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home : baby boomers : baby boomers July 22, 2014


7/19/2011 1:03:00 PM
Baby Boomers
2011: Our favorite books...or, tome-sweet-tome
Courtesy Rix Quinn
Courtesy Rix Quinn
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The kindergarten photo, 1959. Submitted by Pamela Morgan of Cottonwood.

We Boomers are a literary bunch. We learned to read early. And after we got older, lots of us read and watched television at the same time.

Many of us loved to read books about animals who displayed noble or human characteristics like Animal Farm, Charlotte’s Web, Peter Rabbit, Stuart Little, Black Beauty, and the Black Stallion.

We apparently enjoyed books in either a series or serial form. Boys enjoyed the Chip Hilton sports series or Hardy Boys mysteries. Girls enjoyed Little Men, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, the Nancy Drew detective books, and the Sue Barton series about nurses.

Many Boomers were drawn to action or mystery books.

Several enjoyed “coming of age” or “growing up” books like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and – a huge favorite among teens – Catcher in the Rye.

One mild surprise: Although we grew up in an era of space emphasis and exploration, the only “futuristic” novel chosen by a panel member was The Time Machine.

Since 50 Boomers were invited to join our focus group, we received lots of book recommendations. Here are a few books our group read and enjoyed, listed alphabetically:

Adventures of Mabel by Harry Thurston Peck

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

Amuse Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Bloom

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Stallion book series by Walter Farley

Bridge at Andau by James Michener

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Chip Hilton (sports book series) by Clair Bee

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther

Fail Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler

A Fairly Honorable Defeat by Iris Murdoch

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon

Helen Keller – “Anything about her. I thought she was amazing,” one Boomer wrote.

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar by Jules Verne

Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Once and Future King by T.H. White

Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Rebecca and the King’s General by Dame Daphne DuMaurier

Secret of the Old Clock – A Nancy Drew mystery.

Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright

Stuart Little, which was reportedly E.B. White’s first children’s story.

Sue Barton (nurse series) by Helen Dore Boylston

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain


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