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40s The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s  

Bestselling Books
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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.

1
A Bell for Adano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
A Bell for Adano John Hersey Year in the Top Ten: 1944 A Bell for Adano is a 1944 novel by John Hersey, the winner of the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel. It tells the story of an Italian-American officer in Sicily during World War II who wins the ...more

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A Lion Is in the Streets is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
A Lion Is in the Streets Year in the Top Ten: 1945

3
A Rage to Live is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
A Rage to Live John O'Hara Year in the Top Ten: 1949 A Rage to Live is a novel by John O'Hara.

4
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith Years in the Top Ten: 1943, 1944 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a 1943 novel written by Betty Smith. The story focuses on an impoverished but aspirational third-generation Irish-American adolescent girl and her family in ...more

5
And Now Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
And Now Tomorrow Year in the Top Ten: 1942 And Now Tomorrow is a 1944 film based on the best-selling novel, published in 1942 by Rachel Field, directed by Irving Pichel and written by Raymond Chandler. Both center around one doctor's ...more

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Arch of Triumph is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Arch of Triumph Erich Maria Remarque Year in the Top Ten: 1946 Arch of Triumph is a 1945 novel by Erich Maria Remarque about stateless refugees in Paris before World War II. It was his second worldwide bestseller after All Quiet on the Western Front, ...more

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B.F.'s daughter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
B.F.'s daughter John P. Marquand Year in the Top Ten: 1946

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Captain from Castile is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Captain from Castile Samuel Shellabarger Year in the Top Ten: 1945

9
Cass Timberlane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Cass Timberlane Sinclair Lewis Year in the Top Ten: 1945

10
Cutlass empire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Cutlass empire F. Van Wyck Mason Year in the Top Ten: 1949

11
Dinner at Antoine's is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Dinner at Antoine's Frances Parkinson Keyes Years in the Top Ten: 1948, 1949

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Dragon Seed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Dragon Seed Pearl S. Buck Year in the Top Ten: 1942 Dragon seed is a book written by Pearl S. Buck.

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Drivin' Woman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Drivin' Woman Year in the Top Ten: 1942

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Earth and High Heaven is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Earth and High Heaven Gwethalyn Graham Year in the Top Ten: 1945 Earth and High Heaven was a 1944 novel by Gwethalyn Graham. It was the first Canadian novel to reach number one on The New York Times bestseller list and stayed on the list for 37 weeks, selling ...more

15
East Side, West Side is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
East Side, West Side Lawrence Ritter Year in the Top Ten: 1947 East Side, West Side: Tales of New York Sporting Life 1910–1960 is a sports book written by Lawrence S. Ritter and published in 1998. It is a Total Sports production and was distributed by ...more

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Father of the bride is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Father of the bride Edward Streeter Year in the Top Ten: 1949 Father of the Bride is a novel written by Edward Streeter.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway Years in the Top Ten: 1940, 1941 For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla ...more

18
Forever Amber is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Forever Amber Kathleen Winsor Years in the Top Ten: 1944, 1945 Forever Amber is a romance novel by Kathleen Winsor set in 17th-century England. It was made into a film in 1947 by 20th Century Fox.

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Gentleman's Agreement is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Gentleman's Agreement Laura Z. Hobson Year in the Top Ten: 1947 Gentleman's Agreement is a 1947 novel by Laura Z. Hobson which explored the problem of anti-Semitism in the United States, what The New York Times called, in a contemporary review, "a story ...more

20
Green Dolphin Street is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Green Dolphin Street Year in the Top Ten: 1944

21
H.M. Pulham, Esquire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
H.M. Pulham, Esquire Year in the Top Ten: 1941

22
High Towers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
High Towers Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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House Divided is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
House Divided Ben Ames Williams Year in the Top Ten: 1947

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How Green Was My Valley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
How Green Was My Valley Richard Llewellyn Year in the Top Ten: 1940 How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn, narrated by Huw, the main character, about his Welsh family and the mining community in which they live. The author had claimed that ...more

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Hungry Hill is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Hungry Hill Daphne du Maurier Year in the Top Ten: 1943 Hungry Hill is a novel by prolific British author Daphne du Maurier, published in 1943. It was her seventh novel. There have been 33 editions of the book printed. This family saga is based on ...more

26
Immortal wife is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Immortal wife Irving Stone Year in the Top Ten: 1945

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King's Row is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
King's Row Year in the Top Ten: 1942

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Kingsblood Royal is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Kingsblood Royal Sinclair Lewis Year in the Top Ten: 1947 Kingsblood Royal, a novel by American writer Sinclair Lewis, was published in 1947.

