attacking the ruthless aristocrat called, “The Needle.” But one thing is standing in his way. An Englishwoman on an isolated island who is falling in love with him.

1979 Robert Ludlum, The Matarese Circle

All the major security organizations that help protect the U.S. must put their pettiness aside and fight the Matarese, an international circle of killers.

1980 James A. Michener, The Covenant

The Covenant, set in South Africa, is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers. All come together and wars and politics spill across the land referred to as the Covenant.

1981 John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

John Berry has endured a lot in his life; love, death, and a myriad strange and wonderful times. The Hoteliers are pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (a vaudevillian), and playthings of mad fate. together, all the characters in The Hotel New Hampshire “dream on” in a funny, sad, and outrageous novel.

1982 William Kotzwinkle, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial Storybook

The curiosity of what exists in space gave birth to many books, inventing the science fiction genre. An alien lands on Earth where he befriends Elliott. Working together, they find a way for E.T. to get home to his planet. The book was so popular that it became one of Stephen Spielberg’s most well-known films.

1983 James Kahn, Return of the Jedi

Yet another book that became a box office sensation is Jame Khan’s Return of the Jedi. The book gave birth to an entire cult of movie fans!

1984 Dr. Seuss, The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book made Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seusss. A rhyming anti-war story that teaches kids what tolerance and respect are.

1986 Stephen King, It

Pennywise the clown has a way with children, and it isn’t entertaining them. It paved way to what it means to have readers jumping out of their skin.

1987 Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Amazon Prime subscribers should know about Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series, beginning with Patriot Games. Here, the reader is introduced to ex-Marine and CIA analyst Jack Ryan. After a terrorist attack, Ryan wakes up in the hospital and learns he saved the Prince and Princess of Wales and their son. Watch out world, there’s a new patriot in town.

1988 Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned

The third book in the Vampire Chronicles weaves three stories into one giving readers a history of vampires that’s never been revealed before.

1989 Danielle Steel, Daddy’s Girls

TJ Tucker has. the biggest ranch in California where he and his three daughters live. At the age of 64, TJ passes away, leaving the daughters to take care of the ranch. The three thought they knew their father, only to find a stack of papers that open their eyes to who he truly was. An investigation into his past brings the girls closer together in a heartwarming tale.

1990 Jean M. Auel, The Plains of Passage

Jean M. Auel’s fourth book in the Earth Children series begins with Ayla and Jondalar out on yet another dangerous journey to find a place they can call home.

1991 Alexandra Ripley, Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind

The bestseller Gone with the Wind reappears in 1991 as author Alexandra Ripley continues on with Scarlett’s story.

1992 Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne is the main suspect in the death of her employer. As police look into her past, they also find that Dolores’ husband mysteriously died thirty years earlier. As Dolores continues to tell police her life’s story, it becomes clear who the real killer is.

1993 Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County

A love story between a photographer and a farm wife reignites what romance novels are all about.

1994 John Grisham, The Chamber

Adam Hall is a lawyer working a high-profile case. His client, Sam Cayhall, is facing the death penalty for a bombing he’s been accused of. His client also happens to be his grandfather. Time is running out for the two to find justice for Sam. It’s not just Sam’s life on the line anymore, but Adam is at risk too.

1995 Nicholas Evans, The Horse Whisperer

Tom Booker has a way with wild horses that no one else can compete with. People who know of his talents call him. the horse whisper. When Annie Graves’ horse becomes wounded, she and her daughter set out to find Tom and see if he can work his magic to cure their horse.

1996 John Grisham, The Runaway Jury

A high profile trial in Mississippi has a jury shook up. At least one juror feels that way. He thinks they’re being watched. An anonymous tip confirms that something isn’t normal, having the entire jury acting oddly.

1997 Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

Based on local history, Cold Mountain is a novel about one civil war soldier’s journey back home.

1998 Toni Morrison, Paradise

A small town in Oklahoma is founded by descendants of a group of slaves who once labored over the land by their cruel owners. A mixture of history, myth, religion, gender, and race make Paradise a must-read.

1999 Michael Crichton, Timeline

Archeologists come together at a secret location to not study the past, but to enter it themselves.

2000 John Grisham, The Brethren

How do three judges end up in a minimal security prison? The three men, who call themselves “The Brethern,” practice unlicensed law handling cases for the other inmates. They begin a mail scam when things go awry it impacts the wrong man outside the prison who threatens revenge on the Brethren.

2001 Terri McMillan, A Day Late and a Dollar Short

A Day Late and a Dollar Short introduces the Prince family who is far from normal. They see one another through thick and thin with their own personalities jumping right off the page. You’re sure to know someone who is like a Prince family member!

2002 Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

Susie Salmon is 14-years-old when she was murdered. Now she’s up in heaven watching her friends and family grow up. She enjoys listening into their conversations hypothesizing how Susie was killed. A light, humorous read despite the subject matter.

