Friday, August 12, 2011


I am engaged in a self-directed study of 20th century literature. I call this My Big Fat Reading Project. Today's post is my reading list for 1958. Most of these books have been reviewed here on my blog. If a title has a star you can search the blog and find the review.

The first 10 books are the top bestsellers of the year, according to Publisher's Weekly as compiled in an out of print book I found in my local library years ago but which is no longer there. Currently you can find these lists in Making the List by Michael Korda, (also out of print but available from used book sellers.)

The next section of my list covers award winners from the year, in the order that those awards were founded.

The final section is my own curated list made up of authors I have decided to follow during the Project, giving myself a full overview of their development as authors. These books are listed alphabetically by title.

If you know of an important book from 1958 that I missed, please mention it in the comments or send me an email (my email address can be found on my profile page. )

1. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak*
2. Anatomy of a Murder, Robert Traver*
3, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov*
4. Around the World With Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis*
5. From the Terrace, John O'Hara*
6. Eloise at Christmastime, Kay Thompson*
7. Ice Palace, Edna Ferber*
8. The Winthrop Woman, Anya Seton*
9. The Enemy Camp, Jerome Weidman*
10. Victorine, Frances Parkinson Keyes*

PULITZER: A Death in the Family, James Agee
NBA: The Wapshot Chronicle, John Cheever*
NEWBERY: Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith*
CALDECOTT: Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey*
EDGAR: Room to Swing, Ed Lacy*
HUGO: The Big Time, Fritz Leiber*

1. Balthazar, Lawrence Durrell*
2. The Bell, Iris Murdoch*
3. The Best of Everything, Rona Jaffe*
4. Boulevard, Robert Sabatier
5. Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote*
6. Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac*
7. The End of the Road, John Barth*
8. Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon, Jorge Amado*
9. A Game for the Living, Patricia Highsmith*
10. The Ginger Man, J P Donleavy*
11. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Robert A Heinlein*
12. The Long Dream, Richard Wright*
13. The Lost Traveler, Sanora Babb*
14. The Luckiest Girl, Beverly Cleary*
15. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir*
16. Methuselah's Children, Robert A Heinlein*
17. Mount Olive, Lawrence Durrell*
18. Nine Coaches Waiting, Mary Stewart*
19. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids, Kenzaburo Oe*
20. Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene*
21. Playback, Raymond Chandler*
22. A Ripple From the Storm, Doris Lessing*
23. Robinson, Muriel Spark*
24. The Suffrage of Elvira, V S Naipaul*
25. The Sundial, Shirley Jackson*
26. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
27. Where the Air is Clear, Carlos Fuentes*
28. The White Witch, Elizabeth Goudge
29. A World of Strangers, Nadine Gordimer*


  1. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Hi Judy: I haven't posted in a long time. I onley read Lolita but have seen the movies of Lolita, Anatomy of a Murder and Dr. Zhivago.

  2. Hi Lisa, Thanks for posting. It's so cool how you have seen all those old movies.

  3. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Thanks to Mom and a DVR for that. We started on a classic Movie kick a few years backa and I've seen some great ones.

  4. Anonymous2:48 PM

    I have also read and watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's". In fact I own the movie. Though I liked the book, I like the movie ending better.