Top 10 Books from 1980
There are lots of challenges that you can take part in on the Goodreads groups I’m a member of, but one that particularly interested me recently was ‘books from the year you were born. I was born in 1980 so I thought I’d look and see what books were published in 1980 that I fancied reading. It turns out, there are quite a lot – it was either a really good year for books, or more likely there are just lots of books in every year that I’d be up for reading. Here’s 10 that stood out for me.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – This literary medieval whodunnit has been on my list for a while, it’s supposed to be a great book.
Cosmos by Carl Sagan – This is the classic text by Carl Sagan, the Brian Cox/Neil DeGrasse Tyson of the 1970s and 1980s. It’s the book that got a lot of famous scientists of today into science and astronomy, a book full of science and full of wonder.
The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland – Fresh from reading the wonderful Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (you can read my review here), I’ve been wanting to read some more on this topic, and this is considered by many to be the book on Norse Mythology.
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederick Pohl – I’ve been enjoying reading some classic sci-fi recently, and this is the sequel to Pohl’s awe-inspiring novel Gateway, so is definitely going to have to go on my list. That said, it’s quite a few years since I read Gateway so may have to re-read that first.
Wild Seed by Octavia E Butler – I’ve only read short stories by her before, but Butler is considered by many one of the best science fiction writers out there. This is the first book in Butler’s acclaimed Patternmaster series (but written after Patternmaster for which this is a prequel)
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn – This is a historical classic that I’ve been interested in for a while, it tells the whole history of the USA from the perspective of common foot soldiers, farmers, slaves, Native Americans, all those who are usually overlooked in history books.
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum – The first book in Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series, now a popular series of films starring Matt Damon.
The Covenant by James Michener – James Michener wrote huge historical novels often covering hundreds if not thousands of years. His books tend to have a large cast of characters, but often following just a few families through the ages. If you’ve read Edward Rutherford, you’ll know what to expect. This book covers the history of South Africa.
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe – This is book one of his epic ‘Book of the New Sun’ fantasy/sci-fi series.
The Ice Dragon by George R R Martin – This is a fantasy story for children, by the writer of Game of Thrones. No, seriously. Who would have thought he had it in him? (If you’ve read the Game of Thrones books, or watched the TV series you will see the irony in this)
So that’s my pick of books from 1980. I’m not sure how many I’ll read for this challenge, I’ll probably try for 5 first of all, and see how I go on. If you want to look for more books written in 1980, here’s a Goodreads list of most popular books from 1980. Which ones stand out for you?