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

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read