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The Best Selling Novels of the 1960s

Updated June 14, 2019 91.2k views96 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.
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  • A Shade of Difference1

    First Published1962

    SubjectsCold War

    Genres (Book)Political fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • A Small Town in Germany2

    First Published1968-10

    Genres (Book)Thriller, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • Advise and Consent3
    Year in the Top Ten: 1960
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  • Airport4

    Airport

    Arthur Hailey

    First Published1968

    SubjectsLinguistics

    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...  more
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  • All in the family5

    All in the family

    Edwin O'Connor
    Year in the Top Ten: 1966
    All in the Family is a book written by Edwin O'Connor....
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  • Armageddon6

    Armageddon

    Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

    First Published2003-04

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

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • Candy7

    Candy

    Kevin Brooks

    First Published2005

    Genres (Book)Fiction

    Year in the Top Ten: 1964
    Candy is a book written by Kevin Brooks....  more
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  • Capable of Honor8

    Capable of Honor

    Allen Drury

    First Published1966

    SubjectsCold 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...  more
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  • Caravans9

    Caravans

    James A. Michener

    First Published1963

    SubjectsAfghanistan, 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...  more
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  • Christy10

    Christy

    Catherine Marshall

    First Published1967

    SubjectsLiterary, Literature, Classics, Schools, United States of America

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

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Years in the Top Ten: 1967, 1968
    Christy is a historical fiction novel by Christian author Catherine Marshall set in the...  more
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  • City of Night11

    City of Night

    John Rechy

    First Published1963

    SubjectsGay

    Genres (Book)Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • Convention12

    Convention

    Richard Reeves
    Year in the Top Ten: 1964
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  • Couples13

    Couples

    John Updike

    First Published1968

    SubjectsAdultery

    Year in the Top Ten: 1968
    Couples is a 1968 novel by American author John Updike....  more
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  • 14

    daughter of silence

    Edgar Fawcett
    Year in the Top Ten: 1961
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  • Dearly Beloved15

    Dearly Beloved

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    Year in the Top Ten: 1962
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  • Don't Stop the Carnival16

    First Published1965

    Genres (Book)Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • 17
    Year in the Top Ten: 1963
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  • Fail-Safe18

    Fail-Safe

    Harvey Wheeler, Eugene Burdick

    First Published1962

    SubjectsCold War, International relations, Nuclear warfare, United States of America, Soviet Union

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

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Year in the Top Ten: 1962
    Fail-Safe is a best-selling novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The story was...  more
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  • Franny and Zooey19

    Franny and Zooey

    J. D. Salinger

    First Published1961

    SubjectsLiterature, Classics

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

    Original LanguageEnglish 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...  more
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  • Grandmother and the priests20
    Year in the Top Ten: 1963
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  • Hawaii21

    Hawaii

    James A. Michener

    First Published1959

    SubjectsHawaii, 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,...  more
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  • Herzog22

    Herzog

    Saul Bellow

    First Published1964

    SubjectsLiterature, 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...  more
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  • Hotel23

    Hotel

    Arthur Hailey

    SubjectsLanguage

    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,...  more
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  • Mila 1824

    Mila 18

    Leon Uris

    SubjectsLiterature, 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...  more
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  • Myra Breckinridge25

    First Published1968-02

    Genres (Book)Satire, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Year in the Top Ten: 1968
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