Sunday, January 13, 2013

Preppy Books



There are different categories of preppy books, including classic prep school books, books about preppies, and books about topics that should of interest to preppies.

Classic Prep School Books
  • The Deptford Trilogy and The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies 
  • Peter the Great by Robert  Massie
  • Our Vanishing Landscape and anything else by Eric Sloane
  • The Silver Horn by Gordon Grand.
  • The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells
  • Virgil's Aeneid.  (My old Latin instructor would be proud...though not too proud. I don't think Oxbridge-types ever get proud.)
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle )
  • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Complete the Louisa May Alcott series by reading the additional books Little Men, Jo's Boys, etc. and as an antithesis, look up The Little Colonel series. 
  • Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead
  • The "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Misty of Chincoteague
  • Everything by Jane Austen
  • Everything by O Henry, 
  • Everything by Edgar Allen Poe ( who dropped out of UVA and still experienced literary success) 
  • Everything by The Bronte sisters. 
  • On the Beach 
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 
  •  A Separate Peace
  • The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 
  • A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
  • Anything by Agatha Christie 
  • P.D. James
  • Barbara Vine
  • The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
  • The Man in "The Gray Flannel Suit", by Sloan Wilson
  • John Irving's The World According to Garp
  • The Class by Eric Segal.
  • P. G. Wodehouse books are classic brit humor; especially the Jeeves and Blandings series.
  • The Mandelbaum translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis
  • Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • Robert Frost.  And stop at Robert's grave in the Old Bennington Cemetary when in the vicinity.
  • Poe
  • The Little Prince. In French.
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Anything by Auchincloss
  • Anything by Fitzgerald
  • Novels by Louis Auchincloss
  • The works of Henry James.
  • John McPhee
  • William Faulkner
Books about Preppies
  • Cheerful Money by Tad Friend, 
  • The Big House by George Howe Colt
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead  and Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton are both hilarious, on-target sendups of Prep and should definitely grace your Boat n' Tote bag.
Books on Topics of Interest to Preppies
  • The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told. The editor is Christopher Caswell.
  • Albion's Seed, for a greater understanding of the social history of New England.
Other
  • Stephen King, CS Lewis, and GK Chesterton
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
  • The Spoils of Time trilogy by Penny Vincenzi
  • John LeCarre.  Watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy three times, then read the book
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Tous les hommes sont mortels
  • Gone with the Wind


38 comments:

Greenfield said...

"Our Vanishing Landscape," and anything else by Eric Sloane; and "The Silver Horn" by Gordon Grand.

Cranky Yankee said...

"The Rise of Silas Lapham" by William Dean Howells

It's a book that I liked when I first read it 100 years ago and enjoyed it even more on a recent train ride down to New York.

Anonymous said...

Virgil's Aeneid.

My old Latin instructor would be proud...though not too proud. I don't think Oxbridge-types ever get proud.

Oxford Cloth Button Down said...

I haven't read anything much better than War and Peace. A couple others that I really liked are "The Red and the Black" by Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle ) and "Of Human Bondage" by W. Somerset Maugham.

Whatever you choose next, enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I am sure you will get a generous collection of requisite "stuffy" books suggested to you over the next couple of days, dear reader. It somehow seems necessary to read these to flesh out one's cultural references, much as cod liver oil was suggested as a remedy for most ailments in days gone by ( thankfully). Allow me to suggest some additional books for your shelves: Complete the Louisa May Alcott series by reading the additional books" Little Men, Jo's Boys, etc. and as an antithesis, look up "The Little Colonel" series. Read also Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Gone with the Wind, the "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Misty of Chincoteague (SP?), Everything by Jane Austen, O Henry, Edgar Allen Poe ( who dropped out of UVA and still experienced literary success) and the Bronte sisters. Also I recommend On the Beach and a book about Guernsey which name escapes me. Stephen King, CS Lewis, and GK Chesterton are also must-reads. Hope that helps!

Nick M said...

In 1998 I left my copy of The Deptford Trilogy in the seatpocket on a transatlantic flight -- I was 50 pages from the end!

It was only after I bought the novel that I realised it was the 'wrong' Deptford, and not the one just up the Thames from where I now live.

Jane said...

..." A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith

Also, on the NY theme, novels by Louis Auchincloss, and the works of Henry James.

Wasp Decor said...

I had quite a bit of time this summer to read. (Cancer/chemotherapy will do that for you, unfortunately ) I read a great book about T. Jefferson. There's a volunteer who'd come round bed to bed at Sibley hospital with a book cart. I asked if she had any books on history and she told me she had just got a new book in: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by John Meacham. Excellent book.
Just my two cents.
W.

Wasp Decor said...

edit: Jon Meacham, not John.

Samantha said...

Happy to see you recommending the Deptford Trilogy! Robertson Davies is one of my favourite writers, and you really can't go wrong with any of his work.

Greenfield said...

