1968 club – and the next club!

Wow, another club week finished, and a great response! Many thanks to everybody who participated – it was great to see new people join in, and others return to the fun. I’ve rounded up 62 reviews – let me know if I’ve missed yours.

What have I learned about 1968? From my own reading, that almost all the authors begin with B (I read Baker, Bielenberg, Bainbridge, Bell, and Bedford) – but also how little I knew about the period. In all our other clubs, I’ve recognised most of the authors’ names even if I haven’t read them. But this time SO many names were new to me.

Quite a lot of us read authors who were in the middle or the end of their writing careers, and it’s intriguing to see the old mores just about clinging on (albeit with the odd modern reference thrown in) against those – like Atwood and Bainbridge, say – who were part of a new generation. Genre fiction was starting to become more popular, or at least more available, and a whole bunch of non-fiction was ready to assess the significant events of the early 20th century.

It’s been fascinating!

And now onto the next club – we’ll be doing the 1970s, probably next April, and after that we’ll go back to the 1920s and start again. The 1980s feels somehow too recent to be treated to a club year – and I’m getting nostalgia for my club comfort zones!

But when in the 1970s? Like last time, we’ll do it based on votes in the comments. Let us know which 1970s year we should choose, and why, and we’ll pick the most popular. And thanks again to my co-conspirator Karen!

20 thoughts on “1968 club – and the next club!

  • November 6, 2017 at 8:26 am
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    Any year from the 70s is fine with me because I have books to read for every year of the decade, and both male and female authors for most of them.
    Thanks for hosting:)

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  • November 6, 2017 at 8:56 am
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    Well done all of us – what a lovely variety!

    For the 1970s, I’d like 1970, 1973 or 1979, because those are the years I’m still missing in my long-term Reading A Century project!

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  • November 6, 2017 at 9:19 am
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    A most enjoyable event. Many thanks for co-hosting everything, Simon. I know how much time and effort goes into these things. Like Liz, I was struck by the diversity – a fascinating cross-section of the culture at that time.

    As for the 1970s, I don’t have a particular reference – just go with your own instincts once you’ve reviewed the responses.

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  • November 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm
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    It’s been such fun, hasn’t it Simon? And thank you for getting the ball rolling by coming up with the idea and asking me to co-host! :)

    1968 has been such a wide-ranging year that it will be interesting to see what comes out of the 1970s. I’m not going to express a preference but I hope that there will be a Richard Brautigan book in the year that’s voted for so that I can get to one of his works! :)

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  • November 6, 2017 at 3:41 pm
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    I would like to suggest 1977, as it is the year of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Kingdoms of Elfin, as far as I know the last book she published while she was alive. Barbara Pym also published Quartet in Autumn that year.

    Wikipedia’s list of fiction from that year includes a number of authors familiar from the mid-century comfort zone (e.g. Iris Murdoch) as well as a few who are still publishing today (George R. R. Martin.)

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  • November 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm
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    I couldn’t participate in 1968, but I’ll try my best for whatever year you decide on for next time. I don’t have a preference, but I agree that the 1980s feels too recent.

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  • November 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm
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    Thanks for the round-up, Simon. It’s been a great week. I’m going to cast a (slightly selfish) vote for 1979 because that’s the year I was born and I’d love to see a round-up of books published then. Looking forward to it whatever though!

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  • November 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm
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    Thanks Simon. Thanks Karen. I find these year based challenges fun and it’s certainly interesting seeing what others pick to read—I still haven’t read everyone’s yet.

    I don’t really have a strong favourite year for the ’70s but would probably prefer a year near the end of the decade, say 1978 or 1979. Either way I’ll join in.

    Just a couple of comments regarding future dates: why not do an ’80s date after the ’70s? Why go back to the ’20s? Why not include earlier dates? Although we’ve gone through the years chronologically so far why don’t we take a more erratic route in future?

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  • November 7, 2017 at 3:21 am
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    I couldn’t make it this time due to work obligations and am sad about it. I wanted to read Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

    Any year in the 1970s is OK with me. I think this will be very interesting to see what everyone comes up with so close to the end of the 20th century!

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  • November 7, 2017 at 8:35 am
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    The 1970s are a tough decade for me, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something! And I agree about the 1980s, but I wouldn’t mind going back to the 1910s or even the 1900s!

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  • November 7, 2017 at 9:47 am
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    A few suggestions for the seventies:
    1970 – French Lieutenant’s Woman – Fowles
    1972 – Odd Girl Out – Elizabeth Jane Howard
    or
    1977 – The Women’s Room – Marilyn French

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  • November 7, 2017 at 4:36 pm
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    I would like to know why you never choose another century ?

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    • November 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm
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      Partly blatant favouritism – I run it for the decades I like best – and partly because the rise of mass-publishing in the 1920s helped produce a lot more titles for the rest of the century; there are more options up for grabs.

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  • November 7, 2017 at 10:04 pm
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    Hi Simon,

    1977 appeals for some reason. Or no real reason, rather.

    I quite fancy reading the 80s too – maybe I should set myself that as a challenge for next year.

    Victoria

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  • November 8, 2017 at 9:26 am
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    Another vote here for the 1980’s – I think we might be surprised at how far attitudes have shifted in the intervening decades.

    As for 1970’s – 1977 sounds good. It’s the year I left home to go to uni.

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  • November 8, 2017 at 9:47 pm
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    1975?

    Levi’s “Periodic Table”
    Bellows “Humboldt’s Gift”
    Marquez “The Autumn of the Patriarch”
    Lodge “Changing Places”
    Le Guin “The wind’s twelve quarters”
    Christie “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”

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  • November 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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    1974 or 1976 for me – both chock full of books I want to read/re-read.

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  • November 12, 2017 at 9:00 am
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    Think Below Stairs by Margaret Powell is missing off your 1968 round up list? I saw it there and then it has disappeared.

    Don’t mind which year from the 70s.

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    • November 12, 2017 at 7:01 pm
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      Can you remember who reviewed it? There were a couple of older reviews of it, but I decided (time!) to only round-up new reviews, written that week. :)

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