Best Books of 1979

Top 10 Best Books of 1979 : Flowers in the Attic, One Corpse Too Many, The Long Walk, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Bunnicula, Ghost Story, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Stories of John Cheever, Dragondrums, The Drowning Season

Flowers in the Attic
AuthorV.C. Andrews
Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!

It wasn't that she didn't love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

One Corpse Too Many
AuthorEllis Peters
In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death. Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders loyal to the empress...
The Long Walk
AuthorRichard Bachman
If this book does not make you feel physical pain, I don't know what will.

This isn't a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. It's not a Hunger Games type of book, despite the "game show" element of the Long Walk, nor is it a world attached to any tower, Dark or not. This book is in-your-face...
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
AuthorDouglas R. Hofstadter
Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of “maps” or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of...
AuthorJames Howe
(This review is from 2004.)

Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d talk about something frightening: Bunnies. Vampire bunnies. Ninja vampire bunnies. Okay, so, maybe not that ninja part. But definitely vampire bunnies—one in particular.

So, my roommate (Mr. “I’m not...
Ghost Story
AuthorPeter Straub
I don't think one can truly rate Ghost Story as a novel without acknowledging the fact that it's a literary homage to the classics of the genre. Indeed, two characters bear the surnames of Hawthorne and James.

This is my introduction to the work of Peter Straub. Having read The Talisman and Black...
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
AuthorMilan Kundera
Rich in its stories, characters, and imaginative range, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that brought Milan Kundera his first big international success in the late 1970's. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than just its historical implications. In seven wonderfully integrated...
The Stories of John Cheever
AuthorJohn Cheever
Here are sixty-one stories that chronicle the lives of what has been called "the greatest generation." From the early wonder and disillusionment of city life in "The Enormous Radio" to the surprising discoveries and common mysteries of suburbia in "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" and "The Swimmer,"...
AuthorAnne McCaffrey
Dear Mrs. McCaffrey,

What were you thinking? You had done a brilliant job with the first two books in this "trilogy", so please do explain why you felt compelled to switch your focus from our beloved heroine Menolly to her rambunctious sidekick, Piemur? This is no trilogy. Do you think you can...
The Drowning Season
AuthorAlice Hoffman
The matriarch of a Long Island clan with a stubbornly suicidal son and a defiant, restless granddaughter, Esther, has hired a Russian landscaper to watch over the family as well as the grounds of their secluded waterfront estate. But he has been watching Esther, too. And his love for her is growing wild...
AuthorSeamus Heaney
"Field Work," which first appeared in 1979, is a superb collection of lyrics and narrative poems from one of the literary masters of our time. As the critic Dennis Donoghue wrote in "The New York Times Book Review": "In 1938, not a moment too soon, W. B. Yeats admonished his colleagues: 'Irish poets, learn...
Cloud 9
AuthorCaryl Churchill
In colonial Africa, a Victorian English patrician represses the natives, his wife, his children, homosexuals—and still finds time for an affair with a widowed neighbor. The same family appears in Act Two 25 years older and back in London, only now it’s 1979.Cloud 9 is about relationships - between...
Kane and Abel
AuthorJeffrey Archer
Born on the same day near the turn of the century on opposite sides of the world, both men are brought together by fate and the quest of a dream. These two men -- ambitious, powerful, ruthless -- are locked in a relentless struggle to build an empire, fuelled by their all-consuming hatred. Over 60 years and...
The Feast of All Saints
AuthorAnne Rice
In the days before the Civil War, there lived in New Orleans the gens de couleur libre - copper-skinned half-castes, liberated by their owners, but confined by their color to a life of political nonexistence and social subordination. Still, an aristocracy would emerge in this society: artist, poets,...
AuthorBob Woodward
The inner working of the Supreme Court, the highest court I the land, often the court of last resort. My high expectations going into this book were mostly met, my opinion of the way this court works, were not. They dealt with busing, segregation, was the court that ruled on Roe v. Wade, the Watergate debacle,...
Ramona and Her Mother
AuthorBeverly Cleary
This is a previously published edition of edition of ISBN 9780380709526. An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

Ramona Quimby is no longer seven, but not quite eight. She's "seven and a half right now," if you ask her! Not allowed to stay home alone, yet old enough to watch...
The Virgin in the Garden
AuthorA.S. Byatt

In 1950s Yorkshire, Frederica Potter, still living at home, senses that something exciting is beginning. Stars Hannah Watkins.

