The 1922 bestsellng novels are an interesting mix. The only novelists whose names will be familiar to most contemporary readers are Sinclair Lewis, whose eponomous novel Babbitt tied for last place on the 1922 list, and Frances Hoddson Burnett, whose 1911 young people’s novel The Secret Garden has found a second life with contemporary readers and viewers, though it didn’t make the 1911 bestseller list.
In their day, other authors on the list were big publisher draws: Edith M. Hull, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Zane Grey, Booth Tarkington. Their fans lined up, metaphorically if not actually, when each of their new novels was released.
The 1922 list also contains a rarity: one novelist with two different novels on the annual bestseller list. The author who accomplished this feat, A.S. M. Hutchinson, is rarely read today, which is unfortunate. Both novels are good.
Here’s a list of the 1922 bestselling novels I’ll be reviewing in the next few weeks and the dates you can expect to see them. I’ve provided links to Project Gutenberg where the books can be downloaded and read for free in various formats.
- If Winter Comes by A.S. M. Hutchinson [July 15, 2012]
- The Sheik by Edith M. Hull #6 on 1921 bestseller list [July 18, 2012]
- Gentle Julia by Booth Tarkington [July 22, 2012]
- The Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett [July 25, 2012]
- Simon Called Peter by Robert Keable [July 29, 2012]
- The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart [Aug. 1, 2012]
- This Freedom by A.S. M. Hutchinson [Aug. 5, 2012]
- Maria Chapdelain by Louis Hemon [Aug. 8, 2012]
- To the Last Man by Zane Grey [Aug. 12, 2012]
- tied : Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis [Aug. 15, 2012] and
Helen of the Old House by Harold Bell Wright (shared 10th place) [Aug. 19, 2012]