Anniversaries mark a time for celebration, so what better way to celebrate the anniversary of a piece of literature than by cracking it open and giving it a read? 2014 is a milestone year for a number of books and WPL is encouraging you to help us celebrate by reading some of these classic titles!
Turning twenty-five is Amy Tan’s best selling novel The Joy Luck Club. This popular title, which has been adapted as both a stage play and film, follows the life of four immigrant Chinese women and their daughters. Also celebrating its silver jubilee is Josh Grisham’s debut novel A Time To Kill. This is the book that began Grisham’s reign as a best selling novelist in which young lawyer Jake Brigance defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his daughter. Young readers wanting to participate in the celebration should check out Jon Scieszka’s classic send-up of a classic fairy story, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Told through the eyes of a not-so big bad wolf, this story is rich with humour and features beautiful illustrations by Scieszka’s long time collaborator Lance Smith.
Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year is Hannah Green’s I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, a powerful work detailing a teenage girl’s three year struggle with schizophrenia. Also celebrating the golden anniversary is James Bond author Ian Flemming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a fantastical children’s novel about the Pott family and their magical flying automobile. Other children’s classics turning the big 5-0 include Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Shel Silverstein’s beautiful picture book The Giving Tree.
Turning seventy-five this April is John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath. This 1939 Depression-era classic depicts the trails and tribulations of the Joads, a family migrating west from their rural Oklahoma home to the promised golden land of California. Other classic novels celebrating the diamond anniversary this year are James Joyce’s experimental prose work Finnegans Wake, Nathanael West’s satire on the corrupting power of Hollywood, The Day of the Locusts, and Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, which debuted the iconic hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe.
Readers who want to check out a truly significant milestone may want to pick up James Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners. This realistic reflection of life in Ireland commemorates a century of publication in June. If this centennial anniversary isn’t impressive enough, you may want celebrate the bicentennial release of Jane Austen’s seminal Mansfield Park. This tale of poor Fanny Price, an impoverished girl who struggles with class privilege and social influence after going to live with her affluent uncle, celebrates its two hundredth year of publication in July
Help us celebrate these incredible anniversaries by checking these titles out! All are available through the Windsor Public Library.