Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
1
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 318,005 ratings
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 722,446 ratings
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3
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 1,592,751 ratings
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4
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 1,264,465 ratings
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5
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 1,028,444 ratings
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6
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 844,551 ratings
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7
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 400,124 ratings
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8
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 354,776 ratings
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9
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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 257,784 ratings
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10
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 484,307 ratings
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11
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 217,565 ratings
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12
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 93,381 ratings
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13
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 1,275,455 ratings
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14
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 306,522 ratings
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15
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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 184,563 ratings
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16
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 105,649 ratings
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17
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4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 377,555 ratings
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18
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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 190,282 ratings
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19
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 109,794 ratings
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20
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4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 384,953 ratings
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21
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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 159,415 ratings
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22
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 69,601 ratings
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23
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 51,826 ratings
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24
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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 131,234 ratings
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25
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 235,282 ratings
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26
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 80,228 ratings
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27
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 86,886 ratings
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28
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 213,736 ratings
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29
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 38,761 ratings
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30
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 63,656 ratings
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31
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 271,808 ratings
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32
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 25,068 ratings
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33
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 220,719 ratings
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34
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 23,048 ratings
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35
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 143,078 ratings
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36
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 255,115 ratings
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37
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 59,923 ratings
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38
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 36,226 ratings
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39
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 24,345 ratings
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40
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 87,508 ratings
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41
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 22,559 ratings
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42
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 21,835 ratings
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43
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 227,250 ratings
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44
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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 61,861 ratings
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45
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 97,622 ratings
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46
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 82,629 ratings
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47
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 49,361 ratings
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48
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 151,601 ratings
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49
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 12,649 ratings
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50
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 58,914 ratings
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51
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 17,739 ratings
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52
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 20,184 ratings
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53
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 35,150 ratings
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54
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 55,705 ratings
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55
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 99,953 ratings
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56
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 134,044 ratings
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57
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 6,850 ratings
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58
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 20,758 ratings
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59
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 63,716 ratings
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60
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 21,155 ratings
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61
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 35,760 ratings
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62
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 12,244 ratings
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63
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 30,428 ratings
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64
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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48 avg rating — 48,409 ratings
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65
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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 15,631 ratings
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66
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 12,571 ratings
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67
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 10,153 ratings
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68
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 49,647 ratings
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69
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 208,922 ratings
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70
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 11,237 ratings
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71
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 9,120 ratings
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72
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 6,319 ratings
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73
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 9,667 ratings
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74
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 58,819 ratings
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75
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 23,781 ratings
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76
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 36,969 ratings
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77
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 28,732 ratings
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78
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 22,943 ratings
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79
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 47,032 ratings
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80
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 2,191 ratings
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81
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 8,989 ratings
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82
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 13,614 ratings
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83
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 9,617 ratings
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84
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 54,221 ratings
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85
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 2,330 ratings
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86
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 134,644 ratings
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87
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 5,769 ratings
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88
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 10,117 ratings
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89
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 12,780 ratings
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90
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 19,338 ratings
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91
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 3,282 ratings
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92
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 3,769 ratings
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93
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 7,115 ratings
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94
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 6,332 ratings
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95
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 29,288 ratings
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96
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 18,524 ratings
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97
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 110,360 ratings
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98
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 2,183 ratings
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99
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 10,069 ratings
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100
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 5,653 ratings
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580 books · 689 voters · list created June 13th, 2008 by deleted user.
58 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jessica 2168 books
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Nancy 3897 books
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Brandy 1000 books
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Ben 576 books
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Kara 406 books
63 friends
Allison 997 books
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Margaret 1201 books
755 friends
Jay 482 books
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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message 1: by Monika (new)

Monika Ingram night is on here twice


message 2: by Killthepopular (new)

Killthepopular One of the better decade lists. The stars my destination is the only book i had to add. Seems like the 60s is the all-time best decade for literature.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Long Day's Journey Into Night, though a superb play, doesn't belong on this list - it was written in the 40s.


message 4: by Killthepopular (new)

Killthepopular Removed Long day's journey into night and duplicate of Elie wiesels night.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Long Day's Journey Into Night back on - written published 1956.


