Having undergone a significant transition in my life–marriage!–I am finding myself with the amount of spare time that will allow me to get in more reading time. I’ve looked at a few lists of the greatest American novels, but I can’t quite commit to one or another because I find the lists either exclude things I’ve always wanted to read, or they include books and authors I’m absolutely not interested in. Now I know the main purpose of a reading list is to put options in front of you that you might not have considered on your own, but I feel that there are so many classics, contemporary and otherwise, that I first want to build a strong foundation in.
Off the heels of a British novel course I took last spring, I’m interested in moving forward with a more modern novel, and I would like to fill in my repertoire with American literature for a while.
I’m starting with Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It’s a doozy of a book, but I bought it years ago and I think I’ve read the first hundred pages or so about four times. Always intriguing, but life gets in the way.
If you can recommend a list of classic American novels, or if you have a few that you recommend, please share!
TIME Magazine’s Top 100 English Language Novels since 1923
Modern Library: 100 Best Novels (Board and Reader’s Picks)
The American Scholar: 100 Best American Novels by David Handlin