Books: Fiction

The distinction of having written the year's best novel went to the old master, Ernest Hemingway. His The Old Man and the Sea was a beautifully conceived, tightly written fishing story in praise of man's courage and the nobility of nature. The story appeared in LIFE (circ. 5,325,447) and was a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection; that lost Hemingway a place on the top end of the bestseller list (which is compiled from bookstore sales), but it gave him the greatest immediate audience ever reached by a serious novelist.

The true bookseller's delight was Herman Wouk's The...

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