Popular Books from the 1940s | History - Life In The 40s | Club Dahlia

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Popular Books from the 1940s
May 19, 2011
2:49 pm
Scarlett
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There are books from the 1940s that are still popular today and many of them I read in high school and college. Some of my favorites are 1984 by George Orwell and The Diary of Anne Frank. I also love Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."

There are still a lot on my reading list too, like I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

May 20, 2011
4:34 am
Adelaide
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I also have copies of 1984 and The Diary of Anne Frank! Another George Orwell that I've read is Animal Farm . The characters were very symbolic of the social and political conditions at that time. I've also been meaning to get a copy of All The King's Men. The fact that it was already adapted into a film makes me think that it should be included on my list of must-read books. 

 

May 20, 2011
8:38 am
FlorrieMay
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I read The Diary of Ann Frank in German at school and loved it but I really liked Aldous Huxley's Brave New Wold. It was actually written in the 1931 but I read it in the 40s and I'm amazed now how his predictions about birth control pills and such like have all come to pass.

May 20, 2011
3:18 pm
Memories
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I loved to read Shirley Jackson. "The Diary Of Anne Frank" was always one of my favorites though. I loved "The Adventures of Superman" and "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House". If I remember correctly, the "Oz" series of books was also coming out in the 40's.

May 22, 2011
9:54 am
Scarlett
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Of the books that you have read from the 40s, which do you think best exemplifies the lifestyle then? I'm not too sure for me. I guess Anne Frank is the book that reminds me most of the 40s. It's just so haunting.

May 22, 2011
1:22 pm
empirestate
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I don't think Anne Frank's diary is really from the 40s. That didn't come out until decades later in my knowledge because her father Otto did not have it together at that point.

 

My favorite book though is probably one two buckle my shoe, a book about a detective.

May 25, 2011
10:39 am
FlorrieMay
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The Diary of Anne Frank was first published under another title in Dutch in 1947 but it wasn't published in English until 1952. It was certainly written in the forties and does give us an insight into a certain aspect of that time although there are people who have questioned it's authenticity.

May 25, 2011
10:40 am
Scarlett
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The diary of Anne Frank was published for the first time in Amsterdam in 1947 but later in the US. I think it still counts because it was written in the 1940s and represents events of the time.

May 28, 2011
4:36 am
EmGee
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I would have to say the works of Raymond Chandler. Hammet would deserve credits too eventhough it was a bit earlier

June 4, 2011
1:51 am
JazzyDame
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Hmmm…popular books from the '40's…I'd have to say Cannery Row, Keys to the the Kingdom and The Fountainhead are favorites of mine.  I also adore anything by Lloyd C. Douglas and P.G. Wodehouse.  Another poignant and popluar book was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, a very moving work of fiction. 

 

I'm with you on Hammett, EmGee!  Although his writing emerged during the '30's, he is on my 'favorites' list, simply because he has an amazing writing style that so perfectly captures that film noir quality.  The Maltese Falcon would have to be my favorite, although I really like The Thin Man, as well. 

 

Wish we were all close enough in vicinity to start a book club! 

June 6, 2011
10:50 am
Scarlett
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I still need to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I've heard it's quite moving and one of thsoe books that everyone should read. Is it a book that really sets the tone of the 1940s?

June 7, 2011
2:07 pm
JazzyDame
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Scarlett said:

I still need to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I've heard it's quite moving and one of thsoe books that everyone should read. Is it a book that really sets the tone of the 1940s?


 

I highly recommend A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!  Its subject matter is very expansive, many-faceted and its "moral-of-the-story-quality" can be applied to any era.  It covers everything from gender roles to the importance of education, social class and poverty, and the need for an obstinate strength of human spirit during times of hardship.  It's a very complex and painfully beautiful story…I took my time with it, digesting it slowly, one chapter at a time. 

I think you might enjoy it, Scarlett!  Give it a try! Smile

June 11, 2011
4:12 pm
Scarlett
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JazzyDame said:


 

I think you might enjoy it, Scarlett!  Give it a try! Smile


 

Thank you for the recommendation! I am studying literature so it might be a good idea to read it. I especially love to read about social class issues and gender issues in history. I will definitely give it a try. Smile

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