What Makes a Book "Preppy"
View my unique selection of Preppy Books and Preppy Gift Ideas here
The most surefire way to determine whether or not a book is considered preppy is to verify its' appearance on p. 59 of Lisa Birnbach's quintessential "Official Preppy Handbook."
Here is a list of the essential Preppy Books. A true prep will carry around a beat up paperback copy of the book in the back pocket of his khakis, but will also keep at home in his library a true 1st Hardcover Edition of each book, inherited from his eccentric uncle Tripp, a Dartmouth dropout who published a highly acclaimed debut novel, only to die of alcoholism in the Maine woods.
I am excited to announce the September 7th, 2010 release of Lisa Birnbach's long overdue follow up, True Prep, which can be purchased here.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger- a prep comes of age.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles- a prep goes to an exclusive boarding school in New England.
A Good School by Richard Yates- author of Revolutionary Road pens yet another prep school classic.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark- set in a girls' school in Scotland, complete with plenty of affairs (see John Updike).
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes- classic tale of an English schoolmaster which paved the way for preppy cinema favorites, "Dead Poet's Society" and "The Emperor's Club."
More Recent Additions to the Preppy Bibliographic Canon
Prep by Curtis Sittenfield- the story of Lee Fiora, a South Bend, Indiana, teenager who wins a scholarship to the prestigious Ault school, an East Coast institution where "money was everywhere on campus, but it was usually invisible."
The Bible of Preppy Books
The Official Preppy Handbook edited by Lisa Birnbach
The Follow Up
True Prep by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd
A Preppy Bookseller at Work