It's Fun! It's Weird! It's Historic! Read a Book Published the Year You Were Born

For this year's summer escape book, why not read a bestseller or notable title from your year of birth?

All you need to make your selection is the no-frills website The Books of the Century, which bases its lists on these sources:  

  • Publisher's Weekly Bestsellers, which are hardcover books (both fiction and nonfiction) having the highest sales for a given year.   
  • Critically Acclaimed and Historically Significant Books is a composite list of books that, although not bestsellers, either received praise from book reviews, or documented an important historical event.  
  • For the years 1926-1977, you'll find titles from the Book of the Month Club, which offered books by subscription to hundreds of thousands of people. Every month, literary critics chose the "main selection," and sent it out to members.  

If, for example, you were born in 1985, one of your options will be The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.  You can find a summary, reviews, literary criticism or author biography by visiting DPL's Literature Resource Center database, which is available with your library card.            

If you liked your chosen book and want to find similar titles, try Novelist Plus (also available with your DPL card) for read-alikes. You can also search by award winners, genre, pacing, writing style, storyline or tone.  

Or, let us do the work for you by Requesting a Personalized Reading List - just fill out the form and receive a list of recommendations in about a week.  

And yes, watching the movie counts.  


Written by Lisa on July 7, 2017


FrankW on July 16, 2017


What a great post!! I've actually already read one of the books published the year I was born. That was Gore Vidal's "Myra Breckenridge" - I read that sometime in the 1990s. I noticed that Arthur Hailey's "Airport" was also written the year I was born... and to be honest, I didn't know that the screenplay for the movie was based on a novel. Thanks Lisa!

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