Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Alternative '60s Culture for the Holidays


Having swung into 1960s mode for the holidays--replicating the life-style of a ‘60s housewife is my technique for coping this year--I am baking fruitcake for gifts, planning my Xmas menu from a period Betty Crocker cookbook, and trying to put together an authentic outfit (how hard can this be? Jeans, jeans, or jeans!). I also (briefly) experimented with a Barbie bubble cut before flattening my hair into the usual no-nonsense drip-dry "do." Since I would never have pouffed my hair in the ‘60s--indeed my friends and I all wore it long and straight back in the day--this was out of character, and I am SO glad I haven't wasted months of my life on “hairdressing,” because eek! The Sixties was not just about fashion, though the Rolling Stones, Julie Christie, Star Trek, Glenda Jackson, and Barbie were part of my life. It was about ideas. It was about art. It was about rebelling. It was about BOOKS!

However hip people were, they were not reading just "alternative culture" books. Some of Rumer Godden’s best novels were written in the ‘60s. Elizabeth Goudge’s popular The Scent of Water was written in 1963 - and some of us think this was her best book even though this wasn't her era.

But below is a list of other books I actually read in the ‘60s that were published in the ‘60s! Have fun. They will propel you into another age (perhaps).


Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut







In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan










The Strawberry Statement by James Simon Kunen








Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin



Catch-22 by Joseph Heller








Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger




This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart







To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kauffmann






A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle








Slouching towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion






The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan






Dune by Frank Herbert

2 comments:

Meryl Yourish said...

I read most of those in the seventies. I suspect I'm about a decade behind you.

Found you on a search for Patricia McKillip's latest book. She's overdue for a new one. If you liked Solstice Wood, you'll love Alphabet of Thorn. I think that one is head and shoulders her best ever. And I love most of her work.

Frisbee said...

Books are "evergreen" if you can find a copy. Most of them are still around today, so we can re-enter the different '60sof individual authors at will. (The Strawberry Statement, however, may have lost its audience.)

I'll look for Alphabet of Thorn. I really enjoy her books.