2003 Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

One evening in Paris comes a call that one of the nightguards at the Louvre has been murdered. All over his body are odd symbols that only Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and his assistant Sophie Neveu can decipher. What they find is a puzzle that leads Robert and Sophie into discovering a secret society including Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.

2004 Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Eddie, a wounded veteran, dies at the ripe age of 83 while trying to save a little girl’s life. When he gets to heaven, it’s not what he expected it to be. He meets five people who detail his life’s events, showing that his so-called “meaningless” life wasn’t meaningless at all.

2005 Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair

Jessie Sullivan returns to her South Carolina home to handle her eccentric mother along with her husband Hugh who she loves very much. Once home, she begins to fall for a monk, Brother Thomas. The more she handles her mother’s problems, the more she finds herself struggling with the idea of home and marriage.

2006 Michael Crichton, Next

Society has access to everything needed to create a human. To alter genetic chromosomes and ensure humans are healthy. All this to say that they also have access to create the next species.

2007 Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Spending 105 days on the New York Times bestseller list is Khaled Hosseini’s second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Mariam and Laila, born a generation apart become unlikely friends that work together to survive the escalating dangers surrounding them in Kabul.

2008 Janet Evanovich, Fearless Fourteen

Dom Rizzi’s family couldn’t be more proud at him robbing a bank. After his release from prison Dom’s cousin, police officer Joe Morelli, starts getting threats and his basement is broken into. Soon Dom is missing and a whole cast of characters has to figure their lives out.

2009 Dean Koontz, Your Heart Belongs to Me

Ryan Perry is a 34-year-old internet entrepreneur who has the whole world inside of his palm. Until he is diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy. Ryan has a heart transplant and is feeling great within a year. That is until he received a heart-shaped box of candies on Valentines day with the eerie note, “Your heart belongs to me.”

2010 Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes the third book in the Millenium series. Lisbeth Salander is in the hospital with a bullet wound to the head. If she recovers she faces going to trial on three counts of murder. Working with her journalist friend, they find a way for her to fight back and for Lisbeth to regain control of her own destiny.

2011 Kathryn Stockett, The Help

Aibileen, a black maid in the south in 1962 has always been good about keeping her comments to herself. Her friend, Minny, has not. Recently graduated white socialite, Skeeter, is full of ambition, but without a husband she is a failure according to her family. The three women come together and find a way to help one another in a heartwarming story.

2012 E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

It’s hard to say whether Fifty Shades of Grey counts as a romance novel. Literature student Anastasia Steele goes on an interview with Christian Grey. Christian captures her interest and the two have an unconventional relationship that would have authors 100 years ago blushing.

2013 Dan Brown, Inferno

Robert Langdon is on a new adventure in Dan Brown’s international bestseller Inferno. He’s back in Italy and on the run with Sienna Brooks whose cleverness saves his life.

2014 Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy disappears. Everyone sees Nick as a murder, but could this husband-of-the-year really kill the love of his life?

2015 Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Set two decades after To Kill a Mockingbird was published, readers get to find out the adult Jean-Louise “Scout” Finch has become.

2016 Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

Rachel takes the same commuter train every day. One day she sees something on the train she’s not supposed to. The Girl on the Train is a debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

2017 Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow is an old fashioned sort of romance, filled with exquisite detail. Rostov, an aristocrat, is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel. He’s never worked a day in his life, and now has to. Working alongside others he begins an emotional journey into self-discovery. With these people around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia.

2018 Kristin Hannah, The Great Alone

One troubled family hopes that their move to the Alaskan wilderness will help them get past their troubles. They soon find that this lone land is bringing out the worst in themselves.

2019 Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

If you haven’t read Where the Crawdads Sing your missing out. One page and you’ll know why this book dominated the bestseller list for 30 non-consecutive weeks.

2020 Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

2020 isn’t over yet but as it stands now, Celeste Ng is the front runner for bestselling book this year. One secret puts an already secretive town over the edge.

Key takeaways

  • Daphne du Maurier dominated the market between 1938 to 1969, appearing on the bestseller list ten times with her timeless piece Rebecca being the top seller two years in a row. 
  • Stephen King owned the market in the 1980s, with three of his books appearing on the bestseller list in 1987 alone.
  • In the 1990s, Tom Clancy became the king of the market.
  • Danielle Steel has both authors beat appearing 34 times between 1983 – 2008. Her admirable determination to publish books made Steel have multiple best selling books on a yearly basis.
  • It takes time to become a bestseller! J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937. Almost thirty years later, in 1966, the book became a bestseller. Years after that, in 2001, the first Lord of the Rings film hit theaters. It is now one of the top-rated fantasy novels.
  • Female authors start topping the charts in the early 2000s until you have a good mix of competition between male and female authors for the number one bestseller.

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