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Books of 1963, 1913, 1863 and 1813

For several Januaries past, I did a poll of books celebrating their 50th, 100th, 150th etc birthdays in that particlar year. I realised that I had forgotten to do it this year, but there is time to put that right. The books below are ranked by the number of people who have rated them on Goodreads, which has flagged up some interesting cultural points which I would not otherwise have been aware of. However I expect that the top book from 1813 will pwn the rest.

Which of these books first published in 1963 have you read?

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
75(6.2%)
The Bell Jar by "Victoria Lucas" (Sylvia Plath)
35(2.9%)
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
52(4.3%)
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
26(2.1%)
The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing by Edward Gorey
31(2.6%)
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
36(3.0%)
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré
51(4.2%)
The Collector by John Fowles
21(1.7%)
V. by Thomas Pynchon
17(1.4%)
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
19(1.6%)
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
29(2.4%)
Hopscotch (Rayuela) by Julio Cortázar
1(0.1%)
Planet of the Apes (La Planète des Singes) by Pierre Boulle
23(1.9%)
Stormy, Misty's Foal by Marguerite Henry
18(1.5%)
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
13(1.1%)
Quatrains / Ruba'iyat (رباعيات صلاح جاهين) by Salah Jahin
2(0.2%)
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
5(0.4%)
The Clocks by Agatha Christie
24(2.0%)
Around the World in 200 Days ( حول العالم في 200 يوم) by Anis Mansour
0(0.0%)
The Clown ( Ansichten eines Clowns) by Heinrich Theodor Böll
6(0.5%)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
40(3.3%)
Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein
43(3.6%)
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea ( 午後の曳航) by Yukio Mishima
7(0.6%)
Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
29(2.4%)
Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era by Sterling North
4(0.3%)
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
1(0.1%)
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt
5(0.4%)
I Am David by Anne Holm
28(2.3%)
The Grifters by Jim Thompson
7(0.6%)
Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein
41(3.4%)
Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein
2(0.2%)
The Graduate by Charles Webb
7(0.6%)
Men in the Sun (رجال في الشمس by Ghassan Kanafani
0(0.0%)
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
26(2.1%)
Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof
4(0.3%)
Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith
7(0.6%)
The Castafiore Emerald by Hergé
35(2.9%)
Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean
29(2.4%)
Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
11(0.9%)
A Mind To Murder by P.D. James
14(1.2%)
The Moon by Night by Madeleine L'Engle
18(1.5%)
Five Are Together Again by Enid Blyton
31(2.6%)
Marcovaldo (Marcovaldo ovvero Le stagioni in città) by Italo Calvino
3(0.2%)
The Words (Les Mots) by Jean-Paul Sartre
2(0.2%)
Caravans by James A. Michener
4(0.3%)
Asterix and the Goths (Astérix et les Goths) by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
51(4.2%)
Marat/Sade (Die Verfolgung und Ermordung Jean Paul Marats dargestellt durch die Schauspielgruppe des Hospizes zu Charenton unter Anleitung des Herrn de Sade) by Peter Weiss
9(0.7%)
The Concubine by Norah Lofts
3(0.2%)
False Colours by Georgette Heyer
22(1.8%)
It's Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville
8(0.7%)
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter
2(0.2%)
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
25(2.1%)
Stig of the Dump by Clive King
49(4.0%)
The Yage Letters by William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg
3(0.2%)
The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
10(0.8%)
The Game-Players of Titan by Philip K. Dick
27(2.2%)
Bride of Pendorric by "Victoria Holt" (Eleanor Hibbert)
8(0.7%)
The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen
2(0.2%)
The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian by Shelby Foote
5(0.4%)
The Making of the English Working Class by E.P. Thompson
15(1.2%)
The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis
23(1.9%)
The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West
8(0.7%)
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
24(2.0%)
Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
34(2.8%)

And which of these books first published in 1913 have you read?

