The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers in 1980

Let’s get in our time machine and travel back to 1980. In February, the U.S. Hockey Team defeated the USSR, in the “Miracle on Ice”. In May, Mount Saint Helens erupted, killing 57 people and spewing ash all over the Northwest (I’m old enough to remember the skim of ash on my Dad’s car.) Ronald Reagan was elected president, and the question on everyone’s mind was ‘Who Shot J.R.?”

Taking a look at the New York Times Best-Sellers for the week of January 27, 1980, we find a few authors who are still at the top of their game today. Check out one of these titles and see if it helps you remember what it was like, way back then…



1. Smiley’s People by John Le Carré

2. Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut

3. The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer

4. Triple by Ken Follett

5. Memories of Another Day by Harold Robbins

6. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

7. The Establishment by Howard Fast

8. The Top Of The Hill by Irwin Shaw

9. The Dead Zone by Stephen King

10. The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart



1. The Brethren by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong

2. Aunt Erma’s Cope Book by Erma Bombeck

3. White House Years by Henry Kissinger

4. The Pritikin Program by Nathan Pritikin (with Patrick M. Mcgrady, Jr.)

5. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

6. Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin

7. James Herriot’s Yorkshire by James Herriot

8. The Americans by Alistair Cooke

9. Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins

10. Serpentine by Thomas Thompson

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