If you follow me on Goodreads or if you’ve been keeping up with my comments on my reading, you’ll know that I’ve been interested in reading about American history, since that is the basic course of study I’m giving my kindergarten age son this year. For him, of course, I’m reading living books that expose him to the historic figures he should be familiar with, and that is essentially enough.
For me, though, I’m finding I’m incredibly interested in reading more about these eras. However, my favorite books have always been Victorian novels. I’m woefully unfamiliar with the classics of American literature, although I have read a good number of the obvious ones: Huck Finn, Scarlett Letter, Washington Irving, some of the Harlem Renaissance authors I discovered a few years ago, John Steinbeck, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to name a few.
For your information, here are some nonfiction (mostly) books I may tackle this year:
- 1491 (already read)
- Mayflower (already read)
- Founding Brothers (in progress)
- Those Who Love by Irving Stone (novel about John and Abigail Adams)
- Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Godwin (Abe Lincoln)
If you have a year to read just a few (maybe 10) new-to-you works of American literature, which would you choose? Give me your “essentials” list and I’ll figure out which ones I’m missing.
I’m personally looking for books that may help me understand the era. Maybe Common Sense and the Federalist Papers? What else should be essential reading for an interested adult?
If I do take the plunge and read some of classics of American lit, which books do you think I should I take off of my Classics Club list? I don’t want to just add another handful of books. That list was intended to be a realistic portrayal of what I could accomplish in the coming five years, so I’d like it to stay at 50 classics. Ugh. So many books, so little time!! So much to learn, so little time!!