What were we reading in 1974?

Dersingham Library has just celebrated its 40th birthday. To remind everyone of what was happening in the world of popular reading, we called in a selection of the hottest reads of 1974. What have you read? What would you try now?


JongFear of flying by Erica Jong

Compulsive daydreamer Isadora Wing doesn’t want much – just to be free and to find the perfect, guiltless, zipless sexual encounter.

Pursuing this ideal across two continents, she discovers just how hard it can be to make one’s dreams come true.

Though Isadora fears flying (in all possible senses), she forces herself to keep travelling, risking her marriage and even her life for her own special brand of liberation. This intensely witty and exuberant novel is about how she achieves her freedom and loses her fear.

Request a copy here




Rats by James Herbert

It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realised by a panic-stricken city.

For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time – suddenly, shockingly, horribly – the balance of power had shifted.

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AliveAlive by Piers Paul Read

‘Alive‘ tells the true story of a group of plane crash survivors. Weakened by starvation, extreme cold, and by the awful knowledge that the search for them had been called off, the survivors had to eat the flesh of their dead companions to survive.

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Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie White is no ordinary girl. Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis. To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues. But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her .

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JawsJaws by Peter Benchley

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble – a warning of what was to come – took the form of a young woman’s body, or what was left of it, washed up on the long, white stretch of beach . . . A summer of terror has begun. Peter Benchley’s JAWS first appeared in 1974. It has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die – it’s never safe to go back in the water .

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Judy Blume – BlubberBlubber

Blubber is a thick layer of fat that lies under the skin and over the muscles of whales . . . When Linda innocently reads out her class project, everyone finds it funny. Linda can’t help it if she’s fat, but what starts as a joke leads to a sustained and cruel ritual of humiliation. Jill knows she should defend Linda, but at first she’s too scared. When she eventually stands up to the bullies, she becomes their next victim – and what’s worse, Linda is now on their side .

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AscentThe ascent of man by Jacob Bronowski

This book traces our rise, both as a species and as moulders of our own environment and future. Covering invention, from the flint tool to the theory of relativity, it demonstrates man’s ability to understand nature and to control it.

Request a copy here


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