This was in the back of my mind when I first heard mention of it a while ago and then I lost track of time and here it is time for the 1977 Club that Simon has organized and I am only now thinking of what I might read for it.
Just to get in a few good 1977 reads in the actual week, I have read a number of much loved books published in 1977 and I wrote about them at the time. Barbara Pym's Quartet in Autumn was just mentioned and under discussion here in the last week. I read it a couple of years ago and now count it as my favorite Pym novel.
A Time of Gifts was my introduction to Patrick Leigh Fermor, who has to be one of the most erudite and sophisticated writers I have ever had the pleasure to read. I really need to read the other two travel books that started with his walking adventures that began in Holland and continued across a long lost Europe.
And Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone is classic suspense. She is hard to beat when it comes to psychological suspense stories. She can give away the ending of a story right on the first page and still have you utterly spellbound to a story.
So, three novels published in 1977 that I would happily revisit at any time. But I think I need to add a new one to my pile. Likely I won't finish reading it by the end of the week (but you never know). I've tried to keep the list short and hopefully the books are easily accessible on my messy shelves.
Golden Child by Penelope Fitzgerald -- "Penelope Fitzgerald's novel, The Golden Child, combines a deft comedy of manners with a classic mystery set in London's most refined institution—the museum. When the glittering treasure of ancient Garamantia, the golden child, is delivered to the museum, a web of intrigue tightens around its personnel, especially the hapless museum officer Waring Smith. While prowling the halls one night, Waring is nearly strangled. Two suspicious deaths ensue, and only the cryptic hieroglyphics of the Garamantes can bring an end to the mayhem. Fitzgerald has an unerring eye for human nature, and this satirical look at the art world delivers a terrifically witty read."
Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson -- "Nora Porteous, a witty, ambitious woman from Brisbane, returns to her childhood home at age seventy. Her life has taken her from a failed marriage in Sydney to freedom in London; she forged a modest career as a seamstress and lived with two dear friends through the happiest years of her adult life. With grace and humor, Nora recounts her desire to escape, the way her marriage went wrong, the vanity that drove her to get a facelift, and one romantic sea voyage that has kept her afloat during her dark years. Her memory is imperfect, but the strength and resilience she shows over the years is nothing short of extraordinary. A book about the sweetness of escape, and the mix of pain and acceptance that comes with returning home."
Beggar Maid: The Stories of Flo and Rose by Alice Munro -- "In this series of interweaving stories, Munro recreates the evolving bond between two women in the course of almost forty years. One is Flo, practical, suspicious of other people's airs, at times dismayingly vulgar. the other is Rose, Flo's stepdaughter, a clumsy, shy girl who somehow leaves the small town she grew up in to achieve her own equivocal success in the larger world."
Monkey Grip by Helen Garner -- "In this acclaimed first novel, Helen Garner captures the fluid relationships of a community of friends who are living and loving in new ways. Nora falls in love with Javo the junkie, and together they try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made. But caught in an increasingly ambiguous relationship, they are unable to let go - and the harder they pull away from each other, the tighter the monkey grip."
Edwin of the Iron Shoes by Marcia Muller -- "The book that launched the massively popular series! It's Sharon McCone's first case as staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative. She knows nothing about antiques, yet she has an affection for Salem Street with its charming mix of antique and curio shops. Now elderly dealer Joan Albritton has been found dead, stabbed with an antique dagger. Her neighbors are shocked. Recurring vandalism has them frightened. And McCone's introduction to Lieutenant Gregory Marcus doesn't help matters. Ferreting out the facts will take Sharon from the chaotic jumble of the junk dealer's establishment to a museum where San Francisco's most elegant socialites gather."
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume -- This is a childhood favorite and I am keep to reread it. "Sally J. Freedman was ten when she made herself a movie star. She would have been happy to reach stardom in New Jersey, but in 1947 her older brother Douglas became ill, so the Freedman family traveled south to spend eight months in the sunshine of Florida. That’s where Sally met her friends Andrea, Barbara, Shelby, Peter, and Georgia Blue Eyes—and her unsuspecting enemy, Adolf Hitler."
Now. Which to choose!