You love books, you love talking about books. You take pictures of books and share on Instagram, ditto your bookmarks, your bookshelves and your TBR pile. You have heated arguments about whether print is better than electronic. You never leave home without a book or your library card.
In short, you are a book nerd. So tell me this – have you read the most popular book from the year you were born?
You probably don’t know. I didn’t until this popped up in my Facebook feed: The Most Popular Book the Year You Were Born — a slide show displaying the most popular books from the year 1930 to the year 2016.
For a little book-nerd fun, I’ve taken a random year from each decade – here are 9 of the most popular books from the last 87 years:
1. 1936: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War epic won the hearts of the reading public and Scarlett O’Hara has to be one of literature’s greatest survivors. And of course, there is the movie masterpiece the book inspired.
2. 1948: The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank
The diary of a teenage girl hiding from the Nazi’s brought home the horrors of the Holocaust every bit as fiercely as newsreels, photographs and statistics. Anne’s story became one for the ages.
3. 1959: Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak took an epoch-changing event, the Russian Revolution, and showed it to us through the lens of a love triangle. The most popular book from the year of my birth, and yes, I have read it.
4. 1966: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
No other book captured the ‘world upside down’ flavor of the swinging sixties like The Valley of the Dolls. Tranquilizers with a vodka chaser and the only way was down for the three friends at the center of the story.
5. 1974: Jaws by Peter Benchley
The most popular books of the seventies either made us cry or scared the you-know-what out of us. Jaws, the book that inspired the movie, and gave sharks a bad name, came right in the middle of the decade.
6. 1989: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Cynics have claimed the reason for this book’s popularity has more do with the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie than the actual contents of the book. Possibly a bit harsh but as they say, “All publicity is good publicity…”
7. 1998: Paradise by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was already a celebrated author, and Nobel Laureate, by the time her seventh novel was published. With a little help from Oprah Winfrey and her Book Club, Paradise became the number one bestseller of the year. Yay Oprah!
8. 2006: Marley & Me by John Grogan
To his owner, John Grogan, Marley may have been ‘the world’s worst dog,’ but who could go past those eyes? If ever a cover was going to sell a book, this was it.
9. 2012: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
As of 2015, E.L. James’ work of fanfiction/erotica had sold over 125 million copies, with one million marching off the shelves in just four days. A testimony to word of mouth if ever there was one.
Check out the full list to discover if you’ve read the most popular book from the year you were born. Then you can dazzle your fellow book nerds, or not, as the case may be.
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Featured image via Rebloggy