The Way We Were

April 23, 2002

It seems that with the advent of John Grisham's book A Painted House, many of us enjoy remembering the way things used to be. Join Reader Advisor Suzy Higgins on a trip into the past, where we will laugh, cry, and remember. For these and other similar titles consult your Reader Advisor or visit our Online Public Access Catalog. Happy Reading!

To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through our OPAC. Happy Reading!

Apes and Angels by Phillip Appleman
RC 29397
A nostalgic novel set in 1941, just before Pearl Harbor. Describes the coming of age of a doctor, a teenage boy, and their all-American town, Kenton, Indiana. Beneath the town's placidity is a mixture of humor, eroticism, philosophy, and pathos. Some descriptions of sex.

Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade in Biography by Patrick Dennis
RC 25837
The narrator describes a series of hilarious episodes in his boyhood, beginning in the 1920s, when he went to live with his highly eccentric aunt. He also satirizes would-be avant garde intellectuals, suburban racial prejudice, and snobbism in general.

Blooming by Susan Allen Toth
RC 18946
Nostalgic recollections of a young girl growing up during the 1950s in Ames, Iowa, with brief notes on the author's perspectives of the past. Toth asserts that life was good, and relates stories about girlfriends, her first kiss, menial jobs, progressing to a job on the local newspaper, and finally, to the world outside.

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive A. Burns
RC 39112
Just three weeks after Granny's death, Will Tweedy's Grandpa marries the pretty, thirty-ish town milliner, Miss Love Simpson. It's 1906 and the town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, is shocked. Fourteen-year-old Will takes it all in, his Grandpa's rejuvenation and Cold Sassy's reaction, while he experiences some major life changes of his own.

Coming Up for Air by George Orwell
RC 15699
A middle-aged insurance man with a new set of false teeth and his horse-race winnings steals a vacation from his family to visit the village where he grew up. This account of his misadventures gives a nostalgic view of England from 1893, when he was born, to just before World War II.

Country Scrapbook by Jerry Mack Johnson
RC 12742
A nostalgic review of country lore with information on weather, dowsing, patterns of bird migration, and trees. Includes hints on such topics as temperature calculation, game bagging, fish bait, camp cookery, and rural household remedies.

Cow People by J. Frank Dobie
RC 33701 and BR 8805
The late historian has written a chronicle of the old-time Texas ranchers and their customs. Written in the natural rhythm of spoken language, it is an affectionate and nostalgic remembrance of the life he lived and those who lived it with him.

The Fifty Year Dash: Feelings, Foibles and Fears of Being 50 by Bob Green
RC 44745
A journalist's humorous and nostalgic ruminations on his life at the half-century mark. He reflects wistfully on the youthful joys of junk food and junk music, the thrill of anticipation of his first kiss, and the lost innocence of the America he knew as a child.

Forty Acres and No Mule by Janice Holt Giles
RC 49288
The author recalls how she met her husband in 1943 and they moved to his family home in Adair County, Kentucky, after the war. They worked the hardscrabble farm to eke out a living while she struggled to understand and conform to the customs and culture of Appalachia.

From This Moment On: America in 1940 by Jeffrey Hart
RC 27153
A nostalgic look at 1940, which the author sees as a pivotal year that "marked the end of a distinctive era in American life" and witnessed the country's greatest number of champions. Franklin Roosevelt, Robert Moses, Joe Louis, Joe Dimaggio, Clark Gable, Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn, and other such "champions" are profiled as the author explores the social, intellectual, political, economic, and religious life of that momentous year.

Growing Up Rich by Anne Bernays
RC 09740
A nostalgic novel about adolescence set in the 40s and 50s. Humorously relates the adjustments made by a rich, privileged, Jewish girl from the Upper East Side of New York after her parents are killed and she must live with a traditional, middle-class, Jewish family.

House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate by Maxine Kumin
RC 09729
These poems about nature and nostalgic reminiscences of growing up in the 30s and 40s affirm the poet's love of life. Pulitzer Prize for 1973. Strong language.

It Happened in the Catskills: An Oral History
by Harvey Fromer and Myrna Katz Fromer
RC 33620
A portrait of life in the Borscht Belt, drawn from recollections of those who worked and played there. For almost a century, the Catskills were a haven for city dwellers and a proving ground for young entertainers. Nostalgic anecdotes document the area's traditionally Jewish heritage.

Invisible Men: Life in Baseball's Negro Leagues by Donn Rogosin
RC 22042
An account of black baseball from 1920 until 1949, when Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues. The author, who interviewed many surviving Negro League stars, tells about their lives on and off the field and about the league's role in black life.

