Culture

The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s 

Bestselling Books
Updated June 14, 2019 89.6k views 96 items

A list of the best selling novels in the US during the 1960's as reported by Publishers Weekly. This list ranges from 1960 through 1969. 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 60'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. What were the best selling novels of the 1960s? This list will provide you that answer.
list ordered by
1
A Shade of Difference is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Allen Drury

First Published: 1962

Subjects: Cold War

Genres (Book): Political fiction

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1962 A Shade of Difference is a 1962 political novel written by Allen Drury. It is the first sequel to Advise and Consent, for which Drury was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960, and is ...more
2
A Small Town in Germany ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
John le Carré

First Published: 1968-10

Genres (Book): Thriller, Novel

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1968 A Small Town in Germany is a 1968 espionage novel by British author John le Carré. It is set in Bonn, the "small town" of the title, against a background of concern that former ...more
3
Advise and Consent is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Year in the Top Ten: 1960
4
Airport is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Arthur Hailey

First Published: 1968

Subjects: Linguistics

Genres (Book): Suspense, Mystery, Fiction

Year in the Top Ten: 1968 Airport is a bestselling 1968 novel by Arthur Hailey about a large metropolitan airport and the personalities of the people who use, rely and suffer from its operation. This book was adapted ...more
5
All in the family is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Edwin O'Connor
Year in the Top Ten: 1966 All in the Family is a book written by Edwin O'Connor.
6
Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

First Published: 2003-04

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Fiction, Novel

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1964 Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages is the 11th novel in the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. It was first published in April 2003. It was on The New York Times Best ...more
7
Candy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Kevin Brooks

First Published: 2005

Genres (Book): Fiction

Year in the Top Ten: 1964 Candy is a book written by Kevin Brooks.
8
Capable of Honor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Allen Drury

First Published: 1966

Subjects: Cold War, United States of America, Political fiction

Genres (Book): Fiction, Political fiction

Year in the Top Ten: 1966 Capable of Honor is a 1966 political novel written by Allen Drury. It is the second sequel to Advise and Consent, for which Drury was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960. Capable of ...more
9
Caravans is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
James A. Michener

First Published: 1963

Subjects: Afghanistan, Adventure

Genres (Book): Fiction, Novel

Year in the Top Ten: 1963 Caravans, a novel by James A. Michener, was published in 1963. The story is set in Afghanistan immediately following World War II. The protagonist, Mark Miller, is stationed in Kabul at the ...more
10
Christy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Catherine Marshall

First Published: 1967

Subjects: Literary, Literature, Classics, Schools, United States of America

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Historical fiction, Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Years in the Top Ten: 1967, 1968 Christy is a historical fiction novel by Christian author Catherine Marshall set in the fictional Appalachian village of Cutter Gap, Tennessee, in 1912. The novel was inspired by the story of ...more
11
City of Night is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
John Rechy

First Published: 1963

Subjects: Gay

Genres (Book): Fiction, Novel

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1963 City of Night is a gay novel written by John Rechy. It was originally published in 1963 in New York by Grove Press. Earlier excerpts had appeared in Evergreen Review, Big Table, Nugget, and The ...more
12
Convention is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Richard Reeves
Year in the Top Ten: 1964
13
Couples is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
John Updike

First Published: 1968

Subjects: Adultery

Year in the Top Ten: 1968 Couples is a 1968 novel by American author John Updike.
14
daughter of silence is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Edgar Fawcett
Year in the Top Ten: 1961
15
Dearly Beloved is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Year in the Top Ten: 1962
16
Don't Stop the Carnival ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Herman Wouk

First Published: 1965

Genres (Book): Novel

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1965 Don't Stop the Carnival is a 1965 novel by American writer Herman Wouk. It is a comedy about escaping middle-age crisis to the Caribbean, a heaven that quickly turns into a hell for the main ...more
17
Elizabeth Appleton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
John O'Hara
Year in the Top Ten: 1963
18
Fail-Safe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Harvey Wheeler, Eugene Burdick

First Published: 1962

Subjects: Cold War, International relations, Nuclear warfare, United States of America, Soviet Union

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Thriller, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1962 Fail-Safe is a best-selling novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The story was initially serialized in three installments in the Saturday Evening Post on October 13, 20, and 27, 1962, ...more
19
Franny and Zooey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
J. D. Salinger

First Published: 1961

Subjects: Literature, Classics

Genres (Book): Fiction, Novella, Novel, Short story

Original Language: English Language

Years in the Top Ten: 1961, 1962 Franny and Zooey is a book by American author J. D. Salinger which comprises his short story "Franny" and novella Zooey. The two works were published together as a book in 1961, having ...more
20
Grandmother and the prie... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Taylor Caldwell
Year in the Top Ten: 1963
21
Hawaii is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
James A. Michener

First Published: 1959

Subjects: Hawaii, History

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction

Year in the Top Ten: 1960 Hawaii is a novel by James Michener. Written in episodic format like many of Michener's works, the book narrates the story of the original Hawaiians who sailed to the islands from Bora Bora, the ...more
22
Herzog is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Saul Bellow

First Published: 1964

Subjects: Literature, Classics, United States of America

Genres (Book): Fiction

Years in the Top Ten: 1964, 1965 Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow, composed in large part of letters from the protagonist Moses E. Herzog. It won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and the The Prix International. ...more
23
Hotel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Arthur Hailey

Subjects: Language

Genres (Book): Fiction

Year in the Top Ten: 1965 Hotel is a 1965 novel by Arthur Hailey. It is the story of an independent New Orleans hotel, the St. Gregory, and its management's struggle to regain profitability and avoid being assimilated ...more
24
Mila 18 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Leon Uris

Subjects: Literature, Classics, History

Genres (Book): Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Year in the Top Ten: 1961 Mila 18 is a novel by Leon Uris set in German-occupied Warsaw, Poland before and during World War II. Mila 18 debuted at #7 on The New York Times Best Seller List and peaked at #2 in August ...more
25
Myra Breckinridge is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s
Gore Vidal

First Published: 1968-02

Genres (Book): Satire, Novel

Original Language: English Language

Year in the Top Ten: 1968