Books: Get a read on baby boomers with these 10 selections

  • Monday, January 27, 2014 3:04pm
  • Life

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger (1951): Slang-slinging Holden Caulfield is the original alienated teen in this masterpiece foreshadowing the youthquake of the 1960s.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (1960): In a Depression-era Alabama town ripped apart by racism during a rape trial, 8-year-old Scout Finch watches her attorney father, Atticus, stand up for what’s right.

“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller (1961): Parallel insanities — battle and bureaucracy — dovetail in this antiwar jeremiad, which also gave us the ultimate no-win phrase. (The book’s original title was Catch-18; can you imagine?)

“The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan (1963): This landmark work awakened millions of housewives to “the problem that has no name,” a nagging sense of incompletion.

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley” (1964): A searing narrative filled with pain and resolve, this bestseller opened the eyes of white readers to the black experience in America.

“Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann (1966): Three young women rise to the top of the brutal entertainment biz, only to find themselves seduced by pills (“dolls”) and abused by men.

“The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe (1969): The white-suited crown prince of the New Journalism created this unforgettable portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters and some long, strange trips of the 1960s.

“The Godfather” by Mario Puzo (1969): This tale of family love and loyalty among mafiosi hooked the readers of a nation riven by social and cultural change.

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach (1970): Slim allegory about selfless seagull takes flight, becomes international sensation.

“Love Story” by Erich Segal (1970): A rich Harvard jock falls hard for a working-class Radcliffe pianist in a tear-jerking tragedy with a catchy takeaway: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Deirdre Donahue, AARP Media

More in Life

Get tricked out in your Halloween best

Thrift stores can dress up you and your ghoul-friends.

How to find owls in Washington

Searching for owls in Discovery Park with wildlife photographer Paul Bannick.

Music in the mountains: ‘It’s a weather-dependant hobby’

Anastasia Allison of the Musical Mountaineers reflects on making music at the summits.

Jaw fragment, bloody shirt and stranger things in Everett

The Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room is a treasure trove of oddities.

Acura adds A-Spec model to superb handling TLX in 2018

In an already comfortable and refined interior for all TLX models, the A-Spec embellishes all of it.

Hundreds of ways to pamper your home and yourself

Find fancy fridges to sparkling jewelry under one roof at home and gift shows in Everett.

Self-esteem is important, and it’s not the same as net worth

Having it all doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Self-worth is the most important kind of wealth.

Living with Children: Shift in paradigm derailed child-rearing

By John Rosemond / Tribune News Service I am sometimes asked if… Continue reading

Most Read