Posted by: Lizzie Ross | September 22, 2012

Another book list

Again with the lists, but this one is so much better than the recent “best ever teen lit” list that was authorial equivalent of an alpine white-out. For National Book Festival, the Library of Congress (my tax dollars are all earmarked to support this worthy institution) has posted a list of “Books that Shaped America“.

The list ranges from children’s lit (Alcott and Seuss), to great lit (Melville, Twain and Morrison), to non-fiction (Capote and Kinsey), even to cookbooks (Rombauer and Simmons). You can click on the different column titles to organize the list by authors’ last names, publication dates or book title. Ben Franklin isn’t just the earliest entry, he’s also the only author with multiple entries (now is that fair?). You could argue that the most recent entry, “The Words of Cesar Chavez”, hasn’t had time to shape America, but no one would deny that Chavez’s words have impacted how we view itinerant workers, immigrants from south of the border, crop harvesting and unionization.

I’m sorry Vonnegut isn’t there, but I get that none of his books actually changed America. Too bad. Slaughterhouse Five should have changed things, but clearly it didn’t.

Oh, well. Can’t have everything.

Get out and read. The mind you save may be your own.

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