Novels 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

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

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

28
Kingsblood Royal is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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
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

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

31
Lydia Bailey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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

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

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

34
Mrs. Miniver is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

41
Prince of Foxes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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

42
Raintree County is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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

43
Random Harvest is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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

44
Saratoga Trunk is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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

45
Shannon's Way is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1940s
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.

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

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

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

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

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