Mama's Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
RC 18124
This book contains sketches of life in a Norwegian-American family. The various members have their small adventures, but mama always emerges as the heroine. From her the children learn courage, honesty, and straight thinking.

My Antonia by Willa Sibert Cather
RC 13491 and BR 11320
A lawyer recalls his Nebraska boyhood and the girl who was a strong influence on his life in this novel about pioneering conditions and the assimilation of the immigrant.

Next Time Around: Some Things Pleasantly Remembered by John Gould
RC 20527
The author, who is from Friendship, Maine, offers recollections of people and adventures in his home state. His nostalgic reminiscences include driving his Civil War veteran Grandpa in a Model T, fishing trips, sailing at age six from Boston to Maine, and chewing Forbidden Fruit gum while getting a haircut in 1919 from a fiddling barber.

A Painted House by John Grisham
RC 51331 and BR 13239
Arkansas,1952. Seven-year-old Luke Shandler, who lives with his parents and grandparents in a house that has never been painted, recounts the events during cotton-picking season. As Luke faces the daily grind of harvesting, he witnesses a murder, a birth, and a storm that changes their lives forever. Contains some violence.

The Quilt by T. Davis Bunn
RC 38975 and BR 09762
Mary can hardly remember when she was a little girl, the years seem to have gone so fast. Now she is old, and she hopes she has raised her family the way the Lord would have wanted her to. But something has been keeping her awake at night, and she finally realizes what it is: she is to make a quilt, and "not a stitch is to be sewn without a prayer of thanks." As the quilt making draws to an end, so does Mary's life.

Remember When? Family, Friends, and Recipes by Clara Belle Hooks Eschemann
RC 50461
Eschmann, who has lived in Georgia all her life, reminisces and shares favorite recipes. Beginning with the reopening of school in the fall, she carries the reader through a year of activities such as making pull candy, waiting for Santa, having Valentine's Day parties, choosing Easter dresses, picking wildflowers, and attending church picnics.

Remembering Woolworth's: A Nostalgic History of the World's Most Famous Five-and-Dime by Karen Plunkett-Powell
RC 51435
This history of the "great five-cent store" from 1879 to 1997 traces the rags-to-riches story of founder Frank Winfield Woolworth. It recalls his first successful enterprise, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his role in the construction of the world's tallest building in 1913, the depression years, and the lunch-counter sit-ins of the early 1960s.

Run with the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams
RC 37926
Conveys what it was like to grow up in the bosom of a stable family in rural Georgia during the Great Depression. Porter Osborne, Jr., a precocious and rambunctious boy going through adolescence, learns many painful truths from his genteel, patient mother, his snuff-dipping grandmother, and most of all, from his beloved though flawed father. Contains some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Prequel to Whisper of the River (RC 36752).

Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright
RC 29860
This is a sentimental and religious tale of the Ozark country. The main characters are two mountaineers, old Matt and young Matt, a girl named Sammy, and Jim Lane who is young Matt's rival for Sammy's hand.

Sherwood Anderson: Short Stories edited by Maxwell Geismar
RC 18125
Nostalgic collection of touching, entertaining stories that evoke a period in America that no longer exists. Contains sad, ironic, and provincial tales all set before and during the depression.

The Snow Ball by A.R. Gurney, Jr.
RC 23498
Memories of a special couple, Jack and Kitty, and their magical dancing at the once-elegant annual Snow Ball are the focal point of this nostalgic novel. Two middle-aged members of the old crowd decided to revive the Snow Ball in Buffalo and bring Kitty and Jack back for one last dance.

Something on the Wind by Barbara Moore
RC 12598
An old sheepdog tries to guide a pair of mules to the only home they can remember, a cabin that lies hundreds of miles away in the rugged Colorado mountains.

Time Remembered by Miss Read
RC 28442
This nostalgic account describes what Miss Read regards as one of the happiest periods of her life. It tells of her need to live in the country, to savor the changing seasons and the diverse village personalities, and her reverence for such writers as Thomas Hardy, Edward Thomas, and John Betjeman.
"Where did you go?" "Out." "What did you do?" "Nothing." by Robert Paul Smith
RC 27500
A nostalgic recollection of childhood for those who remember marbles as immies and mumbly-peg as a better game than canasta.

World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow
RC 22972 and BR 06338
A nostalgic recreation of the first decade in a sensitive boy's life evokes New York during the 1930s. Captures the universals of childhood experience, the sights and sounds of growing up during the Great Depression, and reports on the intimacies of Jewish family life. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.

The Year the Lights Came On by Terry Kay
RC 15380
A nostalgic, humorous remembrance of Colin Wynn's boyhood, which gives way to adolescence in the summer of 1947 when the REA brings electricity and revolutionizes the crossroads community of Emery, Georgia.