My Picks of 1965 Bestsellers

I have two sets of favorites from the 1965 bestsellers, one serious and the other lighter. The Source by James A. Michener and The Ambassador by Morris L. West are the best of the 1965 bestsellers. They engage readers in examining weighty topics without being dull or pedantic. Michener’s novel is about the history of […]

Don’t Stop the Carnival. It’s too much fun.

Chucking the workaday world for tropical beaches is a paradise most of us only dream about. Norman Paperman tries it—and his inventor, novelist Herman Wouk, tells the tale. Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk Doubleday, 1965. 395 pages. 1965 bestseller #10. My grade: B+. Norm is bored with his work as Broadway publicity agent […]

The Ambassador Makes Sense of Vietnam War

The Ambassador is the second and the best of the 1965 bestsellers about America’s war in Vietnam. Unlike Robin Moore, who focuses on soldiers, Morris L. West focuses on the policymakers who set in motion events that ended in body bags. The Ambassador by Morris L. West William Morrow, 1965. 275 pages . 1965 bestseller #9. […]

Arthur Hailey Dishes Up a Literary Mac-and-Cheese in Hotel

Hotel is a lot like home: The settings, personalities, and action are all comfortably familiar. By the time you’re a quarter way through the novel, you know how the main plot line will end. Fortunately Arthur Hailey packs his 1965 novel with enough subplots that, although each of them is also familiar, the collection will […]

The Man with the Golden Gun Outlines a Thriller

The Man with the Golden Gun, the final James Bond novel, was published after Ian Fleming’s death. The novel’s presence on the 1965 bestseller list was a memorial tribute from Fleming’s loyal readers. The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming New American Library, 1965. 183 pages. 1965 bestseller #7. My grade: C-. Between […]

Those Who Love: Romantic, Educational, Hopeful

John Adams was “nothing but a lawyer” when Abigail Smith married him, but he was determined to be the best lawyer he could be. Early on, John spent weeks “riding circuit” while “Nabby” took care of house, farm, and family. Those Who Love by Irving Stone Doubleday, 1965. 647 pages. 1965 bestseller #6. My grade […]

The Green Berets Covers Vietnam War With Acronyms

Robin Moore started out to write a nonfiction account of the undercover work of the Green Berets. When it became clear the special missions in which they engaged in Vietnam were too sensitive to be reported, even in disguise, Moore decided to present the book as fiction. Even then, its publication met with negative reaction […]