1915 Bestsellers: A Conversation with Linda Aragoni
What was your favorite book from 1915?
When I wrapped up my reviews of the 1915 bestsellers, I chose The Turmoil by Booth Tarkington and The Harbor by Earnest Poole as the best of the 1915 bestsellers. Each provides a window into America's transformation from the horsepower age to the motor age. And each was followed in a couple years by another novel on the same theme that won the author a Pulitzer Prize for literature.
It's embarrassing to admit that my favorite book from 1915 is one that's a lightweight: Angela's Business by Henry Sydnor Harrison. Its a quirky novel about a would-be novelist who tries hard to be one of the trendsetters but discovers what he truly believes in are traditional values from his grandparents' age.
Do you think modern audiences would enjoy any of the 1915 bestsellers?
Any other comments about the 1915 list?
The bestsellers from 1915 don't include any that I'd buy for my permanent library. Even the best of them are one-time reads.
Have you already started in on the 1916 bestsellers? Anything to look forward to?
I've finished the 1916 bestsellers. In fact, I've read all the 1910-1919 lists for a collection of reviews the Great War era novels which I hope to publish next year.
Two novels on the 1916 list get my A rating: The Real Adventure by Henry Kitchell Webster and Life and Gabriella: The Story of a Woman's
Courage by Ellen
Glasgow. They are stories of the marriages of two very different--but very
gutsy--women at a time when women's roles were very rigidly set by society. Both
are available at Project Gutenberg.