1976 Club: What I’ve Already Read



1976 is the new Club year! Thank you to Simon at Stuck in a Book for being our Club host!

1976 At a Glance

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Queen Elizabeth and President Gerald R. Ford share a toast as Vice President Nelson Rockefeller watches.

It was America’s Bicentennial and we had our only unelected President–Gerald Ford [Washington was “elected” by acclaim]. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited and saw the Liberty Bell. (I saw the Bell the year before on a band trip).

I was a freshman in high school.

Mini-series of big novels were a hit on t.v. Captains and Kings, The Last Convertible, Rich Man, Poor Man, Once an Eagle were among the books brought to life on tv over several weeks in the 1970s. We LOVED big sprawling books then! No social media to destroy our attention spans.

The Bicentennial Minute, a commercial-length history sound byte, was a feature of evening tv that year, educating Americans about our history. (See the bottom of this post for a video of one Bicentennial Minute).

I was a big reader by then, but rarely of the titles assigned in school! I loved anything by Herman Wouk or Patrick Dennis, as well as The Great Gatsby, GWTW, and all kinds of history books.

My hometown, which was dominated by General Motors and GM-related factories and a growing state university (transformed from a Teacher’s College), had an outstanding indie bookshop that my Mom and I loved.

A Chorus Line won the 1976 Pulitzer for Drama–I would see it in London in June 1977 with my grandmother. I still know nearly every word to every song.


Some of the Books Published in 1976 That I’ve Read


My favorites?

  1. The Great Sanitini by Pat Conroy
  2. Saving the Queen by William F. Buckley jr
  3. Letters From Father Christmas by JRR Tolkein (“Centenary Edition” refers to the date of the first letter–not the publication of the book).
  4. Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry like Christmas by Maya Angelou

Note: This is just a list–they are not ranked in any order.

Are you participating in the 1976 Club? Do you have a favorite book published that year? Leave me a comment or a link to your own post.

Here is a Bicentennial Minute

13 thoughts on “1976 Club: What I’ve Already Read

Add yours

  1. Great list. I was looking for the Francis to read for my club picks as it is one I haven’t read but haven’t found a copy. I have however found three picks which I’ve gotten started on so as not to be behind time 🙂 Looking forward to see your picks as well.


  2. I remember those Bicentennial Minutes. I am Canadian, but watched US television. I have read other Conroy books and enjoyed them. I should give The Great Santini a go. Great post, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like many other people I watched the TV series Roots. I’ve even been to the village from where Kunta Kinte was snatched. But I’ve not read the book, In fact when I look at the list of books published in 1976 I’m horrified to discover I’ve not read a single one. I was first year at university in 76 so was I too busy partying to read???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I forgot the Angelou was from that year although it would have been mean to the other two I’m reading them all with to delay that until October! I’m reading Roots at the moment, 30 chapters a week through this month, very absorbing so far.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s fascinating to me how much of this was known widely at the time. I have watched documentaries and read other books set in African villages, have a decent understanding of the horrors of the Middle Passage, etc., but was that all out there in the 70s?

        Liked by 1 person

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