As we prepare to bed down for the long winter ahead, some wonder what might be worth reading. If you are like me, disenchanted with many modern authors, I look to the past to seek out something to read. Turning back the clock 30 years to 1984 here are the New York Times Best Sellers for fiction.
1. ”The Aquitaine Progression,” by Robert Ludlum (Random House).
2. ”The Talisman,” by Stephen King and Peter Straub (Viking).
3. ”. . . And Ladies of the Club,” by Helen Hooven Santmyer (Putnam).
4. ”Lincoln,” by Gore Vidal (Random House).
5. ”The Butter Battle Book,” by Dr. Seuss (Random House).
6. ”The Fourth Protocol,” by Frederick Forsyth (Viking).
7. ”Love and War,” by John Jakes (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).
8. ”The Sicilian,” by Mario Puzo (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster).
9. ”The Haj,” by Leon Uris (Doubleday).
10. ”Full Circle,” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte).
It is an interesting list which includes a Dr. and a King. At number 1 we find Robert Ludlum who narrowly edged out King and Straub’s monumental book, “The Talisman” whose first printing was over 600,000 copies. At number 3 was the only book from Helen Hoven Santmyer I have ever seen, everybody had a copy of that book I think. At number 4 was a surprise, ‘Lincoln’ by Gore Vidal. At number 5 is a book we’ve all read and which has been the basis for many an argument, ‘The Butter Battle Book’ by Dr. Seuss, yup it’s still considered in the fiction genre. At number 6 is ‘The Fourth Protocol’ by Frederick Forsyth, he’s well worth checking out this winter if you love spy novels. Next at number 7 is the king of the TV mini-series, John Jakes with ‘Love and War’…yawn. At number 8 is someone I can get excited about, Mario Puzo with his novel ‘The Sicilian’…wonder what that’s about? At number 9 is ‘The Haj’ by Leon Uris, another historical drama that for some reason everyone ate up. Lastly and I wish I could end on a higher note is Daniel Steel. Steel should be forced to plant trees for all the ones cut to print her books.
So of the top ten of 1984 Landmark Books can suggest seeking out used books by Robert Ludlum, early Stephen King, Dr. Seuss, early Frederick Forsyth and a good dose of Mario Puzo.