Books: The Year in Books

What would it profit a man to have read the bestselling books of 1953?

From the novels, he would soon have learned that good literary taste is not what keeps bookstores in business. Nearly half the big moneymakers were historical novels running the short gamut from the trashy to the commonplace, strong on sex, sadism and sometimes even history, but woefully weak as writing. There were a few well-carpentered time killers by such canny old hands as A. J. Cronin and James Hilton, an occasional thoughtful and readable story—James Michener's The Bridges at Toko-ri,...

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