America’s Favorite Authors of the 20th Century

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Who are the greatest American authors of all time? That list is extremely subjective, though it can be broken down a bit easier by focusing on some of America’s favorites from the 20th century, which is fairly easily deciphered based on best-selling lists. There are some books that had such an impact they managed to shape the country, according to the Library of Congress exhibition, The Books That Shaped America. A few include L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), Jack London’s The Call of the Wild (1903) and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind (1936). But are these authors some of America’s favorites of the century?

Jack London, 1876 – 1916

Jack London was a late 19th-century and early 20th-century American novelist and an innovator in what would later be known as science fiction. Of course, his most famous works include The Call of the Wild, set in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory during the Klondike Gold Rush, one of the books noted as shaping America. It was so popular that his story was adapted to film in 1935 in addition to other cinematic adaptations since. London wrote White Fang, published just a few years later in 1906 as a companion novel to his best-known work. He penned multiple short stories as well, like The Sea Wolf, a psychological adventure based in the San Francisco Bay Area which was also adapted for motion pictures.

Danielle Steel, 1947 –

One of the most renowned American fiction authors of all time, in 2011, Forbes reported that Danielle Steel’s novels had spent more than 390 consecutive weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, with 22 adapted for television. Best known for romance and drama, though she’s also written children’s books and poetry, all of her novels have been bestsellers. Her work has been translated into 28 languages and has readers in some four dozen countries across the globe. In 2016, Business Insider ranked her wealth at $15 million.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922 – 2007

Often ranked among America’s top authors of all time, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s works like Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and especially, the darkly satirical, best seller Slaughterhouse-Five, has made him a favorite among readers. Born and raised in Indianapolis, the city honored his wit and wisdom by creating the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, a fantastic cultural and education resource. If you plan on moving to the city, you may be able to find an ideal place near the institution among the many condos for sale in Indianapolis, allowing you to take advantage of it anytime you like.

Vonnegut published 14 novels, five non-fiction works, and three short story collections during his lifetime and was also known for his humanist beliefs. When he died in 2007, the New York Times headline referred to him as the “counterculture’s novelist.”

Stephen King, 1947 –

While some have questioned whether King is actually a “great” writer, there is no doubt that he’s one of the most popular authors of the 20th century and beyond. One of the best-selling authors of all time, his horror, supernatural, suspense, fantasy and sci-fi books have sold over 350 million copies, many of which have been made into TV series, miniseries and films. In the four decades or so since his first novel, Carrie, he’s published more than 50 books, all of which have been international bestsellers. There are over 100 television programs and films based on his work to date, and at the age of 70, he still shows no signs of slowing down.

LisaLisa

My name is Lisa and my husband Carl, and I are the owners of the Night Helper Blog. We have been married for over 30 years and we have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies and of course blogging. The Night Helper blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands.

17 thoughts on “America’s Favorite Authors of the 20th Century

  • June 9, 2018 at 2:51 pm
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    I’ve read all these authors and I was surprised at #2. I like her books, so that’s ok, I was just surprised!

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  • June 5, 2018 at 11:14 pm
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    I know 2 and couldnt agree more, a huge favourite in my book world thats for sure! I will check out the others.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 9:57 pm
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    Out of this list, I have read Danielle Steele and Stephen King. My favourite is Danielle Steele. Have not read the others, need to catch up.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 4:14 pm
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    I have read books from all of these authors except Jack London. I love reading and usually have my nose in a book. I will definitely be looking for his books next time I’m at the library.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm
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    I’ve only really heard of two of those Authors. I’ve actually never read any of Mr Stephen Kings Books though.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 12:14 pm
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    These are all great authors with Stephen Kind being my favorite. I used to live in the same town as he does a few years ago. =)

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  • June 5, 2018 at 8:51 am
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    I know 2 of the 4 at least~! I cannot read King, way too intense for me.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 7:00 am
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    I think it’s safe to say that they are all amazing authors and that their books are proof. I’ll always like Stephen King for his storytelling.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 4:12 am
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    I remember reading Call of the Wild when I was in High School. It’s been ages since I’ve read Stephen King!

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  • June 5, 2018 at 12:28 am
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    I guess the only one I’m really familiar with is Stephen King. I should probably read more books.

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  • June 5, 2018 at 12:05 am
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    There are so many great authors to choose from. It can be very hard to pick just a few!

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  • June 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    What a great list of authors! I need to share this with my brother who is a high school english teacher, I think his students could find it useful!

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  • June 4, 2018 at 7:40 pm
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    Great list! I really enjoy Steven King and have since I was in college. I love the suspense and the easy reading in those books.

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  • June 4, 2018 at 11:46 am
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    The Call of the Wild is such a classic book. I’m an avid reader and I’ve read books by all of these authors.

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  • June 4, 2018 at 11:37 am
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    Great roundup! I read some Stephen King stories when I was in high school, but I think I have seen all the movies of his to date 🙂

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  • June 4, 2018 at 10:41 am
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    Thanks for this reminder! I loved reading Kurt Vonnegut, and I love when I see my son now picking up books I read at his age. It would be great if I cold get him into a Stephen King book as well!

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