Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY (Special Top 10 edition)

TEN INCREDIBLE CLASSICS CELEBRATE THEIR 50TH!


In 1962 the world may not have known how memorable and influential the following novels were or would become. This year they celebrate 50 years of entertaining and inspiring readers.




A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
A dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. A terrifying tale about good and evil and the meaning of human freedom, A Clockwork Orange became an instant classic when it was published and has remained so ever since. Brilliantly told in harsh invented slang by the novel’s main character and merciless droog, fifteen-year-old Alex.





DR. SEUSS'S SLEEP BOOK
The story begins with a small bug, named Van Vleck, yawning. This yawn spreads (as yawns are terribly contagious) and then the book follows various creatures, including the Foona Lagoona Baboona, the Collaspable Frink, the Chippendale Mupp, The Oft, and the Krandles, throughout the lands who are sleeping, or preparing to sleep. A Warning is printed on the inside cover of the book: "this book is to be read in bed" as it is intended to put children to sleep.





ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
This novel was written by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon asylum. The novel was adapted into a Broadway play by Dale Wasserman in 1963 and then into a film (one of my personal favorites) in 1975 film which won five Academy Awards. Time Magazine included the novel in its "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005” list.





SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
A fantasy/horror novel by Ray Bradbury written about two 13-year-old boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway. They have a harrowing experience with a nightmarish traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October. The novel was adapted in 1983 for a Disney film in which Bradbury was the screenwriter.



ISLAND
Island was the final book by English writer Aldous Huxley, and is the account of Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist who is shipwrecked on the fictional island of Pala. Island is Huxley's utopian counterpart to his most famous work, the 1932 novel Brave New World. He wrote the novel in poor health after being diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.





A WRINKLE IN TIME
This Science Fiction novel as written by Madeleine L'Engle. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract. The book won a Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Standard reading in many sixth-grade classrooms.



SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL
This was written by Helen Gurley Brown, as an advice book that encouraged women to become financially independent and experience sexual relationships before or without marriage. The book sold 2 million copies in 3 weeks and made The Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Time bestseller lists.





THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
This is the ninth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It is the shortest and most sexually explicit of Fleming's novels, as well as a clear departure from previous Bond novels in that the story is told in the first person by a young Canadian woman, Vivienne Michel. Bond himself does not appear until two thirds of the way through the book. Fleming wrote a prologue to the novel giving Michel credit as a co-author.





THE MIRROR CRACK'D FROM SIDE TO SIDE
This a work of detective fiction by top selling English language author Agatha Christie. One minute, silly Heather Babcock had been babbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure, poisoned by a deadly cocktail. It seems likely that the cocktail was intended for the beautiful actress.





THE THIN RED LINE
This is author James Jones's fictional account of the World War II Galloping Horse portion of the Battle of Mount Austen. The story focuses on a number of characters and their differing reactions to combat. The novel has been adapted for motion pictures twice, first in 1964 and then in Terrence Malick's 1998 adaptation.



*What other classics celebrate birthdays this year? Feel free to comment below with books you feel deserve some recognition.

**If you’d like to participate in QBR’s Top 10 List guest blogs, head to the fanpage and sign up in the Notes section.




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