100 Years. 100 Books. October Update

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Well friends, I am getting close to the end of the year and the end of my reading project. I still have a ways to go, but I am confident I’ll make it. Here’s my October update:

  1. 1953 – Love Among the Ruins by Evelyn Waugh – a little odd, but a startling commentary on appearance and happiness.
  2. 1954 – The Magicians by J.B. Priestly – sex, drugs, and lies in the early corporate world.
  3. 1955 – Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – a cheerful, uplifting story about a boy and his vivacious aunt.
  4. 1956 – Peyton Place by Grace Metalious – sex, lies and betrayal in small-town America. The original Desperate Housewives.
  5. 1957 – On the Road by Jack Kerouac – as powerful today as it was in 1957.
  6. 1958 – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – not one of my favorites.
  7. 1959 – Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico – the lure of French couture…
  8. 1960 – Night by Elie Wiesel – the most powerful book I’ve read this year. The human experience at its most raw. Highly recommended.
  9. 1961 – Marnie by Winston Graham – deceitful girl + lonely widower = disaster.
  10. 1962 – The Moon Spinners by Mary Stewart – a lark after Night and Marnie. A young girl finds mystery and romance in Greece.
  11. 1963 – Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff – A King Arthur tale, sequel to The Lantern Bearers.
  12. 1964 – A Very Easy Death by Simone de Beauvoir – an account of the death of the author’s mother. Very difficult to read.
  13. 1965 – Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman – this reminded me of why I admire teachers and saddened me that little has changed in urban education since 1965.
  14. 1966 – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein – not my favorite, but then I have never really appreciated hard science fiction.
  15. 1967 – The Outsiders by S.e. Hinton – the seminal work of young adult fiction – a lot dated, but still a good read.
  16. 1968 – Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken – did early civilizations acquire technology from ancient astronauts? You decide…
  17. 1969 – I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury – short stories by one of the best American writers ever.
  18. 1970 – 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff – a poignant tale of two book lovers. Really enjoyed this one.
  19. 1971 – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – having only seen the movie, I was again reminded that books are Always Better. Scared the hell out of me.
  20. 1972 – An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James – Hard to believe this story came out in 1972. Early James and a very good mystery.
  21. 1973 – The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. Parker – Spenser. What more can I say?
  22. 1974 – Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi – a bone chilling inside look at Charles Manson and his “family.” The thought of one man having such power over people is terrifying.
  23. 1975 – Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters – the start of one of my favorite Mystery series – Amelia Peabody!
  24. 1976 – Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice – just as good today as it was in 1976. I’m sure Stephanie Meyer read this when she was a kid…
  25. 1977 – A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion – Could not finish this one. I was disappointed because I usually really like Didion’s work.
  26. 1978 – Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford – if even half of what Crawford writes about her mother is true, Joan Crawford was indeed batshit crazy.
  27. 1979 – Ghost Story by Peter Straub – one of the most terrifying horror stories I have ever read.
  28. 1980 – The Name of Rose by Umberto Eco – a good, solid mystery.

All in all, a good two months worth of reading. On the home stretch now….