What was the most popular book the year you were born?

If you're a book lover, you probably know the bestsellers from countless years past, and you may have even read a number of them. But do you know which book topped the global sales charts the year you were born? This list offers a unique way to find your next page-turner.

Book Author Original language First published Approximate total sales Genre
The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie English 1920 no exact sales numbers available crime fiction: mystery (novel)
We Yevgeny Zamyatin Russian 1921 no exact sales numbers available science fiction: dystopian (novel)
Siddhartha Hermann Hesse German 1922 no exact sales numbers available philosophical fiction (novel)
The Prophet Kahlil Gibran English 1923 11,000,000 poetry
A Passage to India E. M. Forster English 1924 no exact sales numbers available political fiction (novel)
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald English 1925 30,000,000 fiction (novel)
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway English 1926 no exact sales numbers available fiction (novel)
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf English 1927 no exact sales numbers available fiction (novel)
Lady Chatterley's Lover D. H. Lawrence English 1928 no exact sales numbers available fiction: erotic romance (novel)
Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) Erich Maria Remarque German 1929 20,000,000 fiction (novel)
Cimarron Edna Ferber English 1930 no exact sales numbers available political fiction: western (novel)
The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck English 1931 no exact sales numbers available historical fiction (novel)
Как закалялась сталь (Kak zakalyalas' stal', How the Steel Was Tempered) Nikolai Ostrovsky Russian 1932 36,400,000 fiction (novel)
God's Little Acre Erskine Caldwell English 1933 14,000,000 fiction (novel)
Goodbye, Mr. Chips James Hilton English 1934 no exact sales numbers available psychological fiction (novel)
Поднятая целина (Podnyataya Tselina; Virgin Soil Upturned) Mikhail Sholokhov Russian 1935 24,000,000 fiction (novel)
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell English 1936 30,000,000 historical fiction (novel)
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien English 1937 100,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier English 1938 30,000,000 crime fiction: romance (novel)
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie English 1939 100,000,000 fiction: mystery (novel)
How Green Was My Valley Richard Llewellyn English 1940 no exact sales numbers available historical fiction: drama (novel)
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway English 1941 no exact sales numbers available fiction: war story (novel)
The Poky Little Puppy Janette Sebring Lowrey English 1942 15,000,000 children's fiction: picture book
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry French 1943 140,000,000 fiction (novel)
Strange Fruit Lillian Smith English 1944 no exact sales numbers available historical fiction (novel)
Animal Farm George Orwell English 1945 20,000,000 political fiction: satire (novel)
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care Dr. Benjamin Spock English 1946 50,000,000 non-fiction
Het Achterhuis (The Diary of a Young Girl, The Diary of Anne Frank) Anne Frank Dutch 1947 35,000,000 biography, autobiography
人間失格 (Ningen Shikkaku; No Longer Human) Osamu Dazai Japanese 1948 12,000,000 fiction (novel)
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell English 1949 30,000,000 dystopian fiction: social and political science
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis English 1950 85,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger English 1951 65,000,000 fiction: realistic, coming-of-age
Charlotte's Web E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams English 1952 50,000,000 children's fiction (novel)
The Crucible Arthur Miller English 1953 no exact sales numbers available play: tragedy
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien English 1954 150,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov English 1955 50,000,000 fiction: general fiction (novel)
Peyton Place Grace Metalious English 1956 12,100,000 fiction (novel)
The Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss English 1957 10,500,000 children's fiction: picture book
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe English 1958 20,000,000 historical fiction (novel)
Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak Russian 1959 no exact sales numbers available historical fiction: romance (novel)
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee English 1960 40,000,000 fiction: thriller (novel)
Catch-22 Joseph Heller English 1961 10,000,000 historical fiction (novel)
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle English 1962 14,000,000 science fiction: fantasy (novel)
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak English 1963 20,000,000 children's fiction: picture book
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl English 1964 20,000,000 children's fiction (novel)
Dune Frank Herbert English 1965 20,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann English 1966 31,000,000 fiction: romance (novel)
Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) Gabriel García Márquez Spanish 1967 50,000,000 fiction: magic realism (novel)
The Naked Ape Desmond Morris English 1968 20,000,000 anthropology, biology
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle English 1969 43,000,000 children's fiction (picture book)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach English 1970 44,000,000 fiction: parable (novella)
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty English 1971 11,000,000 horror fiction (novel)
Watership Down Richard Adams English 1972 50,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Fear of Flying Erica Jong English 1973 20,000,000 psychological fiction: erotica (novel)
Jaws Peter Benchley English 1974 20,000,000 horror fiction (novel)
The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins English 1975 50,000,000 fiction: war, thriller (novel)
The Hite Report Shere Hite English 1976 50,000,000 self-help
The Thorn Birds Colleen McCullough English 1977 33,000,000 historical fiction: romance (novel)
Eye of the Needle Ken Follett English 1978 10,000,000 historical fiction: thriller (novel)
Flowers in the Attic V. C. Andrews English 1979 40,000,000 horror fiction (novel)
Il Nome della Rosa (The Name of the Rose) Umberto Eco Italian 1980 50,000,000 historical fiction: mystery (novel)
窓ぎわのトットちゃん (Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window) Tetsuko Kuroyanagi Japanese 1981 18,000,000 autobiography, children's literature
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ Sue Townsend English 1982 20,000,000 children's fiction (novel)
Pet Sematary Stephen King English 1983 no exact sales numbers available horror fiction (novel)
You Can Heal Your Life Louise Hay English 1984 50,000,000 self-help, spirituality
Das Parfum (Perfume) Patrick Süskind German 1985 15,000,000 horror fiction (novel)
Love You Forever Robert Munsch English 1986 20,000,000 fiction: picture book
ノルウェイの森 (Noruwei no Mori, Norwegian Wood) Haruki Murakami Japanese 1987 12,000,000 fiction: romance (novel)
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Portuguese 1988 65,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey English 1989 25,000,000 self-help
​​The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien English 1990 2,000,000 psychological fiction: war story (novel)
Sofies verden (Sophie's World) Jostein Gaarder Norwegian 1991 40,000,000 philosophical fiction
The Bridges of Madison County Robert James Waller English 1992 60,000,000 fiction: romance (novel)
The Celestine Prophecy James Redfield English 1993 23,000,000 religious fiction: parable (novel)
Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney English 1994 15,000,000 children's fiction
The Horse Whisperer Nicholas Evans English 1995 16,000,000 psychological fiction (novel)
Into the Wild Jon Krakauer English 1996 no exact sales numbers available non-fiction: biography
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone J. K. Rowling English 1997 120,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets J. K. Rowling English 1998 77,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling English 1999 65,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J. K. Rowling English 2000 65,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
Life of Pi Yann Martel English 2001 10,000,000 fiction: adventure (novel)
The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren English 2002 33,000,000 non-fiction, Christian literature
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown English 2003 80,000,000 fiction: mystery, thriller (novel)
狼图腾 (Wolf Totem) Jiang Rong Chinese 2004 20,000,000 historical fiction (novel)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J. K. Rowling English 2005 65,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
The Secret Rhonda Byrne English 2006 20,000,000 self-help
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling English 2007 65,000,000 fiction: fantasy (novel)
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins English 2008 29,000,000 science fiction: thriller (novel)
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins English 2009 21,000,000 science fiction: thriller (novel)
Mockingjay Suzanne Collins English 2010 20,000,000 science fiction: thriller (novel)
Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James English 2011 125,000,000 fiction: erotic romance (novel)
The Fault in Our Stars John Green English 2012 23,000,000 fiction: romance (novel)
The Goldfinch Donna Tartt English 2013 3,000,000 fiction: thriller (novel)
All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr English 2014 4,000,000 historical fiction (novel)
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins English 2015 20,000,000 psychological fiction: thriller (novel)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson English 2016 6,000,000 self-help
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman English 2017 1,800,000 psychological fiction: romance (novel)
Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens English 2018 3,000,000 coming-of-age fiction: mystery (novel)

And there you have it—nearly 100 years of the best literature from around the world. Have you read your birth year's bestseller yet? All the massively popular books on this list promise an unforgettable reading experience.