I wanted to post something special today since it’s a holiday, but… well, it’s a holiday! Which means people – my American readers, anyway – will probably be outside hanging out with friends and family, and NOT reading super-long blog posts! So. Today’s post will be short and sweet!
I thought I’d make a list of four of my favorite books/series that are about the United States, or that take place here! I hasten to add that I am NOT trying to make a “best of the best” list or determine which book wins the title of Great American Novel. I’m just talking about four books (or series) that I’ve enjoyed over the years! Some of you may disagree with my choices and think I should’ve picked some more serious books, and that’s completely OK – tell me what you would have chosen in the comment section below!
1. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I grew up reading these! For our first family vacation (when I was five), we visited De Smet, South Dakota, where Laura’s family eventually settled when she was in her teens… and I was basically in TINY NERD HEAVEN. I learned so much history from these books – just everyday stuff, you know? How people lived and thought and moved from homestead to homestead in search of a better life.
2. Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History But Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis
Although this book is aimed at American adults, I’ve been browsing through it off and on since I was about twelve… and I think it would work just as well for international readers who would like to learn about our history. I love the book’s Q & A format, and Davis’ fun, non-nap-inducing writing style is THE BEST. I hate how most history textbooks are so boring that I can’t even process the information because they’re! Just! So! Dull!
This is hardly a highbrow choice, but I DON’T CARE. It’s fun! And Percy’s adventures are basically the Ultimate Road Trip, am I right?! Even better, I’ve BEEN to a lot of the places Percy visits. (When we visited the Empire State Building in NYC, I asked a security guard how to get to the 600th floor and he was like, “…I know that’s from a book, but I don’t know which one.” OH MY GOD, MAN, HOW DID YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT READING THIS WONDERFUL SERIES.) I’ve traveled all over the United States, which really makes the books come alive in my mind!
4. Captain America: Man Out of Time by Mark Waid and Jorge Molina
You should always save the best for last, right? Ha ha. My favorite Captain America story is actually The Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker, but this one just seemed more… um, American, I guess?! HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE. HOW CAN SOME VERSIONS OF CAPTAIN AMERICA BE MORE AMERICAN THAN OTHERS. Anywayyyyy, this comic takes place immediately after Steve Rogers wakes up in the twenty-first century. I thought it was a really interesting little story about how he struggles to adjust to modern America, and how he must accept that all of his friends are either long since dead or else quite different from who they used to be.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my short list! Now I want to go sit outside on the deck with a book and read… OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, TODAY IS CAPTAIN AMERICA’S 97TH BIRTHDAY AND I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD READ A COMIC ABOUT HIM BUT I HAVEN’T BORROWED ANY FROM THE LIBRARY RECENTLY. UGH.
(Yes, I totally have my priorities in order: My nation’s 239th birthday? Meh. Captain America’s birthday? OH MY GOD YESSSS HE’S THE STAR-SPANGLED MAN WITH A PLANNNNNNN.)
Have a lovely Fourth, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
P.S. All of the photos included in this post are my own!