The Great American Novel Challenge

Sometimes school just gets in the way…and by sometimes I mean all the time. I have so enjoyed this last week and a half of no school. I have had the chance to visit with friends, cook fun foods, read good books,  sew, and just relax without feeling guilty! Seriously I sewed for several hours last night and it was so wonderful! Anyway, one of the things that is so difficult to do while I’m in school is read anything other than schoolbooks! I try to keep up with the monthly bookclub book, but that’s pretty difficult some months. Well, when I read this post today I was so sad that I won’t be able to join in! I have no idea why this blog was not on my reader; I’ve known Aaron for a couple of years and I think he’s even commented on my blog before (what a bad friend!). I met Aaron and stumbled across his blog this morning because of my friend Allison. What can I say? Jeremy and I were so sad when they moved away from Texas 😦

Anyway, Aaron had the idea to do a Great American Novel Challenge which consists of reading and reviewing 13 books in 13 months – pretty great idea! I so want to do it, but I know that I have to refrain myself because, well, when you’re dishing out a couple thousand dollars to finish a long overdue degree, you have to have priorities (although I am reading Ayn Rand’s We the Living and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front for my next class…although I think the latter isn’t technically American). Anyway, I don’t know that I’ll be able to participate (but maybe I could join in January: ) But just because I can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t!

I’ve always wondered about that list that Mandy Moore mentions in A Walk to Remember and what books are on it…oh well, I looked up the Great American Novel on Wikipedia and they give 16 novels that could be on that list. I must say of the 16 I’ve read 5  and even though I haven’t read the Hemingway that is listed, I’ve read at least two of his other novels so I think that should count as one too. I’ve bolded the ones I’ve read (in case you care).

1. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
2. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick
3. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
4. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
5. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises
6. Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
7. Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March
8. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
9. William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury
10. John Dos Passos U.S.A. trilogy
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
12. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
13. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five
14. J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye
15. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
16. Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion..

Anyway, I think it sounds like a lot of fun…let me know if you’re going to do it and definitely link back to Aaron’s post to let him know that you’re going to participate!


2 thoughts on “The Great American Novel Challenge

  1. Wow, I think I’ve only read three of those. In high school. Isn’t it sad that most of our exposure to classics are in school? I need to read more of them.

  2. The Scarlet Letter is on my list to read right now and I’ve read five of the books (plus some excerpts from Moby Dick). This is a great idea! I haven’t even heard of some of these books. . . thanks for sharing! Time to log onto paperbackswap and update my wish list. Hehe. 🙂

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