It's an ambitious challenge to meet, and it also illustrates several facts. First off, many of the older books are ones most people under 40 have never heard of; in some cases, they might not even have heard of the author. Second, John Grisham has sold one hell of a lot of books. Third, a lot of best sellers (especially those from the second half of the list) got made into movies.
On a personal level, it's interesting for me to see which of these best sellers I have read. Out of 94 books, these are the only 11 titles I have ever read:
|1918: The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey|
|1929: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque|
|1936: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell|
|1941: The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin|
|1952: The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain|
|1955: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk|
|1961: The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone|
|1966: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann|
|1970: Love Story by Erich Segal|
|1975: Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow|
|1985: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M.
The first book is interesting partly because the author's name is Winston Churchill, and although he was rich and famous in his time, he's not the Winston Churchill; he's not even English.
A final observation is that I have not read a book that was a best seller if it was published after 1985. I must be very out of step with the mainstream! Feel free to check the original post and report your count of best sellers read in a comment. I am wondering how I rate.