Monthly Archives: May 2014

Mad Men and Summer Reading


Mad Men is a television series set in the 1960s that follows characters working in advertising on Madison Avenue. Literature is often referenced or appears in the series and fans have been taking note. There is even a Twitter hashtag #MadMenReading so anyone can tag literature seen or referenced on the show. Many public libraries keep track of this list and have created companion “you might also like” lists of books that were influential in the 60s or help fans appreciate the culture depicted in “Mad Men”.

A lot of work is put into making the television series historically accurate from the costumes to the soda in the vending machines (there has been great debate about the actual date Dr. Pepper was released in New York City). The literature on the show is certainly not there by accident. There are even a few made-up titles like Sterling’s Gold by Roger Sterling and Something by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many of the titles give insight into the character’s lives or historical events. Billy Parrot, a librarian at the New York Public Library, has been meticulously documenting every reference to and sighting of literature in the series: In addition to stills from episodes where a book was sighted or referenced, this link will also lead you to a “Sally Draper reading list” and a list of books “You Might Also Like” if you are interested in Mad Men.

Here is Parrot’s list, including links to copies in Wittenberg’s EZRA catalog or in OhioLINK’s catalog (if there is no link, the book is unavailable from EZRA and OhioLINK):

1. The View from Chivo / H. Allen Smith OhioLINK
2. The Peking Man is Missing / Claire Taschdjian OhioLINK
3. La Presidenta / Lois Gould OhioLINK
4. Masterpieces of World Literature in Digest Form / Frank Magill OhioLINK
5. The Crisis of the Old Order / Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (Volume 1 of The Age of Roosevelt) EZRA
6. Lady Chatterley’s Lover / D. H. Lawrence OhioLINK
7. Italy / Herbert Kubly and the editors of Life EZRA
8. Nursery Friends from France / translated by Olive Beaupre Miller OhioLINK
9. Exodus / Leon Uris EZRA
10. The Best of Everything / Rona Jaffe OhioLINK
11. Atlas Shrugged / Ayn Rand EZRA
12. The Americans: The Colonial Experience / Daniel Boorstin EZRA
13. Meditations in an Emergency / Frank O’Hara OhioLINK
14. The Agony and the Ecstasy / Irving Stone EZRA
15. Marjorie Morningstar / Herman Wouk EZRA
16. “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” from Babylon Revisited and Other Stories / F. Scott Fitzgerald EZRA
17. Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies / C. S. Forester OhioLINK
18. Ship of Fools / Katherine Anne Porter EZRA
19. Junior Classics Volume One (Fairy Tales And Fables) and Volume Seven (The Animal Book) OhioLINK
20. The Sound and the Fury / William Faulkner EZRA
21. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary OhioLINK
22. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire / Edward Gibbon EZRA
23. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain EZRA
24. Be My Guest / Conrad Hilton OhioLINK
25. Confessions of an Advertising Man / David Ogilvy EZRA
26. The Bible EZRA
27. Helping Yourself with Psychiatry / Frank Caprio OhioLINK
28. Set Theory and Logic / Robert Stoll OhioLINK
29. Meeting with Japan / Fosco Maraini EZRA
30. The Corps / W.E.B. Griffin [Note: Parrot’s blog explains this is an anachronism; although not published until 1994, “a compilation of the first three books in the Corps series” in the episode “The Color Blue” 3.10.]

a. Book I, Semper Fi (1986)
b. Book II, Call to Arms (1987)
c. Book III, Counterattack (1990)OhioLINK
d. Book IV, Battleground (1991)EZRA
e. Book V, Line of Fire (1992)OhioLINK
f. Book VI, Close Combat (1993)OhioLINK
g. Book VII, Behind the Lines (1996)OhioLINK
h. Book VIII, In Danger’s Path (1999)OhioLINK
i. Book IX, Under Fire (2002)OhioLINK
j. Book X, Retreat, Hell! (2004)OhioLINK

31. The Group / Mary McCarthy EZRA
32. The Horse That Liked Sandwiches / Vivian L. Thompson
33. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword / Ruth Benedict EZRA
34. The Clue of the Black Keys / Carolyn Keene OhioLINK
35. The Miracle Worker / William Gibson EZRA
36. Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships / Eric Berne EZRA
37. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain EZRA
38. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold / John Le Carré EZRA
39. You Are Not the Target: A Practical Manual of How to Cope with a World of Bewildering Change / Laura Archera Huxley OhioLINK
40. Gazella / Stuart Cloete OhioLINK
41. The Sand Pebbles / Richard McKenna EZRA
42. A Thousand Days / John F. Kennedy in the White House / Arthur Schlesinger EZRA
43. Johnny Got His Gun / Dalton Trumbo OhioLINK
44. Mein Kampf / Adolf Hitler EZRA
45. Where Love Has Gone / Harold Robbins OhioLINK
46. The Life of Greece / Will Durant (Volume 2 of The Story of Civilization) EZRA
47. The Tibetan Book of the Dead EZRA
48. The Berlitz Self-Teacher: French OhioLINK
49. The Fixer / Bernard Malamud EZRA
50. The Crying of Lot 49 / Thomas Pynchon EZRA
51. “Ozymandias” / Percy Bysshe Shelley EZRA
52. Odds Against / Dick Francis OhioLINK
53. The Black Cauldron / Lloyd Alexander EZRA
54. Nature / Ralph Waldo Emerson Online (Gutenberg) OhioLINK
55. Goodnight Moon / Margaret Wise Brown EZRA
56. Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion / Herbert Aptheker OhioLINK
57. Twice 22 / Ray Bradbury OhioLINK
58. Tai-Pan / James Clavell EZRA
59. The Smokejumpers / Randle M. Hurst
60. The Sunday Gentleman / Irving Wallace OhioLINK
61. Third Girl / Agatha Christie OhioLINK
62. Julius Caesar / William Shakespeare EZRA
63. The Inferno / Dante Alighieri EZRA
64. Topaz / Leon Uris OhioLINK
65. The Last Picture Show / Larry McMurtry OhioLINK
66. Valley of the Dolls / Jacqueline Susann OhioLINK
67. I Ching : The Book of Change / John Blofeld EZRA
68. Rosemary’s Baby / Ira Levin EZRA
69. How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling / Frank Bettger OhioLINK
70. Bhagavad Gita EZRA
71. Nicholas and Alexandra / Robert K. Massie EZRA
72. Evolution / Ruth E. Moore EZRA
73. The Penny Wars / Elliott Baker OhioLINK
74. A Small Town in Germany / John Le Carré EZRA
75. Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book: For the Hostess and Host of Tomorrow EZRA
76. Frankenstein / Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley EZRA
77. Dracula / Bram Stoker EZRA
78. The American Way of Death / Jessica Mitford EZRA
79. The Detective / Roderick Thorp OhioLINK
80. Listen to the Warm / Rod McKuen OhioLINK
81. From the Earth to the Moon / Jules Verne EZRA
82. Portnoy’s Complaint / Philip Roth EZRA