Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Well Read Are You--American Literature Edition

Thanks to Laura, at Laura's Reviews, for this great idea! Laura wanted to see how well read she was in American Literature so she combined a few top 100 lists of books pulling out the American authors. How well read do you think you are?

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.

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

Almost as embarrassing as the paltry number of these books that I've read is the fact that I haven't even heard of some of them! If you choose to do this on your blog, I hope you'll post your link back here so I can see how much better read the rest of you are!


  1. Luckily?? I've seen so many lists since blogging, that I at least have heard of many of these! But doesn't mean I can tell you much more than that. I love lists... I just got challenged to come up with 15 books that 'made me who I am' - maybe I'll combine a post.

  2. http://readinginthebath.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-well-read-are-you.html

    You've read more than me I think, but we've read lots of the same things! :-)

  3. oh boy... I'm afraid to do this :)

    Not growing up with a family that promoted reading... I'm doomed.

    I need to get started (do children's novels count?), if yes I have read quite a few with Andrew when he was young.

  4. Thanks for leaving the link on my post - it's fun to see what books other people have read! Did you like The Sound and the Fury? I've tried to read it two or three times and couldn't get into it. I had to force myself to read As I Lay Dying and that was the end of my Faulkner affair (even though I love his short stories!).

  5. Maybe that's what I need - a good teacher/professor on Faulkner! We read some of his short stories in college and I tried to read Sound and the Fury on my own after that (but didn't finish it). We tried to read it as part of my Milwaukee classics book club, but no one finished it. I even donated my copy! :-) I need to find someone that understands and loves it to help me out!

  6. wow, i suck. i've only read 5 and 1/2 of them i've never heard of! lol.

  7. Interesting list. I have read a small handful but there are honestly many titles on there that I have no desire to read (no matter how many best book ever type list they make it on to.) :-P

  8. I stole it. I was in the same boat as you. I hadn't heard of a lot of those!

  9. Oh wow, I need to read more American literature...

  10. I don't mean to rock the boat but I'm wondering why The Curious Incident... is on the list (I might also argue Angela's Ashes if Frank McCourt hadn't spent most of his life in the USA ;-) ).

    I've read 18 books from that list, about 5 of which I wish I hadn't but East of Eden and The Poisonwood Bible are two of my all-time faves.

  11. There are several that surely aren't on the list because of real literary merit (in my opinion); I think they are there more for the impact they have made.

  12. I found it on Rebecca's blog! Here's mine:


  13. Here's mine!