Monday, March 27, 2017


Last night I completed my reading list for 1962! Including some books I read earlier, I read a total of 60 books published in that year. My lists keep getting longer as I find more authors to follow. The 1940s lists averaged 25 books; 1950s averaged 35; and then the lists explode in the 1960s. I also have become a reading fool since I retired, joining reading groups, reading more current books, and participating in challenges. It took me two years to read the 1962 list. If I am ever going to complete My Big Fat Reading Project, some changes will have to be made.

The project is essentially research for an autobiography I have been working on for many years. So far I have covered 4 years of my parents' life before I was born in 1947 and the first 12 years of my life. I try to keep ahead a bit on the reading lists and it is equal parts fun and hard work. Since I will turn 70 this year, I have a long way to go and who knows how far I will get. I love the whole endeavor and I feel I am getting the education I always wanted and did not get in school. Because my purpose in writing the autobiography is to leave a record for my descendants rather than to publish, it suits my independent spirit!
If you know of any important books I missed for 1962, please leave those titles in the comments.

As I have done (sporadically) since I started this blog, I hereby post the list in full. Most of the books on the list are reviewed on the blog. You can use the search function in the upper left corner to find those reviews.
PS: I just did a search of the blog and discovered that I have not posted all the lists for all the years I have read so far. It seems I am a somewhat careless blog administrator. One of these days I will fix that, so stay tuned.


1.    *Ship of Fools, Katherine Anne Porter
2.    *Dearly Beloved, Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3.    *A Shade of Difference, Allen Drury
4.    *Youngblood Hawke, Herman Wouk
5.    *Franny and Zooey, J D Salinger
6.    *Fail-Safe, Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
7.    *Seven Days in May, Fletcher Knebel and Charles W Bailey II
8.    *The Prize, Irving Wallace
9.    *The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
10.                  *The Reivers, William Faulkner


1.    *PULITZER: The Edge of Sadness, Edwin O’Connor
2.    *NEWBERY: The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
3.    *CALDECOTT: Once a Mouse, Marcia Brown
4.    *NBA: The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
5.    *HUGO: Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A Heinlein
6.    *EDGAR: Gideon’s Fire, J J Marric
7.    *Another Country, James Baldwin
8.    *Ararat, Stella Wilchek
9.    *Aura, Carlos Fuentes
10.                  *The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair, Upton Sinclair
11.                  *Autumn Quail, Naguib Mahfouz
12.                  *Big Sur, Jack Kerouac
13.                  *The Bull From the Sea, Mary Renault
14.                  *A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
15.                  *Cover Her Face, P D James
16.                  *The Cry of the Owl, Patricia Highsmith
17.                  *The Death of Artemio Cruz, Carlos Fuentes
18.                  *The Drowned World, J G Ballard
19.                  *Fire on the Mountain, Edward Abbey
20.                  *The Foragers, Ben Haas
21.                  *Ginger, You’re Barmy, David Lodge
22.                  *The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
23.                  *Henry and the Clubhouse, Beverly Cleary
24.                  *In Evil Hour, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
25.                  *King Rat, James Clavell
26.                  *Letting Go, Philip Roth
27.                  *The Lonely Girl, Edna O’Brien
28.                  *A Long and Happy Life, Reynolds Price
29.                  *Love and Friendship, Alison Lurie
30.                  *The Moonflower Vine, Jetta Carleton
31.                  *The Moon Spinners, Mary Stewart
32.                  *A Murder of Quality, John le Carre
33.                  *One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
34.                  *One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
35.                  *Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
36.                  *The Planet Savers, Marion Zimmer Bradley
37.                  *The Pyramid Climbers, Vance Packard
38.                  *Reinhart in Love, Thomas Berger
39.                  *Restless Spirit, Edna St Vincent Millay, Mirian Gurko
40.                  *Sex and the Single Girl, Helen Gurley Brown
41.                  *Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
42.                  *The Slave, Isaac B Singer
43.                  *Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
44.                  *A Summer Birdcage, Margaret Drabble
45.                  *The Sword of Aldones, Marian Zimmer Bradley
46.                  *The Time of the Doves, Merce Rodoreda
47.                  *Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
48.                  *An Unofficial Rose, Iris Murdoch
49.                  *We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
50.                  *The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

MISC: Nobel: John Steinbeck
Research: American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer, Martin J Sherwin and Kai Bird


  1. Congratulations, Judy! On to the next year. Some of these I have on my TBR for whenever.

    1. Thanks Carmen. That is what TBRs are for, whenever. Today I am reading Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut. 1963.

  2. That's a very impressive list. Congratulations on completing it.

    1. I have been feeling pretty good about it all day. I like finishing things.

  3. I'm impressed, Judy! That's a great list. I've only read a few of those, but I would like to read a lot of the others. Good luck with the next part of your project :)

    1. Thank you so much, Helen!

  4. Judy, you are the best! You're certainly a role model to me in reading. Congrats on your great accomplishment. When I look at the list from 1962, I'm awed by the high quality of novels that were published that year. Egads, those are top-notch authors! I wonder a bit if the quality was better back then? ps. good luck with the autobiography

    1. Why thank you Susan! I guess it's good to be a role model right? I think there have been top-notch authors in every year. At least that is what I have discovered in my project. And I only put authors on my lists (except for the bestsellers, ha ha) that I consider top-notch or at least ones that have moved the art of fiction along. Then I also just have my favorites. One of the most rewarding aspects is reading the books by these authors in the order they wrote them to see how they develop and change. As far as the autobiography goes, I am a lazy, lazy dog as a writer. It seems I will do anything to avoid doing the writing. Even clean the house! But I will get as far as I can. Thanks for your encouragement.

    2. Well if you ever need a reader for your autobio, let me know. I know it's for your own purposes, but you never know.

    3. That is an awesome offer. I just might do that at some point.