Bestsellers of the 1930s
The Talking Books service was launched in 1935 we have a look at a
selection of bestseller charts at the time:
Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley
Braille 7v; TB 1755
Following the misfortunes of a group of lower-class clerical workers. To their
dingy City of London premises descends a rapacious financial predator,
threatening ruin for them all.
Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole
Braille 7v; TB 1671
The tale of Francis Herries, a violent and impetuous man, a faithless
husband and a capricious father.
The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe
Adventures and experiences of a Swedish doctor and of the beautiful house
and garden he built on the island of Capri.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
O-lan, a servant girl, marries the peasant Wang Lung, and toils tirelessly
reward at first is meagre, but there is sustenance in the land - until the famine
Shadows on the Rock, Willa Cather
Braille 4v; TB 5546
At the end of the 17th century, a French family, the Auclairs, begin a new life
in Quebec. On her mother's death, Cecile is entrusted with the care of the
household and of her father Euclid, the town's apothecary.
Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche
Braille 7v; TB 864
The further adventures of Finch, now grown to manhood and of all his family.
Maid in Waiting by John Galsworthy
Braille 4v; TB 14194
Final volume of The Forsyte Saga. The lives and loves of the Cherrell family
during the 1930s which bring uncertainty in a world of rapidly altering morals
Sons by Pearl S. Buck
Follows the "Good Earth"
Inheritance by Phyllis Bentley
A family saga set in the West riding of Yorkshire, spanning the period from
the early 19th century to the 1920s.
Ann Vickers by Sinclair Lewis
Ann Vickers, throws herself into social work, eventually meeting an equally
free-thinking jurist, Barney Dolphin, who's estranged from his wife and under
investigation for corruption. Ann and he begin an affair and have a child just
as he's indicted. Can they flaunt convention and find happiness?
The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Braille 5v; TB 865
The story continues with Renny as the head of the family.
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
Braille 1v; TB 833
Goodbye Mr Chips is the story of Mr Charles Chipping, known to everyone as
Mr Chips, as he looks back over his long career.
Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder
A picture of an American travelling salesman whose view of life is so naive
that trouble meets him wherever he goes.
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul, his deputy, a missionary
and an American financer find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped
mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden
community where they are welcomed, the mysterious city of Shangri-La.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence
Classic autobiography features an account of the Arab revolt against the
Turks during World War 1, encompassing gross acts of cruelty and revenge,
through which Lawrence weaves rich character portraits, philosophical
observations and insights into his own complex personality.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Braille 24v; TB 15050
Set in Georgia at the time of the Civil War, this is the story of headstrong
Scarlett O'Hara, her three marriages and her determination to keep her
father's property of Tara, despite the vicissitudes of war and passion.
It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
Braille 8 vols
The Thinking Reed by Rebecca West
Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley
In middle life, Anthony Beavis discovers that the philosophical freedom which
he has fought so hard to win is a poor copy of the real liberty he has been
The Citadel by A. J. Cronin
Braille 8v; TB 1522
When newly-qualified doctor Andrew Manson takes up his first post with a
Welsh mining community he is full of idealism and enthusiasm. However, he
finds that the reality of practising medicine in primitive conditions very
different from the theory, and he makes enemies as well as friends.
The Years by Virginia Woolf
Braille 5v; TB 3178
A chronicle of the Pargiter family from 1880, containing many vivid
evocations of London life at the time.
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Braille 2v; TB 9501
Lennie has the strength of two men but the mind of a child, and he relies on
George to steer him through life.
The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield
Braille 2v; TB 1462
The lives of Indians and Europeans are transformed by a tremendous flood in
an isolated Indian state. Hindus and Moslems, Brahmins and Untouchables,
western missionaries and British colonial bureaucrats, the famous novelist
brings to life the social conditions of the last decade of the British Raj.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Braille 8v; TB 7717
This book is intended to help people to improve their skills in communication
so that they make new friends, increase their popularity and influence, and
improve their ability to handle pressure situations in dealing with other
My Son, My Son! by Howard Spring
Two fathers have two sons. The boys grow up in friendship, the years
gradually dividing them as their fathers' plans materialise, until one dies at
the hand of the other, and the survivor, morally destroyed by what he has
done, goes inevitably to his doom.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Braille 9v; giant print 4v; TB 15809
Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca's future looks bleak
until she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden
proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from
glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new
Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife
Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.
Madame Curie by Eve Curie
The story of the poor girl from Poland who worked her way to the Paris
Sorbonne, and became the brilliant physicist who, with her husband,
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Braille 8v; giant print 6v; TB1354
Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant
life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to
travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes,
thwarted desires and broken dreams.
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupéry
The author was a pioneer airline pilot in the 1930's, and in this classic book
he describes some of his experiences.
Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler
TB 15772 (2 discs)
An insight into one of the greatest evil geniuses of the last century; his
political ideals, his beliefs and motivation, and his struggle to consolidate
Germany into one great nation, and a Nazi-Third Reich.