A wealthy theatre director is producing a play and Frederica Potter is desperate to secure...
AuthorGérard Genette
Gerard Genette, a critic of international stature, here builds a systematic theory of narrative upon an analysis of the writings of Marcel Proust, particularly Remembrance of Things Past. Adopting what is essentially a structuralist approach, the author identifies and names the basic constituents...
Forever . . .
AuthorJudy Blume
Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents...
AuthorMartin Sherman
(Applause Books). Martin Sherman's worldwide hit play Bent took London by storm in 1979 when it was first performed by the Royal Court Theatre, with Ian McKellen as Max (a character written with the actor in mind). The play itself caused an uproar. "It educated the world," Sherman explains. "People...
AuthorVonda N. McIntyre
While this book gets docked a point or two for the cheesy 70s cover and the title, it deserves a place among the classics of the genre. I first read the Nebula-winning novella "Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand," in middle school, but I never realized that McIntyre had expanded it to novel length. It's a thoughtful...
Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed
AuthorPhilip Paul Hallie
During the most terrible years of World War II, when inhumanity and political insanity held most of the world in their grip and the Nazi domination of Europe seemed irrevocable and unchallenged, a miraculous event took place in a small Protestant town in southern France called Le Chambon. There, quietly,...
The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
AuthorJean-François Lyotard
This book explores science and technology, makes connections between these epistemic, cultural, and political trends, and develops profound insights into the nature of our post-modernity. Many definitions of postmodernism focus on its nature as the aftermath of the modern industrial age when...
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
First published in 1979, Fountains of Paradise is one of Grandmaster Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s later books, but in its themes and style is reminiscent of some of his best work.

Telling the story of an elevator into space, this also describes a flashback related story thousands of years earlier...
AuthorDavid Halberstam
This week, I finished two books that both merit extremely high praise. One is Andrew Bacevich's most recent study of America's ineptitude at trying to subdue the Greater Middle East, and the second is this book by David Halberstam.

Halberstam's premature death from a car accident in 2007 marked...
The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
AuthorAlice Miller
The bestselling book on childhood trauma and the enduring effects of repressed anger and pain

Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided millions of readers with an answer--and has helped them to apply...
The Westing Game
AuthorEllen Raskin
this is what i am going to do: i am going to take a red panda, and i am going to learn genetics and i dunno - neuroscience. and welding. and i am going to take a little bit of my brain, and a little bit of everyone's brain here on (you'll be asleep, you wont feel a thing) and then i am going to moosh it...
Life Before Man
AuthorMargaret Atwood
Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, here are three people, each in midlife, in midcrisis, forced to make choices--after the rules have changed. Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the wrong man. She has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate,...
My Uncle Oswald
AuthorRoald Dahl
Uncle Oswald is, if you remember, the greatest rogue, bounder, connoisseur, bon vivant and fornicator of all time. Here, many famous names are mentioned and there is obviously a grave risk that families and friends are going to take offence... Uncle Oswald discovers the electrifying properties of...
AuthorLucian K. Truscott IV
This is a long novel, set in West Point during the Vietnam war years. There is much exposition and backstory. The gay stuff was handled with a tender mixture of disgust and wonderment. In his closing speech, our young hero seems to be saying that one could not draw the line between gayness and other facets...
AuthorHeinrich Böll
Although Fritz Tolm and his wife Käthe play a representative role in established society, their sympathies are often on the side of their children and their friends. The Tolm family, for example, abandons the most difficult problem to the enormously bloated police apparatus, depending on whether...
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