Here's wishing everyone on the Booksellers' Board/Group a wonderful 4th of July!
I have a set of Boys Life Book of .... which has 11 volumes. They were laying flat in the bookcase for decades and 1-5 are "stuck" together. They were on the bottom and they do weigh a bit when in a pile. I tried to very gently pry #5 lose and it did come off but took some color off the back of the book.
Is there any safe way to separate these up so I can take pictures? I could always list them as is but would like to know if it can be done,
These are picture hardbacks with a glossy finish.
Thanks for any suggestions.
What books define America? What books would you add to the list below?
My local paper did an article about 13 must-see movies and have now turned their attention to must-read American books. A local bookseller offered opinions on what books best explore the idea of American history, values, conflict and pop culture impact. In one of the quips, the bookseller admits preferring to read fiction over non-fiction.
Some of the people who read the article/slideshow also left their choices and many of them were "Yes, that needs to be on the list!"
List of the local bookseller's 13 must-read American books:
'Beloved' by Toni Morrison: A story about a runaway slave isn't likely to be a laugh riot. But as Haring says, "Some of [literature] is stuff about how bad things can be." In "Beloved," the characters are figuratively haunted by the horrors of slavery, as well as literally haunted by the ghost of a dead child of the main protagonist.
'The Sound and the Fury' by William Faulkner: "The first time I hated it," However, "the second time I absolutely loved it." Faulkner's sprawling, stream-of-conciousness epic deals with the fading influence of the Compson family, and as the bookseller says, is "all about the American South."
'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "That of course would be America’s fascination with power and money and wealth," says the bookseller. The jazz-era excess is the backdrop of Fitzgerald's novel, in which a man goes to great lengths to try and reclaim a lost love.
'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee: "Of course, probably every person is going to say 'To Kill a Mockingbird,'" The bookseller is not wrong in that assumption: the story was popular enough to also make our list of American movies. And there's few novels that are considered more American than Scout's coming of age journey and Atticus' brave defiance of racism.
'Warriors Don't Cry' by Melba Pattillo Beals: "Warriors Don't Cry" is the story of "one of the girls that was in the desegregated Central High School in Arkansas." The non-fiction account of Beals' experience as one of the Little Rock Nine was dramatic enough to make the list, even as a lesser-known literary work: "This is one that nobody has heard of, and everybody should have."
'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck: The bookseller selected Steinbeck's magnum opus for the list "to show what the Great Depression did for America," forcing people to flee the Dust Bowl of the central states toward the promise of hope in the West. "The Grapes of Wrath" is commonly found on the short list of the greatest American novels.
'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair: "It shows America’s fascination with making money, and doing anything to get it," says the bookseller about Sinclair's expose on factory work in the heavily industrialized urban areas of the era. "It’s an amzing book. And what’s really amazing about 'The Jungle' is it includes a lot of images of immigrant life."
'Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption' by Laura Hillenbrand: "I don’t like nonfiction," admits the bookseller. "I hardly ever read it. But I read this one in one night." The true story of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini was recently adapted into a feature film, though the bookseller insists the book is far better. And admits that while the list has tended toward the more cynical side of things, "Unbroken" definitely "goes on my super positive side."
'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott: "That one is wonderful and totally sentimental and I love it," the bookselled said of the drama about four sisters as they make their way from youth to adulthood. "It’s one of those books that got me hooked on reading. It’s hopeful, and there’s pain, but it all works out the way it supposed to. Not happily, because that’s life."
'Adventures of Tom Sawyer' by Mark Twain: At first, the bookseller was a bit reluctant to name a Mark Twain novel. But when I asked specifically for a work by Twain, the bookseller went with "Tom Sawyer" over one of Twain's more commonly mentioned novels. "Everyone else picks 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'," mentioning that the latter novel retains a good deal of Twain's caustic observations in comparison to "Tom Sawyer." "But here’s me being noncynical."
'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury: "I’m staying away from '1984' because that’s really British." However, the bookseller needed to go with a dystopian novel, and Bradbury's classic fit the bill. "I just re-read it and wow. I hadn’t read it for 25 years. It’s amazing how many thing he nailed that are still coming true."
'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie: "While it’s somewhat negative about the treatment of Native Americans, it’s also hopeful because it’s partly the story of Sherman Alexie," Considering that Alexie has gone on to become a successful and acclaimed author, that's saying something. "And it's also a young adult story."
'The Killer Angels' by Michael Shaara: This historical novel on the fateful Battle of Gettysburg "shows how we managed to turn on each other," said the bookseller. "It’s one of those books that is fabulous. It’s the way it was written."