If you are into MCM design and love to read (like me!), then here is list of suggested reading. I have read all of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. And, if your time by the pool or on the beach is rained out, most of these books have been made into movies.
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, by Sloan Wilson, 1955.
The book offers insight into the postwar American Dream and the burgeoning material culture of the 1950s.
It was also made into a movie in 1956 starring Gregory Peck. The movie is just as good as the book.
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, 1961.
Perhaps not the most positive view of the suburbs on the 1960s - but certainly captures the time period.
In 2008, it was made into a movie. While the movie does differ from the book, it is successful in capturing the essence of the time and the intention of the author.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, 1943.
She is one of my favorite authors. The book is a great read for architecture lovers, but is a bit heavy on the theories of objectivism.
In 1949 it was made into a movie. The acting is very melodramatic - but very much of its time. It was a challenge to get a hold of this movie, but I found it...and love it!
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 1957.
Another great book by Ayn Rand. Her writing is the inspiration of my own 2 novels, both in the final editing stage, and hopefully published soon!
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, 1948 film.
I have only seen the movie, but there is a book that I will have to get my hands on. It is a comedy, that is still funny even today.
David Kushner, Levittown, Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America's Legendary Suburb.
A newer book that chronicles the real-life struggles of the first black family to move into Levittown, Pennsylvania in the 1950s. Although the book is based on historical facts, it is very readable.
Although he is not a mid-century author, I recommend anything by Douglas Coupland, on par with Ayn Rand as my favourite author. And he is Canadian!