- My NYPL
Tools and Services
- Using the Library
I am a...
- Classes & Events
- Support the Library
Biblio File, 24 Frames per Second
Mad Men Reading List
The revised Mad Men Reading List is now availble here.
If you follow The Battery Park City Library on Twitter then you've seen our tweets linking to books that have appeared in the hit television show Mad Men. These titles are a great way to gain insight into the episodes and the social and cultural times in which the series is set. Like the set and costume design, the literary choices of the show really add a stamp of authenticity. Dipping into these classics is also a great way to help with withdrawals while waiting for new episodes to air.
Some of the titles are featured prominently in the series and others are mentioned in passing. Remember the book Sally read with her grandfather at bedtime? The book on Japanese culture the agency was told to read? The scandalous book the ladies passed between each other in secret? You can find all these and more! Search #MadMen #Reading on Twitter to stay up-to-date. Older tweets might temporarily be unavailable.
Also included at the end of the list is a "You might also like" section of related books and movies.
Do you have any favorite Mad Men books or literary quotes from the show? Please share!
For those of you who are not on Twitter here is the current book list:
Meditations in an Emergency - Frank O’Hara
The Best of Everything - Rona Jaffe
Confessions of an Advertising Man - David Ogilvy
Babylon Revisited and Other Stories - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword - Ruth Benedict
Exodus - Leon Uris
Ship of Fools - Katherine Ann Porter
Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone
The Group - Mary Mccarthy
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon
You might also like:
From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor - Jerry Della Femina
Advertising in America: The First 200 Years - Charles Goodrum and Helen Dalrymple
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates (also check out this great post).
Revolutionary Road - DVD
The 1960s - John Peacock
The Male Mystique: Men's magazine Ads of the 1960s and '70s - Jacques Boyreau
A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and the Glenlivet Became Global Icons - F. Paul Pacult
Bye Bye Birdie - DVD
Furniture & Interiors of the 1960s - Anne Bony
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - Sloane Wilson
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - DVD
Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers - edited by Regina Lee Blaszczyk
Pour yourself a scotch and enjoy!
Update: 9/19/10 episode: The Clue of the Black Keys - Carolyn Keene
10/1/10 update: I am rewatching everything with audio commentary. In the pilot episode Peggy is seen reading an "It's Your Wedding Night" pamphlet in her doctor's office. The subtitles of the publication: "What Every Bride Should Know" and "How to be a Good Wife." The episode takes place in March 1960.
10/1/10 update #2: Rosemarie DeWitt, who plays Midge Daniels in the first season, mentions in the audio commentary that Matt Weiner suggested she read Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane di Prima.
10/3/10 update: What does Don Draper read at work? Here are some of the spot on period and subject titles that have appeared on the shelf behind his desk:
10/4/10 update: In the 10/3/10 episode "Chinese Wall" (4.11) the book Meeting with Japan by Fosco Maraini is seen on the bookshelf behind Peggy's bed. The book Faye is reading while waiting in Don's apartment is Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships by Eric Berne.
10/18/10 update: In the season four finale "Tomorrowland" (4.13) Don is reading John Le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
10/20/10 update: Literary references: "Our worst fears lie in anticipation." - Balzac. The actual quote is "Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation." The line was used in two episodes in season 3. In "Out of Town" (3.1), when Salvatore Romano is speaking to the executives at London Fog he says "Our worst fears lie in anticipation. That's not me. That's Balzac." Don repeats the same line to another expecting father in the hospital waiting room in "The Fog" (3.5). The other father replies, "Are you so sure about that?"
Also in "Out of Town": Lane Pryce: "There is no fog in London. There is no London fog." Bert Cooper: "Are you sure about that?" Lane: "Quite. There never was. It was the coal dust from the industrial era. Charles Dickens and whatnot."