9 Responses

  1. Stefanie
    Stefanie October 4, 2012 at 9:38 am |

    If you are looking for early American nonfiction, then be sure to include The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. If you want to include books from the 1800s too then Emerson’s essay “Nature” is a must and of course Thoreau’s Walden. Have fun!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

      Stefanie » I read The Autobiography of Ben Franklin a million years ago (it seems) so I should probably pick that up. Thanks for the other recommendations too!

  2. Hazel Burkett
    Hazel Burkett October 5, 2012 at 7:07 am |

    Do you know for years in England our 15 year olds have been studying Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird because they have such inherant themes and morals to teach young children. Must say I never get tired of the latter but am pretty tired of marking essays on the former although I love Steinbeck’s descriptive writing. At unie I did a 20th century American Literature module and we did Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, nice short novel and lovely film with the lucious Robert Redford. We looked at Sophie’s Choice very harrowing and gripping but stomach churning especially if you have young children not sure Meryl Streep did this justice in the film. Our A Level students love studying Snow falling on cedars David Guterson and I loved reading the novel myself it was such a challenge and like To Kill a Mockingbird about community, interesting characters and their prejudices, plenty of suspense to draw you in. Not to forget the lovely poetry from your nation The Road Not Taken still puzzles me and Wallace Stevens and his huge metaphors. You have a great contingent of women’s writing Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist has been a favourite here and Margaret Attwood (I hope canadian authors count I find Attwood has such amazing links to nature and amazing metaphors in her writing). The Handmaid’s Tale is always a good discussion with A Level students and i found it quite disturbing but a great read i am always intrigued in novels that play with time with that gothic feel and atmosphere. Surfacing was again very intriguing. I would like to read more of her novels really. Annie Proux The Shipping News was gripping and an intriguing romance. My Mother’s generation loved Hemmingway and I have Farewell to Arms ready to read one fine day. I cannot remember what else I studied on my module at unie which is shameful really and am now inspired to go take a look in the attic.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

      Hazel Burkett » Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I was intending to focus on the earlier America literature for right now but I’ll make sure to get to the new suggestions as well at some point. I LOVED The Shipping News when I read it ages ago!

  3. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis
    Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis October 5, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    Of course, you can’t overlook the tale of the March sisters, Little Women, if you haven’t already read it.

    Might I also suggest March by Geraldine Brooks which takes up the tale of Mr. March as he serves in the Civil War. The discrepancy between what really happens and what he writes home to his “little women” is fascinating.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

      Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis » Little Women was one of the first books I reviewed on this site! Which means, of course it’s been almost 5 years. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Jenny
    Jenny October 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

    Steinbeck is a beautiful writer, so maybe something by Steinbeck? And then definitely The Great Gatsby if you haven’t read it, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Those are my recommendations, bearing in mind that I am far more into British Victorian literature myself than I am into Americans of any era.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

      Jenny » I’ve read those ones and loved them — Steinbeck is truly wonderful, I agree. I’m all about the British Victorian too, so this will stretch me a bit. :)

  5. Rose City Reader
    Rose City Reader October 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

    The Education of Henry Adams is a great one. It ranks No. 1 on the Modern Library’s list of the Top 100 Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century.

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