Book List Love! My list of Books Read By Year, 20th Century Edition

Idea by Simon of Stuck in a Book Image by Alex in Leeds
Idea by Simon of Stuck in a Book
Image by Alex in Leeds

Inspiration: http://melissawiley.com/century-books-1900-1999/

Children’s author Melissa Wiley’s blog is one I enjoy. This post is inspired by a post on her blog, which was in turn inspired by a post on yet another blog! Whew! Got all that?? I absolutely love what I call “Competitive Reading” or what we commonly call book lists. “The 100 Best…” or “All the books….” I love it so much that my Good Reads .com account sub-classifies all me books by year read, by audio or print [I don’t have a list for kindle] and by awards each book has won. I have a very geeky dream of gi-normous spreadsheet showing EVERY book I’ve ever read with all it’s sub-classes. Therapy…yes, I need therapy. Anyway, today’s installment of Book List Love, aka, Competitive Reading, is a challenge to identify one book you’ve read for each year of the 20th century! Fun!! I love this kind of thing!

Dates may be a little “off”—I compiled this mostly from bestseller lists and a book doesn’t always make it in the exact year it was published, but its close enough. I could fill in the early years with more Lucy Maud Montgomery, but have tried to avoid too many repeat authors. I hope to “personalize” this more as I have time, moving away from best-sellers to favorite titles.

Reading from the Ambleside Online curriculum has helped “flesh out” this list in its earliest years.

Alice1900    Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson


1902    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

1903    Call of the Wild by Jack London

1904    Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter

1905    Diary from Dixie by Mary Chestnut

1906    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair


1908    Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

1909 Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter

1910    Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams

1911    Peter Pan (And Wendy) by J.M.Barrie

1912  Yosemite by John Muir

1913  Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

1914    Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw


1916    Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher


1918    My Antonia by Willa Cather

1919    Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune

1920    This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1921  Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery

1922    Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis



1925    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1926    Show Boat by Edna Ferber


1928    Lady Chattrerley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

1929    Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

1930 My Early Life by Winston Churchill

1931    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck


1933 Testament of Youth by Vera Britten

1934    Good-bye Mr. Chips by James Hilton

1935    Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

GWTWCover1936    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

1937    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1938    Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

1939    Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struthers

1940    For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

1941    The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright

1942    Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

1943 Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes

1944    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

1945    Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry

1946    The King’s General by Daphne DuMaurier

1947    The Pearl by John Steinbeck

1948    Raintree County by Ross Lockridge

1949    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

1950    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

1951    The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

1952    Giant by Edna Ferber

1953    Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

1954    The Wheel on the School, Meindert DeJong

Mame1955    Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis

1956    Eloise by Kay Thompson

1957    Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr

1958    Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

1959    Exodus by Leon Uris

1960    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1961    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

1962    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

1963    The Group, Mary McCarthy

1964    The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss

1965    Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman

1966    Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinken Bowen

1967    Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (non-fiction)

1968    Christy by Catherine Marshall

1969    Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

1970    The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

1971    Love Story by Erich Segal

windsofwar1972    The Winds of War by Herman Wouk

1973    Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

1974    The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

1975    Eric by Doris Lund (non-fiction)

1976    The Russians by Hendrick Smith (non-fiction)

1977    Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

1978    War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

1979    Evergreen by Belva Plain

1980    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

1981    Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

1982    Marco Polo, If You Can by William F. Buckley

1983    Name of the Rose by Umberto Echo

ladies of the club1984    “…and Ladies of the Club” by Helen Hooven Santmyer

1985    Lake Woebegone Days by Garrison Keillor

1986    Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

1987    A Season on the Brink by John Feinstein

1988    Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

1989    Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

1990 Face of a Stranger (William Monk #1) by Anne Perry

1991    The Firm by John Grisham

1992    Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillian

1993    Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

1994 One for the Money (Stephanie Plum # 1) by Janet Evonovich

1995    The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

1996    Deep End of the Ocean by Jacqualyn Mitchard

1997    Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

1998    The Hours by Michael Cunningham

1999    Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

So? Are you “reader” enough to accept this challenge?? Happily, historical bestseller lists are available at Wikipedia and other places on the web. [Yes, I KNOW! I KNOW!! Wikipedia cannot be cited as a source. It’s FINE for this, ok?]

Feel free to leave a comment with your titles or a link to your own challenge post!

All images are from Amazon.com unless otherwise specified.

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