What are the best books set in the 1950s?

asked by Anonymous
294 contributors
9 solutions
  1. 42

    #1The Perfume Collector

    The Perfume Collector

    The Perfume Collector is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Kathleen Tessaro which centers on newlywed Grace Monroe trying to discover the identity of Madame Eva d’Orsey after receives an inheritance from her. 


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    Carl Flores
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This book is actually a post WWII era setting that is a good book to read but not one that takes place in only the 1950s. "
  2. 39

    #2Snow Falling On Cedars

    Snow Falling On Cedars
    The award-winning historical fiction novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson revolves around a murder case in small-town America. It recounts what it was like to be Japanese in America after the Second World War.

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    Jerry Banks
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I loved this book. It will go into my "Best Books I've Read List". This is one of those books that you just sit back and let it take you away. The descriptions of the area, the people, the way he describes the background on each character. This book made me "feel live " the characters, the storm, the cold, the snow, hear the bullets, and smell the strawberries. The tension builds as you wonder if a person you believed in was really going to do the right thing. After reading this book , I realized if I hadn't read it, I really would have missed something ."
  3. 37

    #3The Reader

    The Reader
    An exceptional novel by Bernhard Schlink about betrayal, guilt and the memory of the Holocaust. This is the story of the adolescent Michael Berg, rescued by Hanna. Both embark on a clandestine affair leading Michel in euphoric and confused times.


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    Michelle Young
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This is definitely one of those books that haunts the memory. It stays with you days after you read it. It's philosophical in tone. I think Hanna was a victim of circumstances & that Michael was to harsh in his judgement of her. At the beginning of the book she shows great compassion as she helps a vomiting Michael & walks him back home. When it is later revealed that she picked the weaker children to read to her before they were put to death, I think she was trapped by the horrible circumstances & reality of the Nazi regime, & that making their lives a little more livable before their untimely deaths was the only thing she had in her power to do to show compassion. There is also a lot of symbolism in the book. For example: Hanna is illiterate at a time when Germany's average citizen had a Bachelor's degree. As for her anger toward a young Michael Berg during their vacation, I think this was do to a feeling of helplessness. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment & imagine not being able to read at all. You are 100% reliant on your lover to read the signs to get were your going & thus to get back from whence you came. You can't even order from a menu. You wake up miles from home & that lover you are reliant on to read signs & order food has vanished & left you a piece a paper with writing on it, & you can't read it. You must feel stranded & hopeless. Thus when the young Mr. Berg returns he is surprised by an understandably irate Frau Schmidt. She is innocent to an extent, & her more guilty ex-coworkers get much more lenient sentences by contrast."
  1. 35

    #4Fear of Flying

    Fear of Flying
    Originally published in 1973, Fear of Flying is the ground-breaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free. This iconic novel still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.

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    Cynthia Howell
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Fear of Flying is not good for books set in the 1950's because it was set in the 70's"
  2. 33

    #5A Suitable Boy

    A Suitable Boy

    A Suitable Boy is a historical fiction novel written by Vikram Seth which centers on the lives of four middle-class families in India set during the 1950s. This gives a view on the complex and multi-ethnic society of the country. 


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    Vihaan Nair
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "This was an interesting novel. The two main characters kept me drawn in to the story."
  3. 31

    #6Circle of Friends

    Circle of Friends

    Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy is a drama novel published in 1990. This book follows the story of two inseparable friends - Benny and Eve - attending a university and the underlying challenge that will test their friendship.


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    Jessica Carlson
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This story is set in Ireland in the 50's. It will draw you in from the start and make you wonder what is going to happen to the two girls. There are twists and turns that will keep you interested."
  4. 30

    #7The Outsiders

    The Outsiders
    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is about how Ponyboy Curtis saw life as one of the greasers, one of the people who does not belong in a regular society. This book has won a number of awards for its contribution to the young adult genre.

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    Teresa James
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Interesting book but I could not get into it. Maybe because it's set in the 1950s. This was before I was born so it's kind of hard to connect with it. Although it was hard to connect with the characters, it did make me think about people that I know. I believe that everyone at some point in life feels like an outsider."
  5. 28

    #8Seventh Heaven

    Seventh Heaven

    Seventh Heaven is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Alice Hoffman which centers on Nora Silk set during a time in the US when women are only allowed to remain in the house and raise their children. 


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    Sarah Jordan
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "Seventh Heaven is one of the best books set in the 1950s, an era that is often viewed as idyllic but definitely was a dystopian reality for many women who were only allowed to reamin in the house and raise their children. It's a fascinating insight into that harsh reality, a peek behind the lovely suburban curtain into the very real unhappiness that many women endured."
  6. 10

    #9Can't Help Falling in Love

    Can't Help Falling in Love
    Can't Help Falling in Love is a biography about Elvis Presley written by Carol Dunitz and David W. Menefee. Can't Help Falling in Love was published on November 29, 2012 by Createspace.

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    Stephen Chapman
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Elvis Presley is a well known celebrity. If you are a fan and want to know more about his life, this is the right choice. This book is a love story based on his real life. I really reccomand it."


Best What are the best books set in the 1950s
1The Perfume CollectorBooks 42 Paid
2Snow Falling On CedarsBooks 39 Paid
3The ReaderBooks 37 Paid
4Fear of FlyingBooks 35 Paid
5A Suitable BoyBooks 33 Paid
6Circle of FriendsBooks 31 Paid
7The OutsidersBooks 30 Paid
8Seventh HeavenBooks 28 Paid
9Can't Help Falling in LoveBooks 10 Paid

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