The 70s were an exciting time to be a teen, that’s for sure. It was a time of change, shifts in thinking, protesting the Viet Nam War, the Equal Rights Movement, Watergate, and the debut of Saturday Night Live. 1976 was our nation’s bicentennial. It was a time to “Do the Disco”, and watch the first (of many) Rocky movies. We became obsessed with the Bermuda Triangle and gnomes were even more popular than they are today. We balanced love stories with historical sagas and horror. Books on diets and sex flew off the shelves. And a certain shark saw to it that we didn’t vacation near the Atlantic Ocean for quite some time. The 1950s were just far enough behind us to be fascinating, and that fascination was fueled by the TV show “Happy Days” and the movies “Grease” and “American Graffiti”. Most of us happily scheduled our lives around the TV mini-series craze (see the titles with an *).

So what were we reading back then? Looking back over some bestseller lists from the 70s, I found these gems, still available for checkout at Salina Public Library. I encourage you to read them! They have definitely withstood the test of time.

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Irwin Shaw, Rich Man, Poor Man*

William P. Blatty, The Exorcist
Frederick Forsyth, The Day of the Jackal
Herman Wouk, The Winds of War*

Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev 

Flora R. Schreiber, Sybil

Richard Adams, Watership Down
Peter Benchley, Jaws
Studs Terkel, Working

L. Doctorow, Ragtime
Judith Rossner, Looking for Mister Goodbar

Alex Haley, Roots*
Judith Guest, Ordinary People

J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien, The Silmarillion
Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds*
Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance*
Judith Krantz, Scruples
Ken Follett, Eye of the Needle

Stephen King, The Dead Zone
William Styron, Sophie’s Choice
Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels