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Staff Picks - 1970's Literature

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FICTION

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach (Adult Fiction)
Because he spends so much time perfecting his flying form instead of concentrating on getting food, a seagull is ostracized by the rest of the flock.

Forever
by Judy Blume (Science Fiction)
Katherine and Michael, along with various friends and acquaintances in suburban New Jersey, discover the possibilities and limitations of love and personal commitment.

Ender’s game
by Orson Scott Card (Science Fiction)
Once again, the Earth is under attack. Alien "buggers" are poised for a final assault. The survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the buggers. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battleschool. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses.

The Fifth Business
by Robertson Davies (Adult Fiction)
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous.

Deliverance
by James DIckey (Adult Fiction)
The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the states most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone  canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

A Book of Common Prayer
by Joan Didion (Adult Fiction)
The story of two American women in the derelict Central American nation of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls much of the country's wealth and knows virtually all of its secrets; Charlotte Douglas knows far too little. "Immaculate of history, innocent of politics," she has come to Boca Grande vaguely and vainly hoping to be reunited with her fugitive daughter. Her fate is at once utterly particular and fearfully emblematic of an age of conscienceless authority and unfathomable violence.

The Day of the Jackal
by Frederick Forsyth (Adult Fiction)
The Jackalthe world's most cunning and revered assassin, is given a treacherous mission that could spell disaster for world diplomacy. Catching wind of a mysterious assassination plot, authorities throughout Europe mobilize a manhunt. However, without knowing the Jackal's true target, authorities are forced to wait until the clever killer makes his next move.

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman (Adult Fiction)
Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The  Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.

The World According to Garp
by John Irving (Adult Fiction)
This is the life of T.S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields--a feminist leader ahead of her time. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual  extremes--even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow"; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. 

The Shining
by Stephen King (Adult Fiction)
This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook  Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself  attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
by Milan Kundera (Adult Fiction)
The absurdities of modern life are dramatized by a student who forsakes physical love for a conversation with poets about it and a former Czech Communist leader who is officially eliminated from history.

Sula
by Toni Morrison (Adult Fiction)
Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. The story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.

A Bend in the River
by V.S. Naipau (Adult Fiction)
A novel of the politics and society of postcolonial Africa. Salim, a young Indian man, moves to a town on a bend in the river of a recently independent nation. As Salim strives to establish his business, he comes to be closely involved with the fluid and dangerous politics of the newly  created state, the remnants of the old regime clashing inevitably with the new.  

Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara (Adult Fiction)
The events that occurred during the three days of fighting at Gettysburg are seen through the eyes of such men as Lee and Longstreet.

The Last Enchantment
by Mary Stewart (Adult Fiction)
Merlin the Enchanter recounts the events of Arthur's formative years as he grew from young warrior to king and reveals the horrible consequences of Arthur's incestuous relationship with Morgause, his half-sister.

Sophie’s Choice
by William Styron (Adult Fiction)
The time is 1947. Sophie, a Polish Catholic  beauty who survived Auschwitz, has settled in America. Stingo, a 22 year-old aspiring writer from Virginia, is drawn to Sophie and Nathan--a madly romantic couple whose instability and flamboyance utterly capture his imagination. The deeper Stingo sinks into these people's lives, the more he learns that each harbors terrible secrets.

NONFICTION

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou (818.5409 A584)
Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas.

All the President’s Men
by Carl Bernstein (320.973)
This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s          resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the Watergate scandal and        introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple      burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver the stunning revelations and pieces in the Watergate puzzle that brought about Nixon's shocking downfall. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post, toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
by Dee Alexander Brown (970.5)
An eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian  during the second half of the nineteenth century.

All Things Bright and Beautiful
by James Herriott (636.089)
A Yorkshire veterinarian describes the adventures and experiences of his career as he tends to sick cattle, pregnant ewes, ailing dogs, and their eccentric owners, in a celebration of the relationships between human and animal.