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
45(17.2%)
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
36(13.7%)
Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann) by Marcel Proust
14(5.3%)
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
12(4.6%)
The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
22(8.4%)
The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
7(2.7%)
The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum
35(13.4%)
Le Grand Meaulnes (The Lost Estate) by Alain-Fournier
9(3.4%)
Totem and Taboo by Sigmund Freud
5(1.9%)
The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
20(7.6%)
Petersburg ( Петербург) by Andrei Bely
0(0.0%)
The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery
19(7.3%)
The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley
5(1.9%)
Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter
6(2.3%)
Alcools by Guillaume Apollinaire
1(0.4%)
The Star Rover by Jack London
9(3.4%)
When William Came by "Saki" (H.H. Monro)
17(6.5%)

Have you read any of these books first published in 1863?

Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne
24(25.0%)
The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley
54(56.2%)
The Cossacks (Казаки) by Leo Tolstoy
2(2.1%)
Romola by George Eliot
8(8.3%)
Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell
8(8.3%)

And the same for 1813?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
84(96.6%)
Peter Schlemihl (Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte) by Adalbert von Chamisso
3(3.4%)
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason by Arthur Schopenhauer
0(0.0%)


I'd be very interested to hear recommendations in comments. (I'll start with my own.)

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
nwhyte
Apr. 22nd, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
I've definitely read Where the Wild Things Are, Cat's Cradle, Hop on Pop, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold , Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, Planet of the Apes, Glory Road, Way Station, I Am David, Podkayne of Mars, The Castafiore Emerald, Ice Station Zebra, Asterix and the Goths, Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, Stig of the Dump, The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Shoes of the Fisherman, Puckoon, Sword at Sunset, Sons and Lovers, Swann's Way, When William Came, Five Weeks in a Balloon and of course Pride and Prejudice. I think I've read The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which is apparently the most memorable of Gorey's alphabet books.

1963 strikes me a a vintage year: Cat's Cradle, Hop on Pop, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold , The Castafiore Emerald and Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, are all surely among their respective authors' very best. I also have particularly fond memories of Way Station, I Am David, The Shoes of the Fisherman, Puckoon and Sword at Sunset. The two Heinleins are lesser works, but from the end of the period when he was still writing good stuff.

I will be interested to seee if anyone except me has actually read When William Came (Germans invade England) and Five Weeks in a Balloon (which I failed to give its original title, Cinq semaines en ballon; mad British scientist with faithful manservant crosses Africa by hot air).

And I will be astonished if Pride and Prejudice doesn't top this poll by quite a long way.
mair_aw
Apr. 22nd, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
I haven't /read/ Five Weeks in a Balloon, but I listened to about half the audiobook in French. Then I got distracted by German or something.

(Deleted comment)
yea_mon
Apr. 23rd, 2013 02:26 am (UTC)
Stig
Stig of the Dump was required reading in my primary school in the mid 70s, if that holds for the rest of the UK then its position is not surprising
bibliofile
Apr. 23rd, 2013 07:13 am (UTC)
You can tell that the Americans are checking in: Pride & Prejudice is now neck-and-neck with Where the Wild Things Are instead. The latter perhaps being required reading for all English speaking children; Stig of the Dump is a new title to me.

There were a few titles I may have read but can't recall for sure (Podkayne of Mars, the Burroughs, the Holt, the Heyer, the Verne). I would have read them before I was 21, some possibly even when I was barely in double digit ages.
gareth_rees
Apr. 22nd, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
George Eliot's Romola is a tour-de-force of literary research: the author convincingly recreates the Florence of Savonarola through massive accretion of detail (the opening sentences to Adam Bede would be even more appropriate here: "With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is what I undertake to do for you, reader"), However, the love-triangle plot never quite lives up to the historical fireworks.

Elizabeth Gaskell's Sylvia's Lovers contains a fascinating reconstruction of life in and around Whitby (under the very light disguise of "Monkshaven") around the turn of the 19th century. The plot builds character intricately and slowly to set up a series of intertwined personal tragedies. (But my wife and I have a long-standing disagreement as to which of the characters bears most of the moral blame!) Like several of Gaskell's novels, it has a slightly rushed ending.

Jack London's The Star Rover is bizarre. There's a framing story (an exposé of torture in California's prison system), and a series of visions experienced by the narrator: some are more interesting than others but they never quite build up to any kind of thematic whole. But you might find it worth reading as an example of proto-science fiction.

