The Best Selling Non-Fiction of the 1940's Books

The Best Selling Non-Fiction of the 1940's

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A list of the best selling novels in the US during the 1940's as reported by Publishers Weekly. This list ranges from 1940 through 1949. All types of novels have been included and each of them made it into the top ten. With the introduction of the Nook, Kindle, and iPad with iBooks, reading is hot again. The best selling novels on this list were the most popular books in the United States during the 40's, so you can be sure they're well written and enjoyable (depending, of course, on your preferred literary genre). This list is intended to help long-time readers and newcomers alike with discovering (and rediscovering) some of the best selling novels of all time.

Note that Publishers Weekly left the "Harry Potter" series off of this list as its inclusion made the entire children's book industry appear to sharply rise and decline depending on the series' release schedule.


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  1. 51

    Peter Charles Hoffer Year in the Top 15: 1942

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    Joshua L. Liebman Years in the Top 15: 1946, 1947, 1948

  3. 53
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    Fulton J. Sheen Year in the Top 15: 1949

  4. 54

    Louis Bromfield, Eralides E. Cabrera Year in the Top 15: 1945

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  5. 55
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    Clifton Fadiman Year in the Top 15: 1941

  6. 56

    Margaret Leech Year in the Top 15: 1941

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  7. 57
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    Robert E. Sherwood Year in the Top 15: 1948

  8. 58
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    Marion Hargrove Years in the Top 15: 1942, 1943

  9. 59

    Alfred Kinsey Year in the Top 15: 1948

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  10. 60
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    Year in the Top 15: 1947

  11. 61
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    Edmund W. Starling Year in the Top 15: 1946

  12. 62
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    Joseph Grew Year in the Top 15: 1944

  13. 63
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    Joseph Robert Conlin Year in the Top 15: 1947

  14. 64
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    Emery Reves Year in the Top 15: 1946

  15. 65
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    Murtaza Malik Year in the Top 15: 1944

  16. 66

    Betty MacDonald Years in the Top 15: 1945, 1946, 1947

  17. 67
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    Year in the Top 15: 1947

  18. 68

    Kate Elliott Year in the Top 15: 1948

  19. 69

    Fulton Oursler Year in the Top 15: 1949

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  20. 70

    Elliot Paul Year in the Top 15: 1942

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  21. 71
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    Year in the Top 15: 1948

  22. 72
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    Year in the Top 15: 1948

  23. 73
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    Frances Perkins Year in the Top 15: 1946

  24. 74

    Thomas Merton Year in the Top 15: 1949

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  25. 75

    James Thurber Year in the Top 15: 1945

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  26. 76
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    Sumner Welles Year in the Top 15: 1944

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  27. 77

    Suhayl Saadi Year in the Top 15: 1941

  28. 78

    William Lindsay White Year in the Top 15: 1942

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  29. 79

    Linda Lael Miller Year in the Top 15: 1947

  30. 80
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    Ralph Ingersoll Year in the Top 15: 1946

  31. 81
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    Bennett Cerf Year in the Top 15: 1945

  32. 82
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    Robert J Art, Seyom Brown Year in the Top 15: 1943

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  33. 83

    MaryJanice Davidson Years in the Top 15: 1943, 1944

  34. 84
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    Bill Mauldin Year in the Top 15: 1945

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  35. 85
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    Alexander P. de Seversky Year in the Top 15: 1942

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  36. 86
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    Year in the Top 15: 1942

  37. 87
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    Year in the Top 15: 1949

  38. 88
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    Billy Rose Year in the Top 15: 1948

  39. 89
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    Catherine Drinker Bowen Year in the Top 15: 1944

  40. 90
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    Year in the Top 15: 1941

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