The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s Books

The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s

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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 has 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.


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  1. 1

    John Hersey Year in the Top Ten: 1944

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  2. 2

    Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  3. 3

    John O'Hara Year in the Top Ten: 1949

  4. 4

    Betty Smith Years in the Top Ten: 1943, 1944

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  5. 5

    Year in the Top Ten: 1942

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  6. 6

    Erich Maria Remarque Year in the Top Ten: 1946

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  7. 7

    John P. Marquand Year in the Top Ten: 1946

  8. 8

    Samuel Shellabarger Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  9. 9

    Sinclair Lewis Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  10. 10

    F. Van Wyck Mason Year in the Top Ten: 1949

  11. 11

    Frances Parkinson Keyes Years in the Top Ten: 1948, 1949

  12. 12

    Pearl S. Buck Year in the Top Ten: 1942

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  13. 13

    Year in the Top Ten: 1942

  14. 14

    Gwethalyn Graham Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  15. 15

    Lawrence Ritter Year in the Top Ten: 1947

  16. 16

    Edward Streeter Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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  17. 17

    Ernest Hemingway Years in the Top Ten: 1940, 1941

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  18. 18

    Kathleen Winsor Years in the Top Ten: 1944, 1945

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  19. 19

    Laura Z. Hobson Year in the Top Ten: 1947

  20. 20

    Year in the Top Ten: 1944

  21. 21

    Year in the Top Ten: 1941

  22. 22

    Year in the Top Ten: 1949

  23. 23

    Ben Ames Williams Year in the Top Ten: 1947

  24. 24

    Richard Llewellyn Year in the Top Ten: 1940

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  25. 25

    Daphne du Maurier Year in the Top Ten: 1943

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  26. 26

    Irving Stone Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  27. 27

    Year in the Top Ten: 1942

  28. 28

    Sinclair Lewis Year in the Top Ten: 1947

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  29. 29

    Christopher Morley Year in the Top Ten: 1940

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  30. 30

    Ben Ames Williams Year in the Top Ten: 1944

  31. 31

    Kenneth Roberts Year in the Top Ten: 1947

  32. 32

    Sholem Asch Year in the Top Ten: 1949

  33. 33

    Isabel Scott Rorick Year in the Top Ten: 1941

  34. 34

    Jan Struther Year in the Top Ten: 1940

    ;
  35. 35
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    Year in the Top Ten: 1943

  36. 36

    Louis Bromfield Year in the Top Ten: 1940

  37. 37

    Kenneth Roberts Years in the Top Ten: 1940, 1941

  38. 38

    Year in the Top Ten: 1948

  39. 39

    Andre Vltchek Year in the Top Ten: 1949

  40. 40

    Frank Yerby Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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  41. 41

    Samuel Shellabarger Year in the Top Ten: 1947

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  42. 42

    Ross Lockridge, Jr. Year in the Top Ten: 1948

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  43. 43

    James Hilton Year in the Top Ten: 1941

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  44. 44

    Edna Ferber Year in the Top Ten: 1941

  45. 45

    A. J. Cronin Year in the Top Ten: 1948

  46. 46

    Joanna Lacy Year in the Top Ten: 1943

  47. 47

    James Hilton Year in the Top Ten: 1945

  48. 48

    F. Van Wyck Mason Year in the Top Ten: 1940

  49. 49

    Lillian Smith Year in the Top Ten: 1944

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  50. 50

    George Moore Years in the Top Ten: 1943, 1944

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