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Great book series of the '60s & '70s?
Old 06-09-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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Great book series of the '60s & '70s?

Our teen asked me what books I used to wait in line for-- my 1960s & '70s version of the Harry Potter series.

I couldn't name a single author. I came along a little late for Ian Fleming/James Bond and Donald Hamilton/Matt Helm, although I've collected them all. There were plenty of sci-fi authors who put out trilogies, and others who put out one or two books a year on a theme instead of recurring characters. But other than Asimov, Tolkein, Heinlein, & Jack Chalker I couldn't really name anyone.

Maybe Harry Harrison and his adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat. But other than "Soylent Green" he was way below most people's radar screens.

I've read David Weber's "Honor Harrington" books, but I didn't catch up until #8 or #9. I don't think he started those until the 1980s.

I think the first series where I've enjoyed the anticipation of each release as much as she's enjoyed Harry Potter is... Jim Butcher's stories about wizard Harry Dresden. Ironically it's an R-rated version of Harry Potter.

Who else am I missing?
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:11 PM   #2
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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Nothing like Harry Potter. If there was, it would have made this list:

1960s Bestsellers

There was The Godfather and Tai-Pan (&Sho-gun), Love Story, Thorn Birds, Ken Follett books, Kurt Vonnegut books, but nothing like Harry Potter.

BTW, J.K. Rowling didn't want a movie made -- how did they change her mind?
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
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I mostly read The Mother Earth News and High Times in the 70s...

Maybe Carlos Castanada?
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:22 PM   #5
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Certainly not as popular as J.K. Rowling, but I was a fan of James A. Michener: Hawaii, The Drifters, Centennial, The Source
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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Going back to the 50s, Tom Swift Jr was OK, but the Hardy Boys was my favorite series. I used to get sick and stay home from school to read a new Hardy Boys book.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:48 PM   #7
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John D. MacDonald--and not just the Travis McGee series!
Dick Francis horseracing mystery writer
Judy Blume great young adult books of all kinds
S.E. Hinton --the Outsiders, Tex, That was Then
Marguerite Henry --the Black Stallion mystery series and many more!
Ann Sheldon's Linda Craig horse mystery series (Chica d'Oro was her horse)

Can you tell I was a horse person?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
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None with the popularity of Potter.

The Chronicles of Narnia was one of the first series I read, but these dated from the 50s. Madeline L'Engle's books, starting with a Wrinkle in Time from the early 60s got me waiting with baited breath for sci fi and other speculative fiction novels.

The black stallion novels started in the 40s and continued into the 70s IIRC.

There were a number of fantasy series in the 60s and 70s, such as the ones by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover, Avalon. . ), Stephen Donalson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever), Roger Zelazny (stories took place in the world of Amber); Ursula Le Guin had a serial with Ged as the hero; Piers Anthony's Xanth novels; the Frank Herbert Dune books.

And then there are all the mystery/detective novels. Parker's Spenser books. The women detective books by Muller, Paretsky, and Grafton which I believe all started in the 70s. I could go on and on FWIW.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #10
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I also liked Larry Niven and his Gil Hamilton stories (sci fi).

And the spy novels! Cannot forget the cold war! John Le Carre', starting with The Spy who Came in the the Cold.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:33 PM   #11
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The Hardy Boys series was still going strong in the 60's (and into the 70's I think). I must have had 40 something of them by the time I moved on to other authors.

I remember the waiting list for "new" Doc Savage novels at the elementary school library. They were written in the 30's and 40's, but I guess we "discovered" them in the 60's when the librarian started ordering the series.

My dad read the Travis McGee series and I picked up my interest in McDonald's work from him. The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything was one of my favorites, and one of his few forays into Science Fiction.

Anything by Michener was eagerly awaited. Discovered Ian Fleming not long after he died. I worked my way through all the old Edgar Rice Burroughs books, before moving on to all of the rest of the SciFi greats, Heinlein and Asimov were all devoured at some point.

Good memories. Thanks for bringing this up Nords.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:38 PM   #12
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Man, I am remembering more. The Chaim Potok series from the 60s and maybe into the 70s, starting with The Chosen.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:17 AM   #13
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:48 AM   #14
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I'd second Martha's "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" and other Le Carre.

Not a series, but I read a lot of the Alistair McClain books (Ice Station Zebra, Guns of Navarone, Fear is the Key). Maybe not classics, but solid entertainment.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:49 AM   #15
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:23 AM   #16
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Leonidas, that is my fave Sci Fi of John D McDonald, it has such a great wry sense of humor to that story! You might also like Murder in the Wind and Condominium, his two very realistic hurricane stories--and if you folks in Florida haven't read them--they are a "don't miss" with the start of yet another hurricane season!

Nords, thanks for the reminder of book of youth--I picked up That was Then, This is Now off the shelf last night for some nostalgia, and it is still a good, yet disturbingly cautionary book.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:34 AM   #17
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:28 AM   #18
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:47 AM   #19
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That was my Kurt Vonnegut stage. I collected most of them in paperback and as an adult they ended up in a box in the attic. Years later I got all choked up when my teenage son found them and asked if he could borrow them. His books are really the only fiction I've ever enjoyed.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:12 PM   #20
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