20th Century > 1980s


Featured Titles

    Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

The novel follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With nothing but goodwill, controlled substances, and wit to sustain him in this anti-quest, he runs until he reaches his reckoning point, where he is forced to acknowledge loss and, possibly, to rediscover his better instincts.

Year: 1984

    Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

Six foot six, 242 pounds, and possessed of a scant IQ of 70, Forrest Gump is the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this classic comic tale. His early life may seem inauspicious, but when the University of Alabama’s football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, it sets him on an unbelievable path that will transform him from Vietnam hero to world-class Ping-Pong player, from wrestler to entrepreneur.

Year: 1986

    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

This bitingly hilarious American satire will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style. Tom Wolfe's bestselling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress, until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward in a humiliating fall from grace.

Year: 1987
Genre: Legal ThrillerSatire

    Story of My Life by Jay McInerney

A hilarious, sobering portrait of 1980s New York City featuring twenty-something actress Alison Poole and her coterie of club-hopping, coke-addicted friends. As Alison races toward emotional breakdown, McInerney gives us a funny yet oddly touching portrait of a postmodern Holly Golightly coming to terms with a world in which everything is permitted and nothing really matters.

Year: 1988
Genre: Coming of Age

    Brightness Falls by Jay McInerney

As he maps the fault lines spreading through the marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway and chronicles Russell's wildly ambitious scheme to seize control of the publishing house at which he works, Jay McInerney creates an elegy for New York in the 1980s. From the literary chimeras and corporate raiders to those dispossessed by the pandemonium of money and power, Brightness Falls captures a rash era at its moment of reckoning and gives reality back to a time that now seems decidedly unreal.

Year: 1992
Genre: Domestic SuspenseFamily Drama




Want ItGot ItRead ItYearTitle

1984Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
1986Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
1987The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe Legal Thriller, Satire
1988Story of My Life by Jay McInerney Coming of Age
1992Brightness Falls by Jay McInerney Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Calloway Trilogy
2002Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy CIA, Cold War, Jack Ryan
2003The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem Coming of Age, New York City
2006The Innocent Man by John Grisham True Crime, Non-Fiction
2013Sycamore Row by John Grisham Courtroom Drama, Jake Brigance



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