Friday, January 8, 2010

Recommended Reading

My friend Micki has asked me for a list of recommended American novels. I have compiled a short list that I hope will be helpful as a place to start. On the odd chance that someone else might find it interesting I will put it here. Let me say in advance that it is based on my personal preferences and is missing many excellent books that are worthy of attention. It is in no particular order. Please do not be offended if I have omitted your favorite American novel. It is my list.


Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby;Tender is the Night
John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath; Of Mice and Men; East of Eden
William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury; As I Lay Dying
Robert Penn Warren: All the King's Men
Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms; The Sun Also Rises; The Garden of Eden
James Dickey: Deliverance
Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead
Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five; Breakfast of Champions
J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
Jack Kerouac: On the Road
Jack London: The Call of the Wild
John Cheever: The Wapshot Chronicals; The Stories of John Cheever
Joseph Heller: Catch 22
John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meany; The World According to Garp
John Updike: Rabbit at Rest; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Run
William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom!; The Sound and the Fury
Elizabeth Faulkner: The historian


Frank Herbert: Dune
Robert Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land
Orson Scott Card: Ender's Game

A reader felt I should add more BOOKS BY WOMEN. She suggested:

Eudora Welty: The Optimist's Daughter
Amy Bloom: Away
Geraldine Brooks: People of the Book
Kate Chopin: The Awakening
Edith Wharton: House of Mirth
Willa Cather: My Antonia
Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye


Sunshine said... [Reply to comment]

Fantastic list! I'm printing off a copy so I can start crossing them off as I read them.

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

Darn good list. Mark Twain is one of the few books I've read several times.

SquirrelQueen said... [Reply to comment]

Love this list, many of my favorite reads are there.

maryt/theteach said... [Reply to comment]

Tulsa Gentleman, I could not help noticing that there was ONLY ONE novel written by an American WOMAN in your list. To Kill a Mockingbird is indeed an excellent novel but what about The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty, Away by Amy Bloom, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. And of course i could list many, many more... :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I think I read most of them, although for some I read the French translation.

John Irvin is one of my favorite storyteller. The Cider House Rules and the World according to Garp are both very good.

Of course, I read On The Road while backpacking in Mexico.

The Great Gasby and Of Mice and Men are great too.