20th Century > 1950s


Featured Titles

    The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter

After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher--and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he's hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City's regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.

Year: 1954
Genre: Crime Fiction

    The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener

For five brief, glorious days in the autumn of 1956, the Hungarian revolution gave its people a glimpse at a different kind of future--until, at four o'clock in the morning on a Sunday in November, the citizens of Budapest awoke to the shattering sound of Russian tanks ravaging their streets. The revolution was over. But freedom beckoned in the form of a small footbridge at Andau, one of the most important crossings in the world, as the soul of a nation fled across its unsteady planks.

Year: 1957

    Some Came Running by James Jones

James Jones's saga of life in the American Midwest, newly revised five decades after it was first published and including a new foreword by his daughter, Kaylie Jones

Year: 1958

    Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk

Tracing the journey of Arthur Youngblood Hawke from the small Kentucky mining town of his childhood to the pinnacle of literary celebrity and success in New York and Hollywood, the novel brings to life a whole galaxy of vivid characters as it offers one of the most sobering and enthralling portraits of the literary life ever written.

Year: 1962
Genre: Rise and Fall

    Half of Paradise by James Lee Burke

Discover the debut novel of James Lee Burke, before the creation of his now-famous Cajun detective, Dave Robicheaux, as he weaves together the struggles of three very different men. The interlocking stories of these three men are an elegy to the realities of life in 1950s Louisiana, their destinies fixed by the circumstances of their birth and time. Yet each carries the hope of redemption...

Year: 1965
Genre: Suspense

    Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw

A memorable novel by one of America’s greatest twentieth-century authors, Rich Man, Poor Man offers a gripping ride through America between the Second World War and Vietnam. It was made into one of the first primetime TV mini-series, and starred Nick Nolte, Peter Strauss, and Susan Blakely.

Year: 1969
Genre: Family Saga

    The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E.I. Lonoff.

Year: 1979
Genre: Literature

    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.

Year: 1979
Genre: HistoricalNon-fiction

    Mitla Pass by Leon Uris

A writer travels to Israel to research a novel, but he ends up drawn into the Suez Crisis.

Year: 1988
Genre: Military

    The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy

Los Angeles, 1950 Red crosscurrents: the Commie Scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, a nd deceit. The D. A.'s brass, a sheriff's deputy, and a rough-and-tumble bagman are unknowingly chasing a nightmare in this thrilling novel.

Year: 1988
Genre: Crime Fiction




Want ItGot ItRead ItYearTitle

1954The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter Crime Fiction
1957The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener Austria, Budapest, Non-Fiction
1958Some Came Running by James Jones
1962Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk Rise and Fall
1965Half of Paradise by James Lee Burke Suspense, Louisiana
1969Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw Family Saga
1979The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth Literature, Zuckerman
1979The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe Historical, Non-fiction
1988Mitla Pass by Leon Uris Military, Egypt, Israel
1988The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy Crime Fiction, L.A. Quartet, Los Angeles
1989A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving Coming of Age
1990L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy Crime Fiction, L.A. Quartet, Los Angeles
1992White Jazz by James Ellroy Crime Fiction, L.A. Quartet, Los Angeles
1993The Fifties by David Halberstam Non-Fiction
1997Underworld by Don DeLillo Literature, New York City
1998Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy Border Trilogy
1998I Married a Communist by Philip Roth Historical, Zuckerman
2001A Painted House by John Grisham Suspense
2016The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke Historical Thriller, Holland Family Saga
2021Widespread Panic by James Ellroy Whats New, Hollywood





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