message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson Best decade of the century when it comes to the perfect balance of mainstream classics like Catcher In The Rye, Lord Of The Flies, and art-driven pure literature classics like Invisible Man, On The Road and Lord Of The Rings


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson the 50's............when America's number one entertainment was reading. today it's blogs and TV.


message 8: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra There are multiple duplicate Lord of the Rings entries, both individual volumes and the entire trilogy.


message 9: by Frankania (new)

Frankania I read a sci-fi novel in 1963 that described a Long Island, NY community that was cut off from everything by an errant ray from outer space.

The interesting point was that the 3 or 4 thousand people developed their own govt. based on their needs and the reality of their situation.

What was the NAME of that novel??


message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Does anyone know a title of a book in which a character of the story was named Honey Shaw? My mother was named after the character but she doesn't know the title or authors name. I am assuming it is a Romance novel from the 1950s or earlier since my mom was born in 52. Any info would be appreciated!


message 11: by Ted (new)

Ted Selected stories of Chekhov - is this here because the collection was first published in the 50s? They sure weren't written then.


message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Ruedin Ted wrote: "Selected stories of Chekhov - is this here because the collection was first published in the 50s? They sure weren't written then."

No idea why it's on the 50s list.

All the stories in it were written and published in some form prior to 1904. However, these lists go by publication list, so it can be argued that the collection belongs in the decade list based on when it was first published in that form.

In which case, this still doesn't belong on this list because the edition that is on here was translated by a married couple who did not meet until the seventies when they began working together on translating books.

Regardless, it's coming off this list today as I can't find a single thing tying this book to 1950 for an original publication date including what is actually on the book entry and the Library of Congress listing.


message 13: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Ruedin Ted wrote: "Selected stories of Chekhov - is this here because the collection was first published in the 50s? They sure weren't written then."

Part of the problem might be that at some point some non-matching Anton Chekhov collections were merged. There are multiple collections of his which do not contain the same stories. I've seen this happen and have even (twice now) separated a book from others that were similar but not the same. Potentially a book which was published in the 50s was added to this list but then combined improperly with one that wasn't.


message 15: by Thania (new)

Thania H. The novel Flowers for Algernon should be removed because it was published in the sixties and can already be found on that decade's list of books.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Removed The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn: not published until 1973. (French and English translations: Volume 1 in 1974.)


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Thania wrote: "The novel Flowers for Algernon should be removed because it was published in the sixties and can already be found on that decade's list of books."
The original short story was published in 1959. The novel published in 1966 was an expanded version of this. In effect, it was published twice.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Removed Henry James' 'The Portrait of a Lady', published 1881.


message 19: by Noorilhuda (last edited Oct 24, 2014 12:20AM) (new)

Noorilhuda The list I've included contains 80-plus books featured as bestsellers of the decade by Publisher's Weekly. Some of which GR catalogue does not identify as occurring within the said period. Books such as The Foundling (Georgette Heyer), The Adventurer, The Robe (Douglas), The Following, The Wall (Long), The Wanderer (Leiber), Winthrop Woman (Seton) all cannot be included because of this reason.

'Advise and Consent' got Pulitzer in 1960.

And I cannot add great Pakistani / South-asian fiction from the time because they are posted according to latest Urdu editions of the works or English versions - that were published in recent years.


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 5 books removed.


message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Noorilhuda wrote: "The list I've included contains 80-plus books featured as bestsellers of the decade by Publisher's Weekly. Some of which GR catalogue does not identify as occurring within the said period. Books su..."
'Advise and Consent' was published in 1959, and won the Pulitzer the following year. It's correctly listed.


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Noorilhuda wrote: "The list I've included contains 80-plus books featured as bestsellers of the decade by Publisher's Weekly. Some of which GR catalogue does not identify as occurring within the said period. Books su..."
Books listed in these decade lists are included by virtue of their date of original publication, not by their presence on best-seller lists in later decades. For example, Douglas' 'The Robe' was first published in 1942, not during the 1950s, and so is excluded here.


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 2 books removed.


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