How do we define Great American Novels?
As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the United States of America, it’s a question I’ve been pondering. Since I like to think on my own but not alone, I turned to The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly—150 Years of Writers and Thinkers Who Shaped Our History.
Published in 2007 to mark the Atlantic Monthly’s 150th anniversary, the book isn’t about American novels but rather about the larger idea of America, as a state of mind and of being. The doorstop-sized collection includes great American writing that has appeared in the magazine’s pages over the last century and a half: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Ian Frazier’s “Stalin’s Chuckle.” Continue reading “The American Idea in 10 Great American Novels”
Saturday, May 21 is the second annual National Readathon Day, a nation-wide marathon reading session to promote and raise funds for literacy initiatives. You can click here find out more about it and how to participate.
In the meantime, for readers planning to participate, I thought I’d start a list of excellent reads suitable for reading in a single day. I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments as well! Continue reading “15 short books for National Readathon Day”
I’m afraid I traumatized the first group of students to whom I told, “There are no new ideas.” Actually, I meant it to be comforting. But here in the US, we are in a committed relationship with the idea of originality, which is perhaps a by-product of having a short history. Continue reading “5 quotes on reading and empathy”