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Literary anniversaries

This is a fun little exercise - seeing which books were published 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 150 years ago and so on. I've imposed arbitrary cut-offs based on LibraryThing ownership, which means that, for instance, we lose Brian Aldiss' The Primal Urge and Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat, but it's a diverse enough array as it is.

Which of these books first published in 1961 have you read?

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Solaris by Stanisław Lem
The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone (best-selling novel of the year in the USA)
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
A House for Mr.Biswas by V.S. Naipaul (1427)
El coronel no tiene quien le escriba/ No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel García Márquez
Les Damnés de la Terre / The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Thunderball by Ian Fleming
Katz und Maus / Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass

Which of these books first published in 1911 have you read?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Peter Pan (originally Peter and Wendy) by J. M. Barrie
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
The Story Girl by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Which of these books first published in 1861 have you read?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Отцы и дети / Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade
East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Wood

Which of these books first published in earlier years have you read?

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811)
Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist  (1811)
Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (1811)
Julie, ou, La nouvelle Héloïse / Julie or the new Eloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1761)
The King James Bible (1611)

I invite further discussion and recommendations (or dis-recommendations) in comments.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC)
To kick off: I read A House for Mr.Biswas, The Secret Garden and Sense and Senibility for the first time in 2010 (I think), and enjoyed all three in very different ways.

Of the ones I have not read, I am intrigued and interested by Black Like Me, and by the novels whose titles are eye-catching proper names - Franny and Zooey, Zuleika Dobson, East Lynne. It doesn't always work; I know nothing at all about Ethan Frome, but the title sounds awfully dull to me.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
Zuleika Dobson is a romp. Very funny. I have a spare I can post - I just replaced a paperback with a Folio Society edition, I like it that much - if you want. (LT can't find it in your library, so if you have a copy, ignore me.)
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Oooh, thanks! You have my co-ordinates I think? (Here if not.)
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
It'll take me a day or so to locate it (my referencing system broke when I moved house!) but I'll sort it out and send it in the next week. I suspect you have enough books to be getting on with in the mean time. ;-)
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
I second this - I must have read it somewhere about 1975, and remember enjoying it at the time.

It may be time for a reread.

(And oops, bellinghwoman just made our annual FS order, and it didn't include this.)

Nicholas: The Folio Society description.
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Do not bother with East Lynne; Mrs Henry Wood (not the wife of the Proms chap) wrote overwrought, melodramatic hamfisted Victoriana at its worst. Danesbury House is hilarious for all the wrong reasons, though.
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not clear whether you intended this to be in reply to me or just the post, but I'm one of the 6 who've read it already. And I read it voluntarily (albeit related to degree work), although I'm not sure I'd do so again.
Jan. 4th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Should have been posted in reply to Nicholas's original, the formatting got shot somewhere along the line.
Jan. 4th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
East Lynne is perhaps the prototypical Victorian melodrama. I haven't read the novel, but I have read the stage version, and it is astoundingly terrible.
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
I have heard two different radio adaptations of Biswas over the years (I think, definitely one, might've been a repeat), and loved it each time. For some reason never tried to get hold of th ebook.

Haven't read Garden or Giant Peach since I was a kid though.
Jan. 4th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
I read The Cloister and the Hearth as a teenager, and remember it as a wonderful romp through mediaeval/renaissance Europe, though the second half was somewhat less entertaining than the first.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
Difficult to say whether I've read the KJV. Not cover to cover, certainly— I've never read the major prophets in the KJV— so I said "no".
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
I got several books in, but oh dear, it is just so easy to start skipping, especially in the genealogies.
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have read the great majority of the Bible, but across various versions, and there are still sections that are just... well, dull would be an understatement (genealogies, but also some of the minor prophets like Hosea). So I didn't tick that either.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
I had no idea 'The Phantom Tollbooth' was so old! Mind you, I read it as a child, so it's probably not that surprising after all.

There are some interesting-sounding titles among those I haven't read - I think I'll be adding a few to my 'to read' list.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)
I also read it as a child. It must have been only a handful of years old then, given that it is younger than I am.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
For some reason, I am always under the impression that I am much younger than I actually am, hence the surprise! I would have read it in the 70s though, so it was already getting on a bit by then (well, by today's high-speed standards).
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
When I read the bible through I opted for the New English over the KJV.
Jan. 4th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
... and I read the New International Version, although when I'm actually studying it I usually have three or four different translations to hand.
Jan. 4th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Only Phantom of the Opera, although I did read the first chapter of Great Expectations for my English GCSE. It was less bad than Oliver Twist, and I probably ought to read more of it one day.
Jan. 4th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Just Catch-22, James and the Gaint Peach and Stranger in a Strange Land for me.
Jan. 4th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised Where the Red Fern Grows isn't scoring better, it was required reading in my elementary school. On the other hand, maybe that's a good thing - I always thought it was unfair to give such a traumatizing story to a group of pre-teens....

(here via friendsfriends)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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