The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1956

We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now and we’re already into the middle of the twentieth century but there’s still a long way to go.

We’re covering each year at a time and we’re more than half way through the 1950s now as we cover 1956 today!

1956 was the year of the Suez Canal Crisis caused by the nationalisation of the canal. It’s also the year that the first Eurovision Song Content took place. The US saw a presidential election, between the incumbent President Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, while America boomed, and made use of new inventions like disposable diapers and Tefal frying pans.

Among all that, there were plenty of books published and read too, and today we’re featuring the bestselling novels of 1956, and some that didn’t make the list but have stood the test of time.

Don’t Go Near the Water – William Brinkley


The Last Hurrah – Edwin O’Connor


Peyton Place – Grace Metalious


Auntie Mame – Patrick Dennis


Eloise – Kay Thompson


Andersonville – Mackinlay Kantor


A Certain Smile – Francoise Sagan


The Tribe That Lost its Head – Nicholas Monsarrat


The Mandarins – Simone de Beauvoir


Boon Island – Kenneth Roberts


1956 also saw the release of James Baldwin’s,  Giovanni’s Room, and Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals.

We’ll continue this series right through to 2018, keep an eye out for 1957, coming soon!

If you’d like to see all the lists so far, try this search 

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