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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/28 - #1's

Since I had Harold Robbins' The Raiders available today, I asked a gentleman if he'd read its prequel, The Carpetbaggers. I said that Robbins was the James Patterson of the 1960's. He wasn't, although he was highly successful. He cracked the top ten nine times into the early '80's, nothing to sneeze at.  I wondered who was at the top each year of my lifetime. Here are the number one books from 1950-2005 according to I've only read two, denoted by an asterisk:
1950: The Cardinal by Henry Morton Robinson
1951: From Here to Eternity by James Jones
1952: The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
1953: The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
1954: Not as a Stranger by Morton Thompson
1955: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
1956: Don't Go Near the Water by William Brinkley
1957: By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
1958: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
1959: Exodus by Leon Uris
1960: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury & Hawaii by James A. Michener
1961: The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
1962: Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
1963: The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris L. West
1964: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
1965: The Source by James A. Michener
1966: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
1967: The Arrangement by Elia Kazan
1968: Airport by Arthur Hailey
1969: Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth*
1970: Love Story by Erich Segal
1971: Wheels by Arthur Hailey
1972: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
1973: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
1974: Centennial by James A. Michener
1975: Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
1976: Trinity by Leon Uris*
1977: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
1978: Chesapeake by James A. Michener
1979: The Matarese Circle by Rob Ludlum
1980: The Covenant by James A. Michener
1981: Noble House by James Clavell
1982: E.T., The Extra-terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle
1983: Return of the Jedi by James Kahn
1984: The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
1985: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel
1986: It by Stephen King
1987: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
1988: The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy
1989: Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
1990: The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
1991: Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley
1992: Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
1993: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
1994: The Chamber by John Grisham
1995: The Rainmaker by John Grisham
1996: The Runaway Jury by John Grisham
1997: The Partner by John Grisham
1998: The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
1999: The Testament by John Grisham
2000: The Brethren by John Grisham
2001: Desecration by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye
2002: The Summons by John Grisham
2003: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2004: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2005: The Broker by John Grisham

Yesterday Juan, who substitutes when one of our building's porters is on vacation, gave me a bunch of books a tenant had discarded, all non-fiction. One immediately stood out - a beautiful pictorial on Italy. I took it along this morning, hoping Gina would pass the floating book shop. As I walked up to the Chase bank lugging the crates, there she was in her usual nook, taking a smoke break. We exchanged hellos, but I didn't mention the book. When she saw it she immediately pounced. The deal was sealed when she spotted a section on Calabria, which she'd recently visited. My thanks. It was a long time between sales. While Olga was telling me her problems concerning a woman she'd allowed to share her apartment, Jack approached and bought a thriller. To my surprise, Olga purchased Billionths of a Lifetime, saying she loves short stories. I had the feeling I'd spoken to her several years ago, but I'd have to be put under hypnosis to verify something like that at this stage of my life. Regardless, thank you, madam.

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