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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.
list ordered by
1
A Bell for Adano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
2
A Lion Is in the Streets is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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
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
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
6
Arch of Triumph is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
7
B.F.'s daughter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
John P. Marquand
Year in the Top Ten: 1946
8
Captain from Castile is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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
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
Frances Parkinson Keyes
Years in the Top Ten: 1948, 1949
12
Dragon Seed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Pearl S. Buck
Year in the Top Ten: 1942 Dragon seed is a book written by Pearl S. Buck.
13
Drivin' Woman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Year in the Top Ten: 1942
14
Earth and High Heaven is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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
16
Father of the bride is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Edward Streeter
Year in the Top Ten: 1949 Father of the Bride is a novel written by Edward Streeter.
17
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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.
19
Gentleman's Agreement is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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
Year in the Top Ten: 1941
22
High Towers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Year in the Top Ten: 1949
23
House Divided is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
Ben Ames Williams
Year in the Top Ten: 1947
24
How Green Was My Valley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
25
Hungry Hill is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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