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Dusk's Baby Boomer Bookshelf

This bookshelf is a work-in-progress project within Linked Fantasies, Linked Futures. Updated March 2024.

Linked Fantasies, Linked Futures: Early Fiction & Journals



This is not (entirely) a list of books published during the Baby Boomer era (1946–1964). Rather, it is my attempt to reconstruct a list of the books that I, a Baby Boomer born in 1963, read as a child – that is, by 1981.

Given that I read thousands of books as a child, this is a formidable task. But my task is made much easier by a card catalogue of my home library that I began compiling in my mid-teens. I rarely discarded books back then, so the catalogue is a nearly comprehensive record of the books I owned from the time I was born. (I still own my baby books.) Additional titles come from my memories, my childhood papers, and my journals, which I started at age eleven.

The booklist is a work-in-progress. Unattributed quotations below come from the book descriptions in my teen card catalogue. I was a writer-in-training; I was doing my best to master the art of the blurb. Publication information is usually copied from my teen card catalogue, so there may be errors.

One of my sources for books, especially adult science fiction, was our local used bookstore, Riverdale Bookshop. When my family first started going there in the 1970s, paperbacks cost a nickel. Even by the standards of that time, Riverdale books were a steal.

Most of these books I first borrowed from Greenbelt Library, our local public library in Maryland, which at that time had one of the best-stocked children's departments in the USA. (I can safely say this, having visited the children's departments of major public libraries during my twenties.) Greenbelt Library's collection dated back to the founding of the city in 1937. I got the definite impression as a child that the library had scarcely discarded a single book since that time. As a result, the books of nearly every major children's author from the 1940s to the 1970s (and quite a few minor authors from that period) were stocked by Greenbelt Library – often every book released by those authors. When Greenbelt Library began selling off about a third of its children's collection around the time I graduated high school, I eagerly snatched up as many of my childhood favorites as I could. Those titles ended up being recorded in my card catalogue.

So this is a window back to what it was like to be a Baby Boomer reader in the 1960s and 1970s. If you had walked into a well-stocked US public library during those decades, these are the sorts of books you would have seen.

Books for children: Picture books

Roz Abisch.

Joy Adamson.

Hans Christian Andersen.

Edward Ardizzone.

Books for children: Novels and story collections (including young adult fiction)

Richard Adams.

Nan Hayden Agle and Ellen Wilson.

Joan Aiken.

Louisa May Alcott.

Lloyd Alexander.

Hans Christian Andersen.

Mary Buff and Conrad Buff.

Books for children: Nonfiction


Ruth Brindze.

Books for children and adults: Miscellaneous categories

Cartoons and humor

Norman Bridwell.

  • How to Care for Your Monster (1970). Illustrated by the author. Scholastic. "How to care for a Frankenstein monster ('He will feel better the first night if you rattle a chain and shriek a little'), mummy, vampire ('They enjoy bat-minton'), and werewolf ('Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow')." Probably bought by me at school through the Scholastic Book Club.

Lewis Copeland and Faye Copeland.

  • 10,000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories (1940). Garden City, NY: Garden City Books. "Arranged by subject and indexed." As a child, I systematically read my way through much of this book.

Poetry and lyrics

Percy Buck (editor).



Books for adults: Novels and story collections

Douglas Adams.

Isaac Asimov.

Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

John Brunner.

Robert Buckner.

Books for adults: Nonfiction


Leslie Alcock.

Geoffrey Ashe.

Graham Ashton.

George Bellew.


Muriel Beadle.

Josef Berger and Dorothy Berger (editors).

Vera Brittain.

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