Best sellers from 1956

Jeanne came across this list of previous years’ best sellers, and thought it might be fun to base some of our questions on them. I thought I’d start with 1956, the year my parents got married.

  1. In 1956, these were the top ten best sellers for the year. Have you read any of them?
    1. Don’t Go Near the Water, William Brinkley
    2. The Last Hurrah, Edwin O’Connor
    3. Peyton Place, Grace Metalious
    4. Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis
    5. Eloise, Kay Thompson
    6. Andersonville, MacKinlay Kantor
    7. A Certain Smile, Françoise Sagan
    8. The Tribe That Lost Its Head, Nicholas Monsarrat
    9. The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir
    10. Boon Island, Kenneth Roberts
  2. Which ones have you read? Did you like them?
  3. If you’re like me and haven’t read a single one, which ones have you heard of?
  4. Will you be putting any of these books in your reading list?

14 responses

  1. I actually haven’t read any of them. My only excuse being that I wasn’t born yet (not a good excuse at all, unless I only read new books, which of course I don’t!). The one I’m most likely to read is the Simone de Beauvoir one.

  2. Fleur De Lisa

    I played. That was quite a thought-provoking one!

  3. Mine’s up —

  4. I’ve read Auntie Mame and think it’s hilarious. (Though, having seen Rosalind Russell–not to mention Lucille Ball–I did more or less know the story.) It still made me laugh out loud though!

  5. Posted and roasted.

  6. Mine are up! I love this meme! I’ve read four of the books listed.

  7. I read 2 of the books listed (a certain smile and Peyton Place), heard of de Beauvoir. But I never heard of any of the others !
    I answered on my blog ( adding the list of the French prize winning books of the year 1956… but then, I dindn’t read any of those either (but I had heard of most of these authors !)

  8. Sigh…I haven’t read any of them but my rather sad answers are up. 🙂

  9. I love the idea of looking at previous best seller lists(even if I haven’t read them)! Mine’s up.

  10. Kelli in the Mirror

    I’m new, and late, but mine is up!

  11. I’ve read 2-7. ‘Auntie Mame’ is the best of the bunch–still very funny and moving–although I really enjoyed ‘The Last Hurrah’ (which I read just last year). I read ‘Andersonville’ during high school and certain passages remain vivid. But I tried to reread it several years back and found it a major slog. Sagan doesn’t impress me much anymore and I can’t imagine wanting to revisit Peyton Place (I grew up in one). And I’ve got a nice edition of ‘Eloise’ stashed away to give my niece when she’s old enough to appreciate it. [I have a nice memory of reading it and ‘Stuart Little’ aloud to my cousin Beth when she was about six.]

    Thanks for spurring my trip down memory lane. 🙂

  12. Hello. I haven’t read any of the above mentioned books, but i am looking for one book that seems to be quite well read at the time, is William H. Whyte’s The Organization Man. Do you know something about it? I really appreciate any information you can give me.

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