1930s -- fiction

Ironweed

By William Kennedy

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"Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers' strike; he ran away again after accidentally - and fatally - dropping his infant son. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and the present..."
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The Green Mile

By Stephen King

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At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers as depraved as the psychopathic "Billy the Kid" Wharton and the possessed Eduard Delacroix await death strapped in "Old Sparky". Here guards as decent as Paul Edgecombe and as sadistic as Percy Wetmore watch over them. But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none have ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for raping and murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?

On Film:
A stellar cast including Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sam Rockwell, and Harry Dean Stanton makes this 1999 movie a must see.

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Mr. White's Confession

By Robert Clark

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Heading a police investigation into the brutal murder of a showgirl, Lt. Wesley Horner zeroes in on Herbert White, an eccentric recluse whose spends his days writing gushing fan letters to Hollywood starlets.
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Cold Comfort Farm

By Stella Gibbons

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When a well-educated young socialite in 1930s England is left orphaned and unable to support herself at age twenty-two, she moves in with her eccentric relatives on their farm.

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The Light Years

By Elizabeth Jane Howard

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In 1937, the coming war is only a distant cloud on Britain's horizon. As the Cazalet households prepare for their summer pilgrimage to the family estate in Sussex, readers meet Edward, in love with but by no means faithful to his wife Villy; Hugh, wounded in the Great War; Rupert, who worships his lovely child-bride Zoe; and Rachel, the spinster sister.
Its sequel, Marking Time, is set during World War II.

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Jass

By David Fulmer

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In the rowdy red-light district of Storyville, four players of the new music they call "jass" have turned up dead. When Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr begins to investigate, he discovers that every one of the victims once played in the same band, and the only one left alive has gone into hiding. As he digs deeper, Valentin becomes convinced that a shadowy woman is the key to the mystery. His efforts to find her touch nerves, and soon Tom Anderson, known as the "King of Storyville," police lieutenant J. Picot, and even the mayor of New Orleans want him off the case. It's all the proof Valentin needs that there is something even larger and darker at the heart of this sordid business.

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A History of Classic Science Fiction: John Carter’s Mars and Flash Gordon’s Universe

The most famed and prolific area of science fiction is the planetary adventure, featuring strange environments, exotic alien races, and massive battle scenes. Many of the most popular science fiction universes, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar, take place in these environments. Most of these universes owe their existence to the adventure fiction of one author.

A History of Detective Stories: Film Noir

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself. 

Karen Hesse: Genius at Work

Do you know Karen Hesse? Her books can take you on a voyage of discovery with Captain Cook, into the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, or turn-of-the-century Russia. A sense of place has always been important to this author. She grew up very quietly in a row house and later an apartment in Baltimore, Maryland. When she wanted a place to be by herself, she had to get creative. Outside, there was an apple tree where she could sit for hours, reading and dreaming. Nearby was the Enoch Pratt Free Library, where she started with Dr. Seuss and kept on going, from picture books to chapter books to novels.