July 1, 2013

The Curious Reader - Have you ever read any book(s) published the year you were born?

Time to fess up, guys. Time to share how old you really are ...

Have you ever read any book(s) published the year you were born?

When you reach a certain age it's actually not all that easy to even come up with books that were published during a certain year, especially when that year was many many maaany decades ago. The good thing though about living in the present is that you simply have to google your way to the needed information, which is basically what I did, because honestly, I was pretty clueless as to whether I've even read anything that hit the bookstore in 1974. There, I said it, I am old.

Oldies but Goldies.

Actually my googling adventures took me straight to Goodreads, namely this page. After browsing through this list I came to the conclusion that a) there are a number of books with a familiar ring to them (well, at least I heard about them, ahem) and b) I haven't read a whole lot of the books on the list (like I said, I know some of the titles, I'm just not familiar with what's between the covers). Looking on the bright side, I am happy to announce that I did find a (small) handful which I did in fact read over the many many maaany years of my existence.

The first book that jumped out at me was The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Böll) a book we had to aka were forced to read back in high school. Admittedly I don't remember this one all that fondly - too dry and too intellectual for my taste, at least back when I was still a teenager, it was just one of many dull reads I had to plow through for school. It's still a miracle to me how all those mandatory reads didn't turn me off reading for good.

From the hazards of tabloid journalism to equally horrible prom nights.

The second book I read is one that many of might have read as well, or maybe you at least watched the movie. The books is Carrie (Stephen King) which is a true horror classic up to this day. And did you know it was, obviously, one of Mr. King's earliest novels too? Back then he actually wrote relatively short books.

Now, only mentioning two books might be a bit lame, but for the life of me I couldn't find any other on that list. Of course I could have googled away some more, but then again I wouldn't want to discourage you, my dear readers, by listing pages and pages of books that have been published the year I was born (and which I've read, as I should probably add).

When people start referring to certain books as classics, you're bound to feel old.

Have you read book(s) that came out the year you were born? If so, why not share the titles and whether you liked them or not! Or in case you haven't, are there any books as old as yourself which you'd like to read?

17 comments:

  1. Oh great question! Only one - The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer (historical romance) which I've actually read twice, but didn't like as much the second time around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Admittedly I haven't heard of this book before, but then again, I haven't heard of MANY of the books from my years' list either! :-)

      Delete
  2. This is a very interesting post, Birgit! I had no idea whether I read something published in... oh well, 1980, but I am taking a look now and it seems I read Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children, Dahl's The Twits and I am plannning to read Ryu murakami's Coin Locker babies :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Know the authors, never read the books, then again, I am a wee bit older than you are! It's kind of interesting though to look back on books as old as ourselves - kinda makes one feel old, but anyway. ;-)

      Delete
  3. I followed your lead and went with the GoodReads list of top 200 and these are the ones I've read from 1982.

    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    Ha!

    Like you, there are a lot of books that I've heard of os seen the film version (V for Vendetta), and this could be turned into a sort of nice challenge for the future...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A challenge ... now there's an idea! Not as though I wouldn't already have my hands (and shelves) full with books for other challenges already! ;-)

      Delete
  4. You might have better luck with the year I was born (1954) since that was when The Lord of the Rings trilogy was published. I've not tackled Tolkien but I've read at least a half dozen on the list, including How to Lie with Statistics LOL - actually a very interesting little book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's any comfort I haven't read Tolkien yet either and to be honest, I find the book on statistics a tad more interesting anyway! :-D

      Delete
  5. Oooh what a great feature...I hadn't seen that before on Goodreads. I have only read The Antipope by Robert Rankin from my year of birth (1981) or more unpopular books. I do have a few others on my TBR though including VALIS by Philip K. Dick which I may bumb up the list now I know that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well then it's time to dig through that TBR piles of yours! I might just have to go through my own list and see which books my age ;-) I want to read one day.

      Delete
  6. What a great feature!!

    So I am pretty sure that, from the year of my birth, I have read Night Shift by Stephen King. I read lots of his books when I first came to Austria and didn't do much except read books I found at any store selling English books. The selection was very poor back then compared to now.

    The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl was certainly one read to me in school. The author, like myself, is Welsh and we were read or made to read all of his books.

    Definitely read and love The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. Actually it is a book I really love and read to my Kindergarten kids each year at Christmas. I also show them the movie. They love it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So so true - I remember how hard it was to get English books 10+ years ago and I'd always drag home tons of books when on vacation in the US or UK.

      And funny how you also read a Stephen King novel from your birth year! :-)

      Delete
  7. I love goodreads! This really is useful. I've read about four of the top twenty in my year (1989) but that's purely coincidence :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay to that! Then of course, it might simply have been a good year for great books? Just teasing. ;-P

      Delete
  8. Great question. I consulted the GR list and wikipedia and came up with a few books published in 1967 that I read.

    Endless Night by Agatha Christie
    Rosemary's baby by Ira Levin
    The joke by Milan Kundera
    Morning's at seven by Eric Malpass (published in German that year)
    Tai Pan by James Clavell (published in German that year)

    Not too bad, actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's an impressive list and, so far, the longest of all the other folks who commented. I bet many of us would find even more books we read and simply don't know the publication year of, because the list might be good but certainly not complete. So, maybe I've actually read three books instead of two, ha.

      Delete
  9. I too had never given this any thought. Books published in 1976- Interview with the Vampire (have not and will not read), Roots (haven't read, didn't see the miniseries), A River Runs Through it and Other Stories (love the movie, didn't realize there was a book.. add that to the TBD pile), Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder (read it, own it), then there were two Judy Blume books: Blubber and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Read both. Guess I spend more time reading books older than me!

    ReplyDelete