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Top 10 most read books in the last 100 years

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-06-09
Reading literature is one of the oldest forms of entertainment there is. People of all ages, all around the world find enjoyment from their favorite books. Whether it’s a newer series of book such as The Hunger Games, or an old cult classic such as Catcher in the Rye, we gravitate towards literature and pass our favorites down from generation to generation. Let’s take a look at the top 10 most read books in the last 100 years, and hopefully you’ll find one that peaks your interest and start reading it today.

10 The Little Prince

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Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince was published in 1943 and garnered much praise. While it is primarily a children’s book, it gives interesting insights on life and will make you take a deeper look into the nature of human beings. Take the quote, “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." For a children’s book, this insight on love and self-consciousness is incredible. The Little Prince is filled with many other messages similar to this which is why people gravitated to it.

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9 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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This work of fiction was written by Douglas Adams, and was published in 1979. It is the 1st part of a 5 part series of comedic novels and serves as a “guide” for hitchhikers who wish to explore the galaxy. It was more popular in the U.K. where it was originally released, but American readers also took to the series as well.  The book was also adapted into a movie in 2005 and received mixed reviews.

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8 The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye is a classic. It’s also one of the most controversial books of all time due to the use of profanity and sexuality throughout the book. It was written by one of the greatest American Writers of all time, J. D. Salinger. The book tells the story of a teenager named Holden Caulfield who struggles with many issue teens of today face. Catcher in the Rye tackles issues such as self-realization and the need that we as humans have to belong. It’s a complex book that people simply couldn’t put down.

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7 The Diary Of Ann Frank

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Perhaps one of the most heart wrenching books of all time, The Diary of Ann Frank reached the hearts of millions. The book is the autobiography of a girl whose family went in hiding due to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In the book, she details her experiences and thoughts while her family hid in the attic of her father’s office building to avoid Nazis. The book was adapted into both a play and a movie.

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6 To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird is a fictional book about a Black man who was accused of raping a white woman. It’s told through the point of view of two kids, Scout and Jem Finch. Their father is the defense attorney in the case. The author, Harper Lee manages to explore dark issues such as rape and racism while still being able to add bits of humor at certain points in the book. In 1961 this book earned a Pulitzer Prize in fiction and continues to be a popular read amongst many Americans.

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5 The Lord of The Rings Series

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By now, there’s no doubt you’ve either read the books or have seen the movie adaptations. As far as fantasy books go, it doesn’t get much better than The Lord of the Rings and the sales are proof of that. The series of books continues to sell both in print and digital copies, and has gained a cult following.

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4 The Great Gatsby

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Known as “The Great American Novel”, this masterpiece was crafted by one of the greatest authors of all time, F. Scott Fitzgerald. The original version was released in 1925, but it really garnered attention when it was republished in 1945 and 1953. It tells the story of a lower class man, Jay Gatsby who falls in love with a woman named Daisy. However, Daisy is married to a rich man who although wealthy, abuses her. Without giving too much away, Jay pursues both wealth and Daisy with many twists along the way. Many high schools and colleges have made reading The Great Gatsby mandatory, which helps it make our list of the top 10 most read books of the century.

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3 The Harry Potter Series

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Children and adults fell in love with J.K. Rowling’s book series about a young wizard living in a magical world. There’s no doubt that the series will go down as one of the best of all time. The books have spawned one of the highest grossing movie series of all time and continues to receive much praise. Kids everywhere have dreams of going to Hogwarts and becoming master wizards.

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2 The Da Vinci Code

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When most people think of Dan Brown, they immediately associate him with this thrilling masterpiece that will exercise your mind. Filled with mystery, cover ups, religion, and secrets, this book almost forces you to keep reading to find out what happens next. The Da Vinci Code is one of the best thrillers of all time.

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1 A Tale of Two Cities

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Arguably Charles Dickens’ greatest literary works, A Tale of Two Cities has sold over 200 million copies. Although this book was written in the 1800’s it continues to be read today in schools, as it showcases literary genius. It’s impossible to make a top 10 list of books without paying honor to this classic.

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All the books mentioned in this list have a special place in literature which is why they are so widely read. Perhaps in later years, this list will change but for now these books continue to be read all over and have earned their popularity.

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