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 Best Sellers of the Eras

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the_librarian
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PostSubject: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:36 pm

Hi all,

Even though I don't get to read as much as I would like, what with kids and the dog and all of the other daily zillion things of everyday life, when I do get to, it is a treat. One of the ways I try to learn about the past is reading best sellers from bygone eras. I thought this would be a good topic to post so that we can learn what fiction you have read that everyone else might enjoy.

I'll lead off with one of my all time favority books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Coming of age story for set in the early part of America, this is a facinating book as much for the history as the fiction. Here's a link from Google books talking about the Automat:

(this link should all be on one line. If I didn't break it up, it made the post message super wide)

http://books.google.com/books
?id=thbHjzJpzMUC&pg=PA368&lpg
=PA368&dq=tree+grows+in+brooklyn+automat&source
=web&ots=FxlenbNR0K&sig=kSubC4edSNN_O_d6RYAq6R24PEA


So, what's yours???????
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Ali
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:49 pm

Curse my Teflon memory. I've read so much over the years, I forgot most of them. Books that define an era eh?

Well, I've read Pearl Buck's books depicting life in India and China. I'll try to think of more.
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BygoneKnits
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:53 pm

Fitzgerald. I can't believe that at the time of his all-to-early death, he was out of print, and for a good time afterwards, too!
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Mimi
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:55 pm

Hear, hear...I love Scott.

I can't think of anyone who defined the Jazz Age better.

Hemingway was quite a writer, but he didn't have the Style. Not to me, anyway...he seemed rough and a little crude. Which I hear he was.

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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:59 pm

Exactly. Too much huntin' and fishin' and overly possessed of "I'm a Man's Man" attitude. Plus, he wasn't very nice to Scott, despite thier supposed friendship. "Frienmies," if you will. Not to mention that the whole bull-fighting facination turns my stomach. But, on the other hand, I don't think he was a horrible writer, as many say. (Seems a lot of the Jazz Age writers aren't in vogue at present, and many almost entirely forgotten, such as Ring Lardner.) I quite like A Farewell to Arms, and some of his short stories. But he was no Scott, that's for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:13 pm

Lardner and Alibi Ike!!!

"...His right name was Frank X. Farrell, and I guess the X stood for "Excuse me." Because he never pulled a play, good or bad, on or off the field, without apologizin' for it...."



"...What do you think of Alibi Ike?" ast Carey.

"Who's that?" I says.

"This here Farrell in the outfield," says Carey.

"He looks like he could hit," I says.

"Yes," says Carey, "but he can't hit near as good as he can apologize."

Then Carey went on to tell me what Ike had been pullin' out there. He'd dropped the first fly ball that was hit to him and told Carey his glove wasn't broke in good yet, and Carey says the glove could easy of been Kid Gleason's gran'father. He made a whale of a catch out o' the next one and Carey says "Nice work!" or somethin' like that, but Ike says he could of caught the ball with his back turned only he slipped when he started after it and, besides that, the air currents fooled him. or off the field, without apologizin' for it..."

source: http://www.tridget.com/
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:16 pm

Anybody here for Dos Passos? He's a bit early, but stuff is quite good.
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BygoneKnits
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:02 pm

I've actually never read any Dos Passos, believe it or not (I'm quite embarrassed to admit it)...he's certainly been on my list of fellows to investigate further for ages, though.

On the other side of the pond, of course there's Waugh. And Wodehouse. And I adore Nancy Mitford. Would you believe I recently read a few reviews -- on Goodreads, I think -- from readers saying something re: NM to the effect of "Parody of the British upper classes. Clearly, no one like this family ever existed. Not believable, thus not enjoyable." Err...One wonders if they read the jacket copy, much less the forward/afterword.
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Ali
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:53 am

Anyone here like Somerset Maugham or William Burroughs?
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:00 pm

I adore Somerset Maugham! (And what a GREAT name, incidently)

I like Huxley, too.

And DuMaurier (why on earth is SO much of her stuff out of print?).
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:02 pm

How about some fluff?

Margery Sharpe (The Nutmeg Tree; Cluny Brown) or Faith Baldwin, just to name two.


*grin* Total trash. I have no interest in modern trash books, but I love the old stuff. Many of their books were the basis for movies.

Think of Wife vs. Secretary, starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy & Jean Harlow.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:45 am

Let's see...mystery writers are the ones who come to mind, of course.

Dorothy L. Sayers [Lord Peter Wimsey];

Agatha Christie [Tommy & Tuppence/Miss Marple/Poirot/Mr. Harley Quinn/and more];

Ngaio Marsh [Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn];

Phoebe Atwood Taylor [Asey Mayo].



And...Wodehouse [Jeeves & Wooster/Uncle Fred/Psmith/and more]. Dorothy Parker. Robert Benchley. H.Allen Smith.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:21 pm

I haven't read it yet, but I picked up a Donald Ogden Stewart book this weekend.

It looks good and silly.

I've been on a Wodehouse kick, and just came off of a Leslie Charteris binge (The Saint).
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PostSubject: Re: Best Sellers of the Eras   Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:04 pm

Just a bump here, because of some recent news. The original manuscript for The Good Earth is going on display after being missing for 30+ years. The Good Earth was the top seller in both 1931 & 32, I believe. The Pearl S. Buck house is just a few miles from where I live, so I will be stopping in to see it soon.

http://www.psbi.org/site/PageServer?pagename=PSBH_The_Pearl_S_Buck_House
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