Tags » American Novels

Best American Novels? from The American Scholar

One Hundred Best American Novels, 1770 to 1985 (a Draft)

A reading enthusiast’s list

By David Handlin

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Reading Upton Sinclair

It’s technically considered fiction, but it’s really more a biography or a history. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you call it, it’s pretty darn magnificent. It’s Upton Sinclair’s book The Flivver King (1937), and, like his more renowned book The Jungle, it almost single-handedly reformed an American industry. 190 more words

That's Not How It Was in the Book

My wife and I have switched roles lately: She used to have a book in her hands regularly, and I couldn’t sit still long enough to read a book. 1,008 more words

Blogging Class

A World to Win

My blog entry for April 6, 2014 (scroll down a few months) discusses three top-notch works of fiction dramatizing the plight of the American working class in the early 1900’s. 342 more words

The Wayward Bus, by John Steinbeck

The Wayward Bus is the tenth Steinbeck book I’ve read, including some I have read multiple times. I tend not to think of him as too close to the very top of my favorite authors, but clearly I get something out of his work to have read that many of his books. 598 more words


Comfortably Bleak, or, Why are the sad books so good?

This is a post I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s a big question. This opening paragraph is taking a long time to write. I’m already three songs into the sad playlist (we’ve reached… 2,575 more words

SOME LUCK captures the essence of American life in the 20th century

Some Luck

By Jane Smiley

Knopf: Oct. 7, 2014

$26.95, 416 pages

Jane Smiley may well have the most diverse body of work of any American author in the past quarter century. 1,359 more words

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