The 70s gave us Star Wars, disco, Watergate, Atari, oil crises, and much more. Naturally, this tumultuous decade is the perfect backdrop for some thrilling, complex, and witty novels. From hippies searching for a utopia amid social turmoil to the FBI embarking on its first white-collar undercover sting, the books below will transport you to an unforgettable time. Just remember to pack your 8-tracks and hotpants.
7 Far-Out Reads That Will Feed Your 70s Nostalgia
The vibrant and scintillating art world of 1970s New York provides the backdrop for this acclaimed novel, which follows a young woman as she struggles to combine her love of motorcycles with her love of art. Her life takes astonishing turns that will move and haunt you. Beautifully written and starring a fearless, unforgettable protagonist, this coming-of-age bestseller will stay with you long after you finish it.
An ambitious literary novel set in Rome, New York, and the desert of the American West in the late 1970s, The Flamethrowers captures the idealism and hypocrisy of art, politics, and violence. A National Book Award finalist and selected as one of the ten best books of 2013 by The New York Times, it confirmed Rachel Kushner’s emerging reputation as a writer of spectacular talent and imagination.
In this thrilling true story, two young agents in the post-Watergate FBI embark on an international sting operation to capture a charismatic con man—only to end up respecting and even liking him. With colorful characters, shocking twists and turns, and unbelievable heists, CHASING PHIL is a spellbinding and humorous look at an early FBI undercover mission.
A group of romantic idealists travel to a dilapidated mansion to form a commune dedicated to living off the grid in the early 1970s. But as the years go on and people evolve, can Arcadia continue to flourish, or is it doomed to failure? This is a dazzling, moving, and enduring novel.
This witty, gripping, and genuinely scary novel follows a struggling actor whose dreams have apparently come true when he’s hired to shoot a film in the Amazon. But he soon realizes his dream has become a nightmare—from budgeting issues to guerilla fighters and more. Vividly written and breathlessly paced, WE EAT OUR OWN is a gripping thriller.
Two suburban families experience a tempestuous Thanksgiving weekend in 1973 when a freak ice storm hits their neighborhood. Amid the social upheavals, sexual revolutions, and drug experimentation of the 1970s, the personal and the political explosively meet in this atmospheric and evocative look at the American family.
A soldier, a reporter, a businessman, and more struggle to escape Saigon during the last days of the Vietnam War. As the North Vietnamese Army creeps closer, tensions rise and danger increases, resulting in a white-knuckle, enlightening look at a dark time in American and Vietnamese history.
Travel to 1970s New York City and follow two lost souls as they search for new leases on life. Michael is determined to follow his dream of becoming an author after his career and love life fall apart, while Elvira escapes her brutal home to achieve fame on Broadway. With plenty of charm, hope, and humor, FINDING FOREVER is an unputdownable love story that you won’t soon forget.