84 Charing Cross Road is a book by Helene Hanff following two decades of correspondences between the author and Frank Doel, who worked at a rare bookseller in London. Unable to find certain rare books in New York, Hanff contacted Doel in 1949. Over the years, they became long-distance friends, sending packages and letters to one another. Their correspondences concern everything from recipes to sports to the British royal family. Doel died in 1968 before Hanff could ever meet him in person.
A Gathering of Old Men is a story concerned with racism, lynching, and the quandaries faced by the American judicial system. Set on a cane farm in the 1970s, it follows Candy, a white woman, and seventeen elderly black men in their quest to protect one of their number, a man named Mathu, from prosecution for the murder of a local white supremacist on his property. The novel is ambiguous as to Mathu's guilt and paints a strong picture of community moral dilemmas as they relate to racism.
Silent Spring is a 1962 book by Rachel Carson that greatly influenced the modern environmental movement in America. The book focuses on the abuse of pesticides and the dangers pesticides pose to animal and human life. Carson argues that the chemical industry propagates disinformation about unsafe pesticides that kill birds as well as humans. The book gained much attention and popularity, leading in part to the 1972 ban on the chemical DDT.