With that taken care of, that leads me to my second post and the subject of my top 5 picks for literature set in the 1950s. I'm sure I don't have to explain in detail how difficult it is for any bibliophile to recommend a limited number of books - in fact I'm fairly confident that even as you were reading the previous comment, you were doing a great impression of a bobblehead. Even without that limit, there is a second issue that comes to mind. The lists. You've seen them. No matter whether it's on a blog, a social network, or dedicated book sites, you will find the lists that often repeat the same tried and tested favourites. I have no issue with that, but I also don't want to be repetitive.
On that note, I decided not to do that. Instead, I opted to do a little research on books that are set in the 1950s that in most cases, have been released in the last year or so (in no particular order).
- Driving the Birds (Jabonkah Sackey's Story) by Russell Traughber.
An important book that I believe should be read by everyone. It's a book that opens the readers eyes to the often barbaric practices that are still occurring to this day. I'm always hesitant when speaking about this because I am well aware that in every culture we do things that don't always seem right to those from another country, or culture but in this case, I don't believe these practices have a place in the world today. It's my hope that authors such as Russell Traughber and the courageous Jabonkah Sackey continue spreading the word, and that we continue to support their goal. You can find my review of this book here.
- The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski.
If you haven't already, you can read my review to discover why this book is such a favourite of mine. It was actually fairly easy to forget that this novel was partly set in the 50s until certain scenes provided a stark reminder of the racial issues prevalent in that era. A fabulous novel published by Harper Collins Canada
- Stony River by Tricia Dower.
This book is set in Stony River, New Jersey, 1955. Stony River is a small town, you've seen many like it with children playing out in the open, without fear but in one summer, with one girl dead and another missing, all that is set to change. The back of the novel describes Stony River as 'An engrossing novel about growing up, finding your voice and forgiving your family'.You can read my review here. I'm grateful for the recommendation from the crew over at Penguin Canada for this one.
- A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.
This book is set during the state of emergency in Kenya's struggle for independence (1952-1959). It's the first book I have read by this Kenyan author though he has quite the number of published works. I'm still working my through this gripping novel which is part of the Penguin Classics line of titles. I'll be posting a review of it in the near future.
- The Jeeptown Sock Hop by John Harrigan.
Often I get requests from independent publicists and authors themselves who are seeking reviewers for their newly released books. That is how The Jeeptown Sock Hop found it's way to me. As a survivor, I was interested from the start as I know the novel deals with the subject of sexual abuse towards children and I try to promote as many books on this, and other issues via my blog.The back of the book promises that 'it plays your heart strings until you can't take anymore and the characters are so well developed they become part of your soul'. It looks to be a powerful read. Once again, the review will be posted in a week or so.
If you'd like to take part in the giveaway and win your very own copy of The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow just drop me an e-mail with the the answer to the following question. The first correct answer gets the book. You must reside in Canada or the US to enter (You'll find the answer here)
Which colourful and evocative city is The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow set in?