Friday, January 13, 2012

Retro Reading: Two Fabulous Links

Billy Parrott, an NYPL librarian, has a fabulous post about what Sally Draper would have been reading in 1964-65.   I have to agree with the commenters who suggested Marjorie Morningstar, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (two of my favorites!), Peyton Place,  and the works of e.e. cummings  and Rachel Carson.

Today Betsy Bird has a follow-up post with a challenge to identify what Sally is actually reading in photographic stills from the Mad Men TV Show.

Go, check them both out and add your thoughts!


  1. I enjoyed your links and all the commenter's ideas. Two books that came to my mind were 'Catcher in the Rye' which might have piqued her curiosity by 1964 (especially if it were on her parent's bookshelf) and the British author, Rumer Godden's novels. Rumer wrote some of the best teen fiction around in the 50's and 60's and The Greengage Summer (called The Loss of Innocence in the US) was made into a movie in 1961.

    AND, I wonder if she would've discovered Daphne du Maurier by then? I remember hoovering up her novels as a young teen even though they were written decades earlier. 'Rebecca', 'Jamaica Inn' and Maurier's short stories, 'The Birds' and 'Don't Look Now' still rank as a few of my all time favorites. Hitchcock had made the movies by 1964, too.

    Thanks for getting me to reminisce! Some older fiction has really stood the test of time.

  2. These are great ideas, too! I only know Rumer Godden from her books about dolls for a slightly younger audience but you are the second person to mention her teen fiction to me - I'll have to check it out. And I love du Maurier's Rebecca!

  3. Thanks for sharing these links - I so enjoyed reading all the comments on Parrot's post. I especially agree with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In one of his replies, he mentions how interesting it would be to see a 7th grade reading list from then, and wow - wouldn't it be?

  4. Interesting. I read Marjorie Morningstar much earlier than 64. Ditto for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Peyton Place was written in the fifties and I never wanted to read it. My third father was one of those Mad Men and we lived in the model for Peyton Place.
    I think she would have been reading Candy by Terry Southern and Happiness Is a Dry Martini - Johnny Carson

    Here are some best sellers from 64:
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John Le Carrre
    Candy - Terry Southern, Mason Hoffenberg
    Herzog - Saul Bellow
    Armageddon - Leon Uris
    The Man - Irving Wallace
    The Rector of Justin - Louis Auchincloss
    The Martyred - Richard E. Kim
    You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming
    and from 1965"
    tion Best Sellers
    The Source - James A. Michener
    Up the Down Staircase - Bel Kaufman
    Herzog - Saul Bellow
    The Green Berets - Robin Moore
    Those Who Love - Irving Stone
    The Man with the Golden Gun - Ian Fleming
    Hotel - Arthur Haileyy

    Nonfiction Best Sellers
    How to Be a Jewish Mother - Dan Greenburg
    A Gift of Prophecy - Ruth Montgomery
    Games People Play - Eric Berne, M.D.
    Word Aflame - Billy Graham
    Happiness Is a Dry Martini - Johnny Carson
    Markings - Dag Hammarskjold
    My Shadow Ran Fast - Bill Sands
    Kennedy - Theodore C. Sorenson
    The Making of the President, 1964 - Theodore H. White