Now for "non-classic" but oh-so-on-theme light reads, a pair of adorable beach books are "Seating Arrangements" by Maggie Shipstead and "Mating Rituals of the North American WASP" by Lauren Lipton. Both are hilarious, on-target sendups of Prep and should definitely grace your Boat n' Tote bag.

Ms. Lipton once happened to sit next to me on the train out of the city, and she's as funny and insightful in person as in print!

HillaryPearl said...

Maybe not a classic, but one of my favorites is, A Seperate Peace.

monica said...

Hi Muffy,
I cannot get enough of your blog!!! I'm a fairly new reader and I'm slowly working my way backwards and reading your older posts- they are new to me!!!
Sorry, it's off topic but I'm in desperate need of some new women's belts. What would you advise?
Many thanks!!

LG said...

I really love The Spoils of Time trilogy by Penny Vincenzi: No Angel is the first one. I think anyone who likes Downton Abbey would like these.

Casey said...

The last books I recommened were 'Divergent' and it's sequel 'Insurgent'. They are similar to but way better than 'The Hunger Games'. I've also read 'Mating Rituals...' and loved it.

Sartre said...

I've always been a great fan of Davies. I slightly prefer the Cornish trilogy, mostly because my favorite book of his is The Rebel Angels. My other favorite book is, I believe, his last, The Cunning Man.

Anonymous said...

The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr. I have loved and loaned all of these books.
Jane Keller

Anonymous said...

No matter how down I get or how dreary the weather nothing perks me up like Agatha Christie or Jane Austen. They are my "go to" ladies.

Anonymous said...

John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany" makes me laugh and cry. As for mysteries, I love the Brits: P.D. James, Barbara Vine, and Dame Agatha all the way.

Paul Connors said...

'The Rector of Justin" by Louis Auchincloss, The Man in "The Gray Flannel Suit", by Sloan Wilson, John Irving's "The World According to Garp." "The Class" by Eric Segal.

Paul Connors

Anonymous said...

P. G. Wodehouse books are classic brit humor; especially the Jeeves and Blandings series.

cpd said...

I too second the Aeneid - although the Mandelbaum translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis which came out a few years back is sublime.

My best friend gave me this book for Christmas - "The Greatest Sailing Stories Ever Told" The editor is Christopher Caswell. It was a great companion on a trip to Maine a few weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Wallace Stegner's "Angle of Repose"

strollercize said...

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Frank's girlfriend made him read it and watch the movies, all three of them! It is a whale of a story! A must in the home library!

Anonymous said...

You've got a great collection of books. I see my two favorites: Frost and Poe. We always stop at Robert's grave in the Old Bennington Cemetary when we're in the vicinity. I love to read, but rarely read fiction/novels. I'm more of a "If I'm going to read, I want to learn something," type of reader. My grandfather passed down a marvelous collection of very old books, which my mother now has.

WRJ said...

My parents have a great collection of old books of their own and of their parents and grandparents that contains nearly all of the true classics as well as many new classics, some in both French and English. Unfortunately, the books aren't allowed to leave the house, at least with me, due to their sentimental value. So I have to borrow in secret and hope to finish and replace the book before anyone notices.

I'm now working my way through John LeCarre's spy novels and think those should be considered in the "new classics" category.

Laurie Ann said...

Love the painting! Your resemblance to him is uncanny!

Muffy Aldrich said...

@WRJ - After reading the books, I would highly recommend then listening to the (abridged) audio tapes read by LeCarre as he is insanely good at reading his work. (Many of our older books belonged to past generations as well.)

Patsy said...

Great admirer of Robert Massie - I'd add Nicholas & Alexandra and Journey.

One of my all time favorites is Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin.

mary anne said...

Ok, perhaps low-brow but two of my favorite books since my school days are "Catcher in the Rye" and "The Little Prince". Extra points if TLP is read in French.

Greenfield said...

For Downton Abbey fans, you can't beat Michael Cox's "The Meaning of Night" and sequel "The Glass of Time." Titles, estates in entail, conflicted inheritances, and MURDER! Just delicious Anglophilia. (That should be a word!)

The Viceroy said...

Simone de Beauvoir, Tous les hommes sont mortels

dE

Anonymous said...

I apologize for being very off topic, but I was wondering if you had any tips on how to keep lent and pilling off clothes? I have cotton polo shirts, cotton sweaters and wool sweaters that attract a lot of lint. What do you recommend to keep the lint and pilling off?

Squeeze said...

Clarence Day, "Life With Father."

Tabor Kid said...

Anything by Auchincloss

Anything by Fitzgerald

A Prayer for Owen Meaney

Watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy three times, then read the book

WRJ said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I have some long hauls up to Vermont and down to Duchess County in the near term and I think that might be just the ticket. Also thanks belatedly for checking on the CT Farm Fresh thing.

Marie said...

While the book I suggest is not an easy read or a classic, may I suggest Albion's Seed, for a greater understanding of the social history of New England.

Don said...

Wodehouse, Wodehouse, and Wodehouse.