Category Archives: 1960s

364F: Greek/Roman epic – a tough one!

Hi there! Been looking for this for YEARS. Please bear with me as I read it in the 90’s and you know how memory goes.

Read it as a paperback. NOT a bodice ripper like romance. Was a Greek/Roman epic. NOT the book Empress of Rome. From the perspective of a prostitute from when she was a girl through adulthood and old age. Not necessarily first person but maybe.  She went to a courtesan-like school to learn the arts- painting, singing etc. I only remember like two very specific parts of the story.

**TRIGGER WARNING- Weird old school brothel tricks and sex talk**

She “ruins” herself or some such thing with a man and she needs to be presented as a virgin to some old guy or important man whatever. There’s a part where an older woman has her put a chicken egg filled with blood or something up there so that when the chicken egg breaks during sex it’ll appear as though it’s hymen blood. Don’t ask why that stuck with me, it just did.

There’s a bunch of intrigue and scandal. A bad guy is in it for sure. There’s a bunch of parties and a nice old guy painter I think. And the prostitute/courtesan is very well renowned. She falls in love with a younger soldier and eventually is together with him for years. At the end of the book she’s dying in bed and he’s holding her hand and she dies with a smile or some such thing because he had no idea how old she was because she took such good care care of herself.

Pretty thick book. Cover had a Greek/Roman depiction (maybe a man and woman? maybe a Greek building in back?) and was creme colored for the most part, I think. Had maybe a bit of red and black lettering. Books was very much late 1960’s-1980’s

I really hope you can help!! Thanks so much

363M: Quaker seamstress in Philadelphia during American revolutionary war (Solved!)

Cheryl Hill, chill4hhorse@comcast.net[/private[

I am looking for a book I read as a teen and young adult in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  I recall finding it at my local library and I believe the author’s last name began with the letter A.  The story was historical fiction and the main character was a seamstress in Philadelphia during the revolutionary war.  She was a member of the Quaker religion and her fiancé fought with George Washington.  She worked in the home of Peggy Shippen’s family and was able to overhear some of the plans made by Benedict Arnold and his wife.

363L: Christmas-time story, possibly 1960’s

The story is about a boy whose father (parents?) left for a trip, leaving him with the cook/housekeeper. Before the present time, she had won a baking contest when the boy knocked some chocolate chips into her mix and she decided to leave them. After they were alone, he ordered a (real) magic kit from the back of a comic book and when he got it and used the wax to form a figure of the housekeeper and maybe cast some spell to make her very sleepy and she stayed in bed for the rest of the story until the end. He then set about on some adventures including one where he made a willow wand to help him find the perfect Christmas tree, which I believe he cut down and brought into the house. I don’t remember the other adventures but at the end of the book he warmed up the wax to break the spell and some of it melted into the fire and filled the house with smoke, just at the time the father/parents came back from their trip.

363B: Bronze Age slave girl saves metal items to purchase her freedom

I checked out this book from my school library when I was in upper elementary, 1971-1973, so the publishing date could be ’50s, ’60s, or early ’70s. I seem to remember a cream colored dust jacket, with black and white illustrations inside that resembled cave drawings. The girl kept her bits of metal under her pillow to keep them safe. I seem to remember a leader wearing a cloak pinned with metal and also wearing a torc around his neck. I don’t remember any psychic abilities or romance in the plot. It’s not “The Cave Twins” or “The Distant Lurs.” (I’ve gone through *most* of the queries until my eyes crossed. 😜) It might have been set in Britain, maybe another European country. She may have saved her owner’s clan by warning them of an imminent attack. And I think she was indeed able to purchase her freedom at the end of the story. Sorry, the details are very fuzzy but I checked the book out several times and loved it. (Probably one of the books that started my love for strong female characters.) Thanks in advance for your help! 

362N: Special-Needs Neighbor Girl

My mother has tasked me into finding a book for her that she read when she was young in the 1960s. She thinks it was published around this time. Here are the best details I could extract from her:
 
  1. Neighbor writes about mentally retarded neighbor girl
  2. Nonfiction, told from the perspective of the a neighbor reflecting about a neighbor girl growing up mentally retarded, with that neighbor girl eventually dying. Mom thinks the word “Wagon” is in the title. She also believes that the story had something to do with a wagon in the yard. Also, the neighbor telling the story had a boyfriend or a crush on a boy.
My mother stated that she wasn’t sure if the girl had Down syndrome or not, as this was before she even knew what that was, so she described it as “mentally retarded”. Those were all the details I could extrapolate, hoping you can help. That book brings a lot of nostalgia for my mother and will be a birthday present if I can get a name of the book.

362F: Daughter Schemes for Piano from Estate (Solved!)

I am looking for a book that my mother-in-law was reading in the late 60s early 70s. It is a book based in San Francisco.
From what she remembers it is a story about a mother or a family member like a dad who dies. The daughters need to split up the estate.
They start in her house on the top floor.They are assigned an order that they must keep the entire time. One of the daughters desperately wants the piano which is on the bottom floor. Each of them takes a turn. The daughter who wants the piano is constantly negotiating with the other two sisters. She’s making side deals with them by telling them that she’ll get this item but she’ll trade it for the piano.
My mother-in-law never read the end of the book. She went to a wedding and she left the book in the hotel. So she never found out what happened at the end and if the daughter was successful in getting the piano.

361R: Portal Fantasy Novel for Kids

I’m trying to find a book that I read when I was in elementary school.  Unfortunately, I don’t recall many helpful details about the book—including its title and author—but I do remember loving the book and recommending it to a non-reading friend who also loved it.  I would very much like to find it so that I can buy it for my daughter.

The following is all I can remember about the book:

–It is a portal fantasy novel about a boy and possibly also a girl who somehow enter another world in order to help save a troubled kingdom or land (not very unique, I know).

–The plot involves a castle, mountains, wolves, and a race against time.  Magical/mystical talking(?) wolves play a role in the book, from what I remember.  I believe they were either the antagonists or the servants of the antagonist.

–From what I remember of the cover, it has a white border or partial border around it with a colorful collage of images from the book against a dark background.  I believe that a castle, mountains, and wolves were all present in this cover collage.

–I checked out the book from my elementary school library when I was in either third or fourth grade, but I believe the target audience of the book is late elementary readers (4th to 6th grade?).

–I read this book in the mid-1980s (between 1983 and 1985?), so it was published prior to that.

–I do not think that it was recent publication at that time, though it wasn’t a very old book either.  My guess is that it was published between 1950 and 1985—probably in the 1970s.

–It is a fairly long chapter book (perhaps 200 to 300 pgs?).

–The copy I checked out from my library had a small trim size, but was fairly thick with small type.

–It was written and published in English, probably either from the U.S. or England.

–It is a stand-alone novel, not part of a longer series.

–I do not believe it is a well-known or famous book.  I have not, for example, run across it on lists of best fantasy novels of the 20th century.

–The title is strange, or, at the very least, not particularly appealing to an elementary school reader because I remember telling my non-reading friend to read it despite the odd title.

–I think the title might have the words in it like “nowhere,” “other,” “land,” or “world.”

–The letter “O” also stands out in my memory as an important part of the title.