Books that shaped a decade

So many of the books published in the 1940s remain on the bestsellers’ lists today – here’s a selection of titles that helped to shape a decade…

Outset Publishing

For the first half of the 1940s Britain was in the grip of war, followed, once the war ended, by years of austerity and hardship. So what about reading habits during those years? Was there still an attraction in the escapism offered by a good book? It seems the answer was ‘Yes’. Despite paper rationing, labour shortages and even the difficulties of censorship, people were still keen to read. Here is a snapshot of ten books published during the 1940s that – according to Goodreads – helped to shape that decade.

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  • For the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • A Tree…

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Published by Isabella Muir

Isabella is passionate about exploring family life from the 1930s through to the 1960s and beyond. She has published six Sussex Crime mystery novels set during the 1960s and 1970s, a standalone novel dealing with the child migrant policy of the 1950s and 60s, several novellas set during the Second World War, and two short story collections. All available in paperback from your local bookshops, or online as ebooks. Her novels are also available as audiobooks, and have been translated into Italian.

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