50 Books from 50 Years Ago


It’s my 50th post and to commemorate that I’m highlighting 50 books written in 1964. In 1964 revolution was occurring around the world, people were wondering about the bounds of our technology, some of the best scifi writers were looking to the future while greats like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien were taking us to the past; all this happened without the benefit of the internet.


1-2. The same year Ian Fleming published the twelfth of his James Bond novels You Only Live Twice, he also published Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Ian Fleming a book about a magical car.

Here's to 50 plus years of James Bond movies.

Here’s to 50 plus years of James Bond movies too.


3-4. Celebrities books:

33 In His Own Write John Lennon

My Autobiography Charlie Chaplin


5-8. Past

Gods and Myths of Northern Europe H.R. Ellis Davidson

Shakespeare’s Politics Allan Bloom

Temples, Tombs, & Hieroglyphics Barbara Mertz

The World of the Shining Prince Ivan Morris


9. Looking at the current state in 1964 involves the civil rights movement that happened in America during that time. Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. brought to light how 1963 was a linchpin year for the civil rights movement.



10-13. Future

The Technological Society Jacques Ellul

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man Marshall McLuhan

The Ambidextrous Universe Martin Gardner

The Machine in the Garden Leo Marx


14-19. Novels

nerLast Exit to Brooklyn Hubert Selby Jr.

Nerve Dick Francis

The Italian Girl Iris Murdoch

The Fortunate Pilgrim Mario Puzofor

Herzog Saul Bellow

If Morning Ever Comes Anne Tyler


20-24. Familiar childhood favorites Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl, Harriet the Spy Louise Fitzhugh, and The Giving Tree Shel Siverstein all started in 1964, along with long running series Flat Stanley from Jeff Brown and a book (Thank You Amelia Bedelia) from the Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish.

She's still cool 50 years later.

She’s still cool 50 years later.


25-28. A Trip Around the World

aeA Very Easy Death Simone de Beauvoir

Arrow of God Chinua Achebe

Dutchman & The Slave Amiri Baraka

The Collected Works Khalil Gibran


29-30. After the Fame

Yes after his death one someone compiled some of Raymond Chandler’s pre Big Sleep short stories into the collection titled Killer in the Rain. At the same time after a few popular books called The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy  J.R.R. Tolkien published Tree and Leaf.

jrr raymThe two authors also shared a love of pipes.


31. A Movable Feast Ernest Hemmingway

If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.


32-35. Scifi at its Finest

roThe Rest of the Robot Philip K. Dick

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters Ursula K. Le Guin

The Penultimate Truth Philip K. Dick

Fables for Robots Stanislaw Lem


36-43. Heavy Hitting Thinkers

Man and His Symbols C.G. Jung

The Raw and the Cooked Claude Levi-Strauss

The Words Jean-Paul Sartre

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist.

What is Called Thinking Martin Heidegger

Elements of Semiology Roland Barthes

A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.

Games People Play Eric Berne

What Evolution Is Ernst Mayr

Think on These Things Jiddu Krishnamurti


44-47. Art and Poetry

Diary of a Genius Salvador Dalida

Life with Picasso Francoise Gilot

Poems C.S. Lewis

The Cantos Ezra Pound


48-50. Read the Book Then See the Movie

The Face of Another Kobo Abe


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces James Thurber

Is Paris Burning Larry Collins


1 Comment

  1. MarloweDaphne your literary blog Onepagecloser.com celebrates the written word as well as the authors that pen them. I love your current theme 50 books from 50 years ago. Books provide a historical and social context to the period it’s written in. Sometimes it demonstrates an alternative perspective or much needed escape. Whatever the backdrop, it’s thought provoking and exciting to walk down memory lane with a treasured book. Looking forward to more!!

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