My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012: American Studies Beach Reads, Part Five

[Having spent many a youthful summer’s day with Tom Clancy’s latest, I’ve got nothing against a good low-brow beach read. But there are also works that offer complex, compelling, and significant American experiences along with their page-turning pleasures. This week I’ll be highlighting some of those American Studies beach reads—and please share yours for the weekend’s crowd-sourced post!]
A handful of other great choices for your reading on the beach this summer.
1)      Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust (1933 and 1939): Darkly cynical satires on human nature, Hollywood, and America don’t get any more funny and fun than this!
2)      Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943): One of the most readable and engaging entries in perhaps my favorite American literary genre: the multi-generational immigrant family novel.
3)      Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969): One of the best American autobiographies (or starting points for one—there are more volumes if you like this one!), by one of our most important poets.
4)      Roger Zelazny, Doorways in the Sand (1975): If you want a shorter work of sci fi than Tad Williams’ series, try this slim but hugely entertaining and thought-provoking novel by one of sci fi’s all-time greats.
5)      THIS SPACE FOR RENT: I’ll say it even before the PS this time—the weekend’s crowd-sourced post needs your suggestions! What should American Studiers read on the beach this summer?
That crowd-sourced post this weekend,
PS. You know what to do!
7/13 Memory Day nominee: Stewart Culin, the museum researcher, archivist, and ethnographer whose work on games, language, and objects, particularly in Native American cultures but also around the world, profoundly impacted our understandings of those elements and cultures.

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