1960s -- fiction

A Caribbean Mystery

By Agatha Christie

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Prim and proper Miss Jane Marple uses her razor-sharp mind and intuitive understanding of criminal behavior to solve murder mysteries. Vacationing at the golden Palm Hotel in the West Indies, she goes into action when Major Palgrave turns up dead.
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The Feast of the Goat

By Mario Vargas Llosa

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"It is 1961. The Dominican Republic languishes under economic sanctions; the Catholic church spurs its clergy against the government; from its highest ranks down, the country is arrested in bone-chilling fear. In The Feast of the Goat, Vargas Llosa unflinchingly tells the story of a regime's final days and the unsteady efforts of the men who would replace it.

"His narrative skates between the rituals of the hated dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in his daily routine, and the laying-in-wait of the assasins who will kill him; their initial triumph; and the shock of fear's release--and replacements. In the novel's final chapters we learn Urania Cabral's story, self-imposed exile whose father was Trujillo's cowardly Secretary of State. Drawn back to the country of her birth from 30 years after Trujillo's assasination, the widening scope of the dictator's cruelty finds expression in her story, and a rapt audience in her extended family."

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Scooter

By Mick Foley

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"The time is 1969. Scooter Riley is a regular kid growing up in the Bronx, on Shakespeare Avenue, just north of Yankee Stadium. His father, Patrick Riley, is a New York City cop; his beat is Harlem, streets that are getting rougher by the day in the wake of the assassinations of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy. Riley’s Spartan code of ethics and unwavering sense of duty to his neighborhood and the Force will carry him through; neither homicide nor drugs are going to get in his way, even if his wife does want them to get the hell out of the Bronx and for him to take a “safe” job somewhere in the suburbs. He’s happy with things as they are and wants to make time stand still, going to Yankee games in the neighborhood as he did growing up (as a boy he’d waited for hours to meet Joe D.—the great Yankee Clipper—and collected two decades of Yankee autographs of Yogi, Larson, Lopat, Mantle, too; on yearbooks, scorecards, ticket stubs, Spaldeens). Riley wants his son, Scooter—named after Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto, MVP, 1950—to have a childhood just like his own. Scooter doesn’t get the same thrill his father gets from going to Yankee Stadium and watching the players “punch it through the hole,” or “spray it all around.” He loves his father but yearns for his own style—-in baseball and in life.

"His grandfather, a fireman for thirty years and horribly scarred, harbors a dark secret that has caused a deep rift between him and Scooter’s dad. Scooter’s grandfather sees the game of baseball as the game of life itself—-to him all of life’s great lessons are explained in baseball lore, and he teaches Scooter to play the game in a way that’s different from how his father wants him to play. He teaches Scooter as well that life can be defined in a few extraordinary moments—-moments of courage, of cowardice—-when the ability to act, or not, defines who you are, and who you will become. Into this world, a world that becomes increasingly less kind to Scooter, the defining moments his grandfather has warned him about come at a rapid pace, and as the years pass and Scooter grows up, it is through baseball and its timeless rhythms that the defining moments in Scooter’s life are played out and that the boy he is now, and the young man he will become, are shaped."

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Spring and Fall

By Nicholas Delbanco

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"The year is 1962. Lawrence is a senior at Harvard when he meets Hermia, a wild-spirited junior at Radcliffe. A passionate, short-lived romance ensues. But neither is ready for marriage, and Lawrence, a new graduate, is eager to see the world. Forty years later, fate brings them together again. When they rediscover one another on a Mediterranean cruise, romance comes full circle as they experience a love that is deeper, richer, and more bittersweet than the exuberant passion they shared all those years ago. Moving back and forth in time and between the voices of Hermia and Lawrence, the story details the paths they have each followed until the point when they reconnect."
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The Yokota Officers Club

By Sarah Bird

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Ex-military brat Bernadette "Bernie" Root...has never really noticed what a peculiar bunch of nomads her Air Force family is, and upon their return to Japan, she discovers a terrible secret.

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Rebel Powers

By Richard Bausch

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Virginia bookstore owner Thomas reflects on a disastrous occurrence from his past, when his career Air Force father, a decorated Air Force officer and former POW, is imprisoned for theft and his mother must hold the family together.

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My Father's Geisha

By James Gordon Bennett

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"This fresh, poignant first novel features two siblings who will capture readers's hearts in the manner of Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Army brats Teddy and Cora are constantly on the move from base to base with their warring parents. With their edgy intelligence and precocious charm, this duo jumps off the page and pulls readers into their hearts."

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World of Pies

By Karen Stolz

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Follow the arc of a girl's life as she grows to womanhood. From crushes to surprise baby sisters to nail polish to a devastating death, Roxanne is our guide through a life that has moments of tenderness, poignancy, sorrow, and great humor, as well as some wonderful baking memories. A sumptuous novel -- though like the best pie, tart in all the right places.

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A Confederacy of Dunces

By John Kennedy Toole

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"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." -- Jonathan Swift

Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans--selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life--is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.

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The Mammy

By Brendan O'Carroll

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"Chronicles with raw humor and great affection the comic misadventures of a large and lively North Dublin family in the 1960s."
Later made into the film, Agnes Brown--starring Angelica Huston.

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