The Time Reading Program (TRP) was a book sales club run by Time–Life, the publisher of Time magazine , from 1962 through 1966. Time was known for its magazines, and nonfiction book series' published under the Time-Life imprint, while the TRP books were reprints of an eclectic set of literature, both classic and contemporary, as well as nonfiction works and topics in history. The books were chosen by National Book Award judge Max Gissen, the chief book reviewer for Time from 1947 until the TRP began in 1962.
The books themselves were published by Time Inc. and followed a specific format across their widely varying subject matter. The editions were trade paperbacks, with covers constructed of very stiff plastic-coated paper, for durability. The books were eight inches tall, just less than an inch taller than a standard mass-market or "rack" paperback. Each book had a wraparound cover with a continuous piece of artwork across both covers and the spine, generally a painting by a contemporary artist, commissioned specifically for the TRP edition. The TRP covers attracted a measure of acclaim at the time. According to Time, 19 TRP covers were cited in 1964 for awards from The American Institute of Graphic Arts, Commercial Art Magazine and the Society of Illustrators guild. Typography and other printing credits were given in a colophon on the end pages, in the manner of sophisticated publishing houses like Alfred A. Knopf. The William Addison Dwiggins typeface Caledonia was typically used. The logo for the series was in format of a monogram, "RTP", enclosed in a rounded slightly rectangular box.
While not, strictly speaking, original publications, most of the TRP books had unique introductions written by various scholars specifically for the TRP edition. In a few cases, the texts had also been revised by the authors to create a definitive edition, and did not constitute abridgement.
Subscribers to the TRP typically received four books a month, though some books arrived as multi-volume sets. Included with shipments was a small newsletter describing the books and why they were chosen.
Time revived the program in the early 1980s, with many of the same titles.
(Books listed by year of reprint publication. Original publication date not given. Authors who provided their own introductions are indicated with an "‡")
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly 50 books, both novels and non-fiction works, as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and support of democratic socialism.
Mein Kampf is a 1925 autobiographical manifesto by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The work describes the process by which Hitler became antisemitic and outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926. The book was edited first by Emil Maurice, then by Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.
Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist. Huxley followed this book with a reassessment in essay form, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with his final novel, Island (1962), the utopian counterpart. The novel is often compared to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The Pulitzer Prize for Biography is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography, autobiography or memoir by an American author or co-authors, published during the preceding calendar year. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.
George Woodcock was a Canadian writer of political biography and history, an anarchist thinker, a philosopher, an essayist and literary critic. He was also a poet and published several volumes of travel writing. In 1959 he was the founding editor of the journal Canadian Literature which was the first academic journal specifically dedicated to Canadian writing. He is most commonly known outside Canada for his book Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962).
The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the United Kingdom in 2003, where over three-quarters of a million votes were received from the British public to find the nation's best-loved novel of all time. The year-long survey was the biggest single test of public reading taste to date, and culminated with several programmes hosted by celebrities, advocating their favourite books.
Victor Gollancz Ltd was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century and continues to publish science fiction and fantasy titles as an imprint of Orion Publishing Group.
Tropic of Cancer is a novel by Henry Miller that has been described as "notorious for its candid sexuality" and as responsible for the "free speech that we now take for granted in literature." It was first published in 1934 by the Obelisk Press in Paris, France, but this edition was banned in the United States. Its publication in 1961 in the U.S. by Grove Press led to obscenity trials that tested American laws on pornography in the early 1960s. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the book non-obscene. It is regarded as an important work of 20th-century literature.
The New American Library is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works as well as popular and pulp fiction, but it now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.
Gateway to the Great Books is a 10-volume series of books originally published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. in 1963 and edited by Mortimer Adler and Robert Maynard Hutchins. The set was designed as an introduction to the Great Books of the Western World, published by the same organization and editors in 1952. The set included selections – short stories, plays, essays, letters, and extracts from longer works – by more than one hundred authors. The selections were generally shorter and in some ways simpler than the full-length books included in the Great Books.
Charles Duff was a Northern Irish writer of books on language learning. He also wrote a popular book on hanging and other means of execution.
Literature of the 20th century refers to world literature produced during the 20th century.
Sinister Street is a 1913–1914 novel by Compton Mackenzie. It is a kind of Bildungsroman or novel about growing up, and concerns two children, Michael Fane and his sister Stella. Both of them are born out of wedlock, something which was frowned upon at the time, but from rich parents.
The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales is a collection of fantasy short stories by Richard Garnett, generally considered a classic in the genre. Its title notwithstanding, the collection "has nothing to do with the Norse gods—although it draws upon everything else, from Arabic legends and Chinese fairy tales to Roman history and Greek mythology." The title story actually concerns the release of Prometheus, upon the ultimate eclipse of Greek paganism by Christianity, from the torture to which he was sentenced by Zeus.
Jane Wells Webb Loudon was an English author and early pioneer of science fiction. She wrote before the term was coined, and was discussed for a century as a writer of Gothic fiction, fantasy or horror. She also created the first popular gardening manuals, as opposed to specialist horticultural works, reframing the art of gardening as fit for young women. She was married to the well-known horticulturalist John Claudius Loudon, and they wrote some books together, as well as her own very successful series.
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale written by the English writer George Orwell. It was published on 8 June 1949 by Secker & Warburg as Orwell's ninth and final book completed in his lifetime. Thematically, it centres on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviours within society. Orwell, a democratic socialist, modelled the totalitarian government in the novel after Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.
Christopher Hitchens was a prolific English-American author, political journalist and literary critic. His books, essays, and journalistic career spanned more than four decades. Recognized as a public intellectual, he was a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. Hitchens was a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and a variety of other media outlets.
The National Book Award for Nonfiction is one of five U.S. annual National Book Awards, which are given by the National Book Foundation to recognize outstanding literary work by U.S. citizens. They are awards "by writers to writers". The panelists are five "writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field".