29
Kitty Foyle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Kitty Foyle Christopher Morley Year in the Top Ten: 1940 Kitty Foyle, subtitled The Natural History of a Woman, is a 1940 film starring Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan and James Craig, which is based on Christopher Morley's 1939 bestseller also titled ...more

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Leave Her to Heaven is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Leave Her to Heaven Ben Ames Williams Year in the Top Ten: 1944

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Lydia Bailey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Lydia Bailey Kenneth Roberts Year in the Top Ten: 1947 Lydia Bailey is a historical novel by the American writer Kenneth Roberts which was first published in 1947. It spent twelve weeks at the top of the list of The New York Times Fiction Best ...more

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Mary is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Mary Sholem Asch Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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Mr. and Mrs. Cugat is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Mr. and Mrs. Cugat Isabel Scott Rorick Year in the Top Ten: 1941

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Mrs. Miniver is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Mrs. Miniver Jan Struther Year in the Top Ten: 1940 Mrs. Miniver is a fictional character created by Jan Struther in 1937 for a series of newspaper columns for The Times, later adapted into a film of the same name.

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Mrs. Parkington is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Mrs. Parkington Year in the Top Ten: 1943

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Night in Bombay is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Night in Bombay Louis Bromfield Year in the Top Ten: 1940

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Oliver Wiswell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Oliver Wiswell Kenneth Roberts Years in the Top Ten: 1940, 1941 Oliver Wiswell is a book by Kenneth Roberts.

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Pilgrim's Inn is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Pilgrim's Inn Year in the Top Ten: 1948

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Point of No Return is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Point of No Return Andre Vltchek Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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Pride's castle is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Pride's castle Frank Yerby Year in the Top Ten: 1949

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Prince of Foxes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Prince of Foxes Samuel Shellabarger Year in the Top Ten: 1947 Prince of Foxes is a 1947 historical novel by Samuel Shellabarger, following the adventures of the fictional Andrea Orsini, a captain in the service of Cesare Borgia during his conquest of the ...more

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Raintree County is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Raintree County Ross Lockridge, Jr. Year in the Top Ten: 1948 Raintree County is a novel by Ross Lockridge, Jr. published in 1948. It tells the story of a small-town Midwestern teacher and poet named John Shawnessy, who, in his younger days before his ...more

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Random Harvest is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Random Harvest James Hilton Year in the Top Ten: 1941 Random Harvest is a novel written by James Hilton, first published in 1941. Like previous Hilton works, including Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, the novel was immensely popular, placing ...more

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Saratoga Trunk is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Saratoga Trunk Edna Ferber Year in the Top Ten: 1941 Saratoga Trunk is a best-selling novel by American author Edna Ferber, originally published by Doubleday, Doran in 1941. It concerns a notorious Creole woman, Clio Dulaine, who returns to her ...more

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Shannon's Way is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Shannon's Way A. J. Cronin Year in the Top Ten: 1948 Shannon's Way is a 1948 novel by Scots author, A. J. Cronin. It continues the story of Robert Shannon from Cronin's previous novel, The Green Years.

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So Little Time is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
So Little Time Joanna Lacy Year in the Top Ten: 1943

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So Well Remembered is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
So Well Remembered James Hilton Year in the Top Ten: 1945 So well remembered is a novel written by James Hilton.

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Stars on the sea is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Stars on the sea F. Van Wyck Mason Year in the Top Ten: 1940

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Strange Fruit is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Strange Fruit Lillian Smith Year in the Top Ten: 1944

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The apostle is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
The apostle George Moore Years in the Top Ten: 1943, 1944