Edited at 2013-04-22 08:57 pm (UTC)
jeffreyab
Apr. 23rd, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
I have seen the movie version of "Five Weeks in a Balloon" staring Red Buttons but have not read the book.

ailbhe
Apr. 23rd, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
I haven't read the Scarry because we didn't have Scarry in our house if we could avoid it; my mother found the sexism almost unbearable, and now people have given some to my daughters I quite understand why!
inuitmonster
Apr. 24th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
That is funny, in a sad way, as I remember reading that Scarry made all the characters animals to make them appealing to children of different races and ethnicities, so he was vaguely progressive in one direction if not in others.
inuitmonster
Apr. 24th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
I have "When William Came" in a combined edition with "The Battle of Dorking", which was apparently the first of the GERMANS INVADE ENGLAND books. However I have only read "The Battle of Dorking", which is great.
mizkit
Apr. 22nd, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
I erred on the side of probability with THE GOLDEN ROAD, because I've read most of Montgomery although I don't *specifically* remember that one, but I made up for it by erring on the side of caution with FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON and THE WATER BABIES, both of which I *think* I've read but I might be making that up. :)
arwel_p
Apr. 22nd, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, I read When William Came a few decades ago when. was I had a phase of reading alternate histories etc.
shana
Apr. 22nd, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
False Colours is one of my favorite Heyers, but I'm a sucker for stories about twins, and it's the only one on the list I've reread in the last decade. I read a LOT during my student years, but my reading time took a major downturn when my commute became driving rather than public tranportation.
tree_and_leaf
Apr. 22nd, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
I rather enjoyed "O Pioneers!", but it's overwrought in places and not as good as "Death Comes for the Archbishop".
bibliofile
Apr. 23rd, 2013 07:15 am (UTC)
I'd suggest that Cather on a bad day still wrote better than most. I aim to read all of her books eventually.
tree_and_leaf
Apr. 23rd, 2013 09:00 am (UTC)
Well, that's certainly true.
girfan
Apr. 22nd, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
I read When William Came because a lot of the Saki I found for the Kindle was free and I like a lot of his writings.


I love Yukio Mishima, though the book on your list isn't my favourite one of his.

owlfish
Apr. 22nd, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
I've seen Marat/Sade, but never read it.
inuitmonster
Apr. 24th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
best thing to do with plays.
houseboatonstyx
Apr. 23rd, 2013 06:43 am (UTC)
Chesterton said that some people seemed to be under the impression that they had read THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. That might apply to THE WATER BABIES, as there were many abridged versions.
bibliofile
Apr. 23rd, 2013 07:20 am (UTC)
Oh, and I've been meaning to read The Making of the English Working Class for years now, ever since MKS et al. talked about it ten or more years ago.

I'd suggest The Feminine Mystique for anyone who wants a thorough introduction to the wave of feminism that spread through the '50s, '60s, and '70s. It's US centric, but oh the questions are all there.
coth
Apr. 23rd, 2013 07:58 am (UTC)
I've read about 27 or 28 out of the 50 in 1963. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but nothing really springs out to me as something you must read now. Except possibly The Feminine Mystique which may survives on historical and political grounds. Stig of the Dump is a children's classic (but I preferred King's The 22 Letters which is a fictional creation of the alphabet). Sword at Sunset was one of the great books of my adolescence and a personal favourite here - Rosemary Sutcliffe is on my 'must reread lots' list. I remember all the sf titles fondly, but none of them are the book you must read by Heinlein, Dick, Simak, etc.

I see I'm still the only person to have claimed Marcovaldo so far - but I read it on my way through all of Calvino in my early twenties, and it must have been from the library because those I owned are still on my shelves. I remember nothing about it, alas.

8 out of 25 from 1913: I'm still working my way through Cather, and enjoyed O, Pioneers!.

And then the Kingsley and the Austen, with the Gaskell on my 'to be read' list.

Thank you - I enjoy you doing this.

Edited at 2013-04-23 07:59 am (UTC)
inuitmonster
Apr. 24th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
I have read the Marat-Sade and seen the film of it but never caught a stage production of it. Reading plays is a vastly inferior experience to witnessing them being performed; even the film is a bit of a let-down.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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