BooksBooksCentennial EventsBooks 100 Years of Stories Stories History of the Library San Diego County Library

This list is based on a list of top ten best-selling novels by year from Publisher's Weekly, and includes classic novels listed for the year they were first published.

1913: The Inside of the Cup by Winston Churchill
         Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

1914: Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

1915: Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter
         Of Human Bondage by William Somerset Maugham

1916: Seventeen by Booth Tarkington
         A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

1917: Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H.G. Wells

1918: The U.P. Trail by Zane Grey

1919: The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad
         Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

1920: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1921: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
         Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

1922: The Sheik by Edith M. Hull
         Ulysses by James Joyce

1923: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

1924: A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

1925: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
         An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

1926: Show Boat by Edna Ferber
         The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

1927: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

1929: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
         The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
         A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

1930: Cimarron by Edna Ferber
         As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
         The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

1931: Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather

1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
         Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1933: Ann Vickers by Sinclair Lewis

1934: Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1935: Good-bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton

1936: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

1937: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1938: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

1939: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
         The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

1940: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
         The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

1941: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

1942: And Now Tomorrow by Rachel Field
         Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

1943: Mrs. Parkington by Louis Bromfield

1944: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

1945: Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger
         Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

1946: Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque
         Animal Farm by George Orwell

1947: Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger

1948: The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder
         The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

1949: 1984 by George Orwell

1950: The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson
         Across the River and Into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway

1951: From Here to Eternity by James Jones
         The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

1952: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
         East of Eden by John Steinbeck
         The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

1953: Desiree by Annemarie Selinko
         The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
         Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

1954: Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
         Mary-Anne by Daphne du Maurier
         The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

1955: The View from Pompey's Head by Hamilton Basso
         Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
         A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor

1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
         Don't Go Near the Water by William Brinkley

1957: Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
         On the Road by Jack Kerouac

1958: Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
         Lolita by Vladimir Nakobov
         Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

1959: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
         Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow

1960: Hawaii by James Michener

1961: Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
         Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
         To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1962: Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
         A Shade of Difference by Allen Drury
         Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel

1963: Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters by J.D. Salinger
         The Glass Blowers by Daphne Du Maurier

1964: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carr
         Herzog by Saul Bellow

1965: Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
         The Source by James Michener

1966: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
         Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
         Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

1967: The Arrangement by Elia Kazan
         The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder

1968: Airport by Arthur Hailey
         Couples by John Updike

1969: The Godfather by Mario Puzo
         Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1970: The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
         Love Story by Erich Segal
         Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway

1971: The Exorcist by William P. Blatty
         The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines

1972: My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
         Watership Down by Richard Adams

1973: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
         Once is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann
         Burr by Gore Vidal

1974: Tinker; Tailor, Solider, Spy by John Le Carre

1975: Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
         Curtain by Agatha Christie

1976: Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

1977: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
         Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

1978: War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

1979: Sophie's Choice by William Styron
         The Dead Zone by Stephen King

1980: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
         The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer

1981: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
         Cujo by Stephen King

1982: Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

1983: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
         Ironweed by William Kennedy

1984: The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
         Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

1985: Cider House Rules by John Irving
         The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

1986: It by Stephen King
         The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

1987: Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
         Misery by Stephen King

1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison
         The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy
         Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

1989: Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
         Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver

1990:The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
         Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow

1991: Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

1992: The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
         A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

1993: Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
         The Client by John Grisham
         The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

1994: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

1995: The Rainmaker by John Grisham
         The Lost World by Michael Crichton

1996: Independence Day by Richard Ford
         The Runaway Jury by John Grisham

1997: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
         The Partner by John Grisham

1998: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
         The Street Lawyer by John Grisham

1999: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
         The Testament by John Grisham
         The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

2000: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
         The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
         Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

2002: Empire Falls by Richard Russo

2003: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
         Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

2004: The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

2005: The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
         Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

2006: The Thirteeth Tale by Diane Setterfield
         March by Geraldine Brooks

2007: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

2008: For One More Day by Mitch Albom

2009: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

2010: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
         Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
         The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

2011: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
         A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
         A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

2012: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James