The New Great Depression Sets The Bar High

 

 

Take a long look at the lists that follow ( courtesy of Publisher’s Weekly list of best sellers ) and you will get a smidgen of a notion of the quality the newly poor will be expecting from your pen/keyboard.  The most telling aspect  the work that appears on each list is the quality and variety.  There isn’t one clunker in the whole lot.  This was the era of people like John Steinbeck, Virginia Woolf and Margaret Mitchell.  

When the pain begins to set in, hacks will move on to whatever they can get and the rest will have to be better than the best to sell their work.   A nice level playing field awaits every writer.  Are you equipped to meet the expectations of a public not as at ease with parting with their pennies as they used to be?   This is the age of the entrepreneurial writer who takes control of their art and at the end,  only the brave, talented and dedicated will will remain standing.     

 

 

1930
# Title Author
1. Cimarron Edna Ferber
2. Exile Warwick Deeping
3. The Woman of Andros Thornton Wilder
4. Years of Grace Margaret Ayer Barnes
5. Angel Pavement J. B. Priestley
6. The Door Mary Roberts Rinehart
7. Rogue Herries Hugh Walpole
8. Chances A. Hamilton Gibbs
9. Young Woman of Manhattan Katherine Brush
10. Twenty-Four Hours Louis Bromfield
1931
# Title Author
1. The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck
2. Shadows on the Rock Willa Cather
3. A White Bird Flying Bess Streeter Aldrich
4. Grand Hotel Vicki Baum
5. Years of Grace Margaret Ayer Barnes
6. The Road Back Erich Maria Remarque
7. The Bridge of Desire Warwick Deeping
8. Back Street Fannie Hurst
9. Finch’s Fortune Mazo de la Roche
10. Maid in Waiting John Galsworthy
1932
# Title Author
1. The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck
2. The Fountain Charles Morgan
3. Sons Pearl S. Buck
4. Magnolia Street Louis Golding
5. The Sheltered Life Ellen Glasgow
6. Old Wine and New Warwick Deeping
7. Mary’s Neck Booth Tarkington
8. Magnificent Obsession Lloyd C. Douglas
9. Inheritance Phyllis Bentley
10. Three Loves A. J. Cronin
1933
# Title Author
1. Anthony Adverse Hervey Allen
2. As the Earth Turns Gladys Hasty Carroll
3. Ann Vickers Sinclair Lewis
4. Magnificent Obsession Lloyd C. Douglas
5. One More River John Galsworthy
6. Forgive Us Our Trespassers Lloyd C. Douglas
7. The Master of Jalna Mazo de la Roche
8. Miss Bishop Bess Streeter Aldrich
9. The Farm Louis Bromfield
10. Little Man, What Now? Hans Fallada
1934
# Title Author
1. Anthony Adverse Hervey Allen
2. Lamb in His Bosom Caroline Miller
3. So Red the Rose Stark Young
4. Good-bye, Mr. Chips James Hilton
5. Within This Present Margaret Ayer Barnes
6. Work of Art Sinclair Lewis
7. Private Worlds Phyllis Bottome
8. Mary Peters Mary Ellen Chase
9. Oil for the Lamps of China Alice Tisdale Hobart
10. Seven Gothic Tales Isak Dinesen
1935
# Title Author
1. Green Light Lloyd C. Douglas
2. Vein of Iron Ellen Glasgow
3. Of Time and the River Thomas Wolfe
4. Time Out of Mind Rachel Field
5. Good-Bye, Mr. Chips James Hilton
6. The Forty Days of Musa Dagh Franz Werfel
7. Heaven’s My Destination Thornton Wilder
8. Lost Horizon James Hilton
9. Come and Get It Edna Ferber
10. Europa Robert Briffault
1936
# Title Author
1. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
2. The Last Puritan George Santayana
3. Sparkenbroke Charles Morgan
4. Drums Along the Mohawk Walter D. Edmonds
5. It Can’t Happen Here Sinclair Lewis
6. White Banners Lloyd C. Douglas
7. The Hurricane Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
8. The Thinking Reed Rebecca West
9. The Doctor Mary Roberts Rinehart
10. Eyeless in Gaza Aldous Huxley
1937
# Title Author
1. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
2. Northwest Passage (novel) Kenneth Roberts
3. The Citadel A. J. Cronin
4. And So—Victoria Vaughan Wilkins
5. Drums Along the Mohawk Walter D. Edmonds
6. The Years Virginia Woolf
7. Theatre W. Somerset Maugham
8. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
9. The Rains Came Louis Bromfield
10. We Are Not Alone James Hilton
1938
# Title Author
1. The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
2. The Citadel A. J. Cronin
3. My Son, My Son! Howard Spring
4. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
5. Northwest Passage Kenneth Roberts
6. All This, and Heaven Too Rachel Field
7. The Rains Came Louis Bromfield
8. And Tell of Time Laura Krey
9. The Mortal Storm Phyllis Bottome
10. Action at Aquila Hervey Allen
1939
# Title Author
1. The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
2. All This, and Heaven Too Rachel Field
3. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
4. Wickford Point John P. Marquand
5. Escape Ethel Vance
6. Disputed Passage Lloyd C. Douglas
7. The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
8. The Tree of Liberty Elizabeth Page
9. The Nazarene Sholem Asch
10. Kitty Foyle Christopher Morley
Publishers Weekly lists of bestselling novels in the United States
 
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Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “The New Great Depression Sets The Bar High”

  1. It seems that economic hardship has many ways of ‘purging the rottenness out of the system’, so to speak. This would be a great thing for the music industry as well. It would be nice to see some of the hacks disappear so the more talented people have a better chance to show off their craft…

    I definitely consider myself more of a reader than a writer, and I feel such a great affection for some of the books listed..(Of Mice and Men, The Good Earth, Rebecca, Gone With the Wind, etc…). Definitely beats some of the ‘best sellers’ I’ve seen in recent years.

    1. I completely agree with your assessment of the music industry. It’s amazing to read books from twenty or thirty years ago or more and listen to music from those eras. Everything had soul and meaning. Everything was unique and memorable. It will happen again. Thanks for dropping in to my humble blog. 🙂

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