Vintage novel reviews slate for 2011

This year, I will be reviewing bestselling novels at least  five decades old on their anniversary year.  I’ll  begin with novels from the 1961 bestseller list this month and work  backward to the bestsellers of 1901 in December.

I’ve located all but two of the 70 novels on those top ten lists.  If I find the two I’m missing, I’ll slip them into the list.

Thanks to Project Gutenberg,  many public domain novels that have disappeared from libraries are now available free online. If you got an e-book reader for Christmas (iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android), get some books for it from Project Gutenberg. Or read download novels to read on your laptop, as I do.

Below is a preview of the year’s reading, with the anticipated posting date for my reviews. Books I haven’t found yet are listed without a review date.

Bestselling novels of 1961

  1. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, 8-Jan-2011
  2. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger, 12-Jan-2011
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 15-Jan-2011
  4. Mila 18 by Leon Uris, 22-Jan-2011
  5. The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins, 29-Jan-2011
  6. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, 5-Feb-2011
  7. Winnie Ille Pu a Latin translation by Alexander Lenard of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh 10-Feb-2011
  8. The Daughter of Silence by Morris West,  12-Feb-2011
  9. The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor, 19-Feb-2011
  10. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck, 26-Feb-2011

Bestselling novels of 1951

  1. From Here to Eternity by James Jones,  5-Mar- 2011
  2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk,  12-Mar-2011
  3. Moses by Sholem Asch, 19-Mar-2011
  4. The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson (a holdover from 1950 bestseller list)
  5. A Woman Called Fancy by Frank Yergy, 23-Mar-2011
  6. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat,  26-Mar-2011
  7. Melville Goodwin, U. S. A. by John P. Marquand,  2-Apr-2011
  8. Return to Paradise by James A. Michener,  9-Apr-2011
  9. The Foundling by Cardinal Spellman,  16-Apr-2011
  10. The Wanderer by Mika Waltari,  23-Apr-2011

Bestselling novels of 1941

  1. The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin,  30-Apr-2011
  2. Random Harvest by James Hilton, 7-May-2011
  3. This Above All by Eric Knight,  14-May-2011
  4. The Sun is My Undoing by Marguerite Steen, 21-May-2011
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, 28-May-2011
  6. Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts, (a top seller for 1940 as well)
  7. H. M. Pulham, Esquire by John P. Marquand 4-Jun-2011
  8. Mr. and Mrs. Cugat by Isabel Scott Rorick, 11-Jun-2011
  9. Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber, 18-Jun-2011
  10. Windswept by Mary Ellen Chase,  25-Jun-2016

Bestselling novels of 1931

  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, 2-Jul-2011
  2. Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather, 6-Jul-2011
  3. A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich, 9-Jul-2011
  4. Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
  5. Years of Grace by Margaret Ayers Barnes
  6. The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque, 16-Jul-2011
  7. The Bridge of Desire, 20-Jul-2011
  8. Back Street by Fannie Hurst, 23-Jul-2011
  9. Finch’s Fortune by Mazo de la Roche, 27-Jul-2011
  10. Maid in Waiting by John Galsworthy, 30-Jul-2011

Project Gutenberg

Bestselling novels of 1921

All of these 1921 top novels are available to download free from Project Gutenberg. I’ve linked to a complete etext version. In some cases, texts are available in sections and in audio format.

  1. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis,  6-Aug-2011
  2. The Brimming Cup by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 13-Aug-2011
  3. The Mysterious Rider by Zane Grey, 17-Aug-2011
  4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, 20-Aug-2011
  5. The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver Curwood, 24-Aug-2011
  6. The Sheik by Edith M. Hull, 27-Aug-2011
  7. A Poor Wise Man by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 31-Aug-2011
  8. Her Father’s Daughter by Gene Stratton Porter, 3-Sep-2011
  9. The Sisters-in-Law by Gertrude Atherton, 7-Sep-2011
  10. The Kingdom Round the Corner by Coningsby Dawson, 10-Sep-2011

Bestselling novels of 1911

These 10 books are available to download free from Project Gutenberg. I’ve linked to a complete etext version. In some cases, texts are available in sections and in audio format.

  1. The Broad Highway by Jeffrey Farnol, 17-Sep-2011
  2. The Prodigal Judge by Vaughan Kester, 24-Sep-2011
  3. The Winning of Barbara Worth by Harold Bell Wright, 28-Sep-2011
  4. Queed by Henry Syndor Harrison,  1-Oct-2011
  5. The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter, 5-Oct-2011
  6. The Iron Woman by Margaret Deland, 8-Oct-2011
  7. The Long Roll by Mary Johnston12-Oct-2011
  8. Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Abbot, 15-Oct-2011
  9. The Rosary by Florence Barclay, 22-Oct-2011
  10. The Common Law by Robert W. Chambers 29-Oct-2011

Bestselling novels of 1901

Each of these 10 books is available to download free from Project Gutenberg. I’ve linked to a complete etext version. In some cases, texts are available in sections and in audio format.

  1. The Crisis by Winston Churchill, 5-Nov-2011
  2. Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson 12-Nov-2011
  3. The Helmet of Navarre by Berta Runkle,16-Nov-2011
  4. The Right of Way by Gilbert Parker,19-Nov-2011
  5. Eben Holden by Irving Bacheller, 26-Nov-2011
  6. The Visits of Elizabeth by Elinor Glyn, 3-Dec-2011
  7. The Puppet Crown by Harold MacGrath,10-Dec-2011
  8. The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay by Maurice Hewlett, 17-Dec-2011
  9. Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon, 24-Dec-2011
  10. D’ri and I by Irving Bacheller, 31-Dec-2011

In those bestseller lists are some real gems. Come back for the reviews to find what they are. Or click the Subscribe tab at the top of the page to have the reviews delivered to your inbox.

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© 2011 Linda Gorton Aragoni


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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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