Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Well Read Are You - American Literature Version

I thought it would be interesting to see how well read I was in American Literature so I combined a few top 100 lists of books pulling out the American authors. I'm posting several of these lists on my site. I tried to compile books that appeared on multiple lists (My Antonia, A Farewell to Arms, etc.) as well as put in a few Pultizer Prize winners that are a little more rare (So Big by Edna Ferber). How well read do you think you are?

Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. I saw that some are putting an M for movies they've watched so I'm adding that in!

1. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (X) (M)
2. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (X) (M)
3. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (-) (M)
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (-)
5. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (X) (M)
6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (X) (M)
7. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (X)
8. Dune by Frank Herbert (X) (M)
9. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (X)
10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (-)
11. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (-)
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (-)
13. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (X) (M - A Place in the Sun)
14. O Pioneers! By Willa Cather (X) (M)
15. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (X)
16. My Antonia by Willa Cather (X)
17. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (X) (M)
18. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (X) (M)
19. Little House on the Praire by Laura Ingalls Wilder (X) (M-I'm counting TV movie and show)
20. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (X)
21. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (X)
22. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (X) (M)
23. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (X)
24. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (X)
25. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (X)
26. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (X) (M)
27. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (X) (M)
28. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (X) (M)
29. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (X)
30. The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (X)
31. Roots by Alex Haley (X)
32. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (X)
33. Katherine by Anya Seton (X)
34. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (X)
35. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (X) (M)
36. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (X)
37. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (X)
38. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (X) (M)
39. The Collected Stories of Katherine Ann Porter (X)
40. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (-)
41. The Stand by Stephen King (-) (M)
42. Carrie by Stephen King (-) (M)
43. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (X)
44. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (-)
45. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (X) (M)
46. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (X) (M)
47. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (-)
48. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (X) (M)
49. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (X)
50. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (X)
51. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (-)
52. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (-)
53. Mystic River by Denis Lehane (-) (M)
54. American Pastoral by Philip Roth (-)
55. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (X) (M)
56. Rabbit Run by John Updike (X)
57. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (-)
58. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty (-)
59. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (X) (M)
60. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (-)
61. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (X) (M)
62. Sandman by Neil Gaiman (-)
63. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (X)
64. World’s Fair by E.L. Doctorow (-)
65. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (X)
66. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (X)
67. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (-)
68. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (X) (M)
69. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (-)
70. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (-)
71. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (X) (M)
72. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (X) (M)
73. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (X) (M)
74. Deep End of the Ocean by Jacqueline Mitchard (X) (M)
75. John Adams by David McCullough (-)
76. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (X)
77. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult (X)
78. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (-)
79. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (X)
80. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut (X)
81. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (-)
82. Native Son by Richard Wright (-)
83. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos (-)
84. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (-)
85. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (-)
86. The Bridge of the San Luis Ray by Thornton Wilder (-)
87. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (-)
88. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (X) (M)
89. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (X)
90. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (X) (M)
91. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (-) (M)
92. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (-)
93. Beloved by Toni Morrison (-)
94. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (-)
95. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (-)
96. So Big by Edna Ferber (-)
97. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (X) (M)
98. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (X)
99. The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty (-)
100. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner (X)

I think I count 62 books read and 33 movies watched. It looks like I really need to work on more modern literature!


  1. You seem amazingly well read to me. You obviously love the classics.

  2. I do love the classics. I have streaks where I really love to read them and then other streaks where I love something light and fluffy. I loved literature in high school and college . . .I just wish you were allowed to be an Engineer and an English professor:-)

  3. I'm not nearly as well read on American Literature as you are! Here's my post:

  4. You asked about The Sound and The Fury. I love Faulkner--I had a class in high school and even tho' the teacher was a cranky man, he did know how to teach a love of Faulkner.

  5. So, would you be able to pick a top/favorite three? and/or which 3 of the ones you haven't read that you are most interested in? Just curious....

  6. Good question Care - that's a hard one. There are so many books on the list that I love. If I had to pick my top three books that I would read over and over again, it would probably be:

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    2. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
    3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    (Cold Mountain is a close fourth)

    The top three that really make me think would be:

    1. Dune by Frank Herbert
    2. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

    They were all excellent and really made me think about life, but I will probably wait a few more years before reading them again.

    The top three on my "to read" list are:

    1. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (I've been meaning to read this for years!!)
    2. So Big by Edna Ferber(She is a Wisconsin Author and won the 1924 Pultizer Prize for this novel)
    3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (I've been trying to get my book club to read this for years!)
    A close fourth would be Sandman by Neil Gaiman - I've heard much praise of him, but haven't read any of his books!

  7. You are very well read!

    I got your list from Lost in Books and Lit and Life. Here's mine:


    Thanks for creating and posting...I love lists like this =)