Maria’s staff pick: Literature in the ’80s

by Roger Cottingham

The 1980s was a prolific decade for literature. Many authors we consider “must-read” today came out with signature books in the ’80s.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian have all continued to inspire loyal followers of their individual work.

Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity, and Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October spawned blockbuster movies.

Salman Rushide’s The Satanic Verses created worldwide controversy about the depiction of Islam.

And, from Firestarter to The Dark Half, Stephen King produced 16 novels in the decade.

No decade in modern times can be boiled down to just 10 books. The following best-seller list of the ’80s is compiled from many different best-seller lists of that time period.

Best-sellers of the ’80s

1. “Lonesome Dove,” by Larry McMurtry

2. “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card

3. “The Alchemist,” by Paolo Coelho

4. “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn

5. “Crossing to Safety,” by Wallace Stegner

6. “Cosmos,” by Carl Sagan

7. “A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking

8. “Jitterbug Perfume,” by Tom Robbins

9. “The Satanic Verses,” by Salman Rushdie

10. “The Third Wave,” by Alvin Toffler

Roger Cottingham, Maria’s Bookshop


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