Announcing the 2017 Edition of Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club

Full name: Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club Featuring Classics of Women’s Literature Defined As Books Authored By, About or Widely Read By Women in the 20th Century, because I should maybe read something intended for actual adults occasionally.

This year’s titles are…

Up the Down Staircase By Bel Kaufman Rookie teacher navigates the bureaucracy of the New York City school system in the mid-1960s. Will things stay the same the more they change? WILL THEY? Plus movie.

Haywire By Brooke Hayward Brooke Hayward is the daughter of theatrical producer Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan; her 1977 memoir relates her family’s history of mental illness and suicides. The 1980 made-for-TV movie stars Lee Remick as  Sullavan and Jason Robards as Leland Hayward.

The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown By Sylvia Tate …And now for a lighter look at Hollywood, Sylvia Tate’s long-lost satire about a megalomaniacal starlet whose kidnapping is mistaken for a publicity stunt (or is it?).  An uncharacteristically blonde Jane Russell stars in the 1957 movie, which is somehow not a feminist film-theory staple.

The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson And just in time for Halloween (or possibly, Thanksgiving) Shirley Jackson’s classic ghost story-slash-subtext fest. With the movie, of course.

The Imaginary Summer Book Club FAQ can be found here. 

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14 Responses to Announcing the 2017 Edition of Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club

  1. miss amy says:

    All of these sound magnificent! It’s gonna be a great summer book club.

  2. Loved Up the Down Staircase! Kaufman died in 2014 at the age of 103. She was still teaching when she turned 100.

    • mondomolly says:

      So, Bel Kaufman and I are actually both Hunter College alumnae, which is one of the reasons why I picked this one! Embarrassingly enough, it wasn’t until after she died did I realize that the “Bel” that the alumni association was always going on so glowingly about was Kaufman. If I had known, I would have put out the effort to try and meet her!

      • Susan says:

        That’s how I felt when I learned that Julie Campbell Tatham, author of some of the Cherry Ames and Trixie Belden books, lived just a few miles from me before she passed away in 1999. Missed opportunities 😦 .
        I have photos of some of my children with authors Valerie Tripp and Tomie DePaola. It was awesome to meet them!

  3. ninyabruja says:

    She was Sholem Aleichem’s(whose stories were the basis for Fiddler on the Roof) granddaughter.

  4. Shawn Cullen says:

    I’ve read three out of four of these, but I’ll happily re-read them! Incidentally, the film version of “Up the Down Staircase” turns up now and again on TCM. Their article about it says it’s quite good, but it was overshadowed at the time (and since) by the success of “To Sir With Love” which is a splashier film on a similar subject. I haven’t seen the TV movie of “Haywire” in years but I remember it was very good.

    • mondomolly says:

      Looking forward to hearing you thoughts on all of these! I definitely encourage comments to be as expansive as possible, so please feel free to compare with “Sir”!

  5. Susan says:

    I loved Up the Down Staircase when I read it back in high school. I checked it out a few months ago after someone here mentioned it but didn’t get time to read it. It says something, that our library system still has it! So I’ll request it again.

    • mondomolly says:

      The (I believe) most recent edition has a really good intro by Kaufman! It is amazing how its appeal has translated both through time around the world.

  6. Cee says:

    Love Up the Down Staircase! I still say “Let that be a challenge to you.” I’ve always been confused (haunted, even) by that strange encounter between Joe Ferone and Sylvia, when he stops by to see her after school at her encouragement. (She writes about it in a letter.) Does he assume she’s coming on to him? Is he coming on to her? What happened?

    Also, The Haunting of Hill House is literally one of the scariest things ever written. For a really great analysis of it, read Stephen King’s horror treatise Danse Macabre.

  7. Pingback: Checking In With The Imaginary Summer Book Club: Up The Down Staircase By Bel Kaufman | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

  8. Pingback: Checking In With The Imaginary Summer Book Club: Haywire By Brooke Hayward | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

  9. Pingback: Checking In With The Imaginary Summer Book Club: The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown By Sylvia Tate | Lost Classics of Teen Lit, 1939-1989

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