Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Important books

In 1985, Jonathan Yardley published in American Heritage Magazine ( a great publication!) a list of the ten books that have shaped the American character. Here are the ten:

1. Walden by Thoreau (1854)

2. Leaves of Grass by Whitman (1855)

3. Ragged Dick or Street Life in New York by Horatio Alger (1867)

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Twain (1884)

5. The Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer (1896)

6. The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorsteomn Veblen (1899)

7. The Souls of Black Folks by W. E. B. Du Bois (1903)

8. In Our Time by Hemingway (1925)

9. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)

10. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Spock

There are some on the list I would quibble with. For instance, the Hemingway choice--why not one of his more famous titles?

I would have added :

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939) (on his runner-up list)

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1961) (also a runner-up)

The Significance of the Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner (1893) (also a runner-up)

Dear readers, what books would you have added? Maybe some later books?

No comments: