2022 Reading Challenge discussion

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ARCHIVE 2015 > July Group Read Nominations

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message 1: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments The theme for July is Americana. I can't wait to see what you come up with for this theme. The theme is completely open to interpretation: as long as you can tell us why you think it should fit the theme, it counts.

Please nominate only one book and ensure you either link the book or give the name of the author as well to avoid confusion. Please do not nominate books from a series, unless it is the first book in the series. You can second someone else's nomination, but that will count as your own. Nominations cannot have been chosen for a past group read (past buddy reads are fine).

This thread will be closed by May 22, and we will choose ten books for the poll. If there are more than ten books nominated, we will choose the ten most nominated. If there is still a tie to get into the top ten, we'll go back to the Goodreads average rating to see which is highest.


message 2: by Madison (new)


message 3: by Karina (new)

Karina (karinargh) | 807 comments A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor. (Short story collection might be a rare pick for a group read, but I'll argue it could be excellent for summer reading... or something. Several Flannery O'Connor titles are shelved as americana.)


A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is Flannery O'Connor's most famous and most discussed story. O'Connor herself singled it out by making it the title piece of her first collection and the story she most often chose for readings or talks to students. It is an unforgettable tale, both riveting and comic, of the confrontation of a family with violence and sudden death. More than anything else O'Connor ever wrote, this story mixes the comedy, violence, and religious concerns that characterize her fiction.

This now-classic book revealed Flannery O'Connor to be one of the most original and provocative writers to emerge from the South. Her apocalyptic vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic, situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvation: the grandmother, in the title story, confronting the murderous Misfit; a neglected four-year-old boy looking for the Kingdom of Christ in the fast-flowing waters of the river; General Sash, about to meet the final enemy.



message 4: by Kara, TBR Twins (last edited May 02, 2015 04:59PM) (new)

Kara (karaayako) | 3971 comments I'd like to nominate My Antonia by Willa Cather. I'm embarrassed that I haven't read any of Cather's work.
The story of Antonia Shimerda is told by one of her friends from childhood, Jim Burden, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life. An immigrant child of immigrant parents, Antonia's girlhood is spent working to help her parents wrest a living from the untamed land. Though in later years she suffers betrayal and desertion, through all the hardships of her life she preserves a valor of spirit that no hardship can daunt or break. When Jim Burden sees her again after many years, he finds her "a rich mine of life", a figure who has turned adversity into a particular kind of triumph in the true spirit of the pioneer.



message 5: by Gretchen (last edited May 02, 2015 05:04PM) (new)

Gretchen Keys (glkeys) | 8 comments I nominate A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It's about a family in Brooklyn during the first part of the 20th century, struggling with poverty, alcoholism and rising above all things to live the American Dream. A true classic.


message 6: by Kara, TBR Twins (last edited May 02, 2015 05:12PM) (new)

Kara (karaayako) | 3971 comments Gretchen wrote: "I nominate A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It's about a family in Brooklyn during the first part of the 20th century, struggling with poverty, alcoholism and rising above all things to liv..."

I'm sorry, Gretchen, but we read that one last year as a group read. Is there another book you'd like to nominate?


message 7: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments Gretchen you could always suggest A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a buddy read. It is a popular book and there are always people who want to read it.


message 8: by Janet (new)

Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 784 comments I nominate The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty.... a typical story of an American family and town--the great family that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city. This novel no doubt was a permanent page in the social history of the United States, so admirably conceived and written was the tale of the Amber-sons, their house, their fate and the growth of the community in which they were submerged in the end."


message 9: by Bella (new)

Bella | 193 comments I nominate The Fifties by David Halberstam. I think a lot of Americans see the 50's as kind of a modern golden age, but we see it through a lens of nostalgia. Would be interesting to read a book about the "real" 50's.


message 10: by Laurie (new)

Laurie I nominate The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck because, for me, the story of the struggle to make a better life for your family is the definitive story of American culture. Also a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.


message 11: by Allison (new)

Allison | 20 comments i would like to nominate breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. about a girl wanting a better life in nyc.


message 12: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 5832 comments I'd like to nominate Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for having a similar name and same pronunciation.

I've wanted to read this one for a long time and I just listened to her TED talk again.


message 13: by Kate (last edited May 02, 2015 08:44PM) (new)

Kate ✨ is a dreamer I would like to nominate The Selection, because I like reading YA once in awhile, and I hear movie rights were just bought. Also, the main character's name is America, which is how it fits the category.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.



message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (dangerprowse) I second the Grapes of Wrath


message 15: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 284 comments I would also like to nominate Americanah. It has been at the top of my tbr list since it came out but for some reason I never get around to actually reading it!
Cassandra - I will have to check out the TED talk!


message 16: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Keys (glkeys) | 8 comments I second My Antonia!


message 17: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (wolfkeepadri) | 3 comments I whole heartedly nominate "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America" by Erik Larson. This book is a captivating and interesting TRUE story about how a serial killer used the 1893 World Fair in Chicago to lure his victims. The book discusses the industrialization and rise of Chicago and how the millennium fair changed America.


message 18: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I love all of the book nominations.

Chelsea we read The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America already as a group read, so unfortunately we can't nominate this one again. Please feel free to nominate another book.


message 19: by ReGina (last edited May 03, 2015 12:12PM) (new)

ReGina (regifabulous) | 274 comments I also would like to nominate Americanah. Seemingly fitting title. And her TED talk is amazing!


message 20: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 5832 comments Meg, here's a link if you're interested: Chimamanda's TED talk. She is such an eloquent speaker.

(Also, if the book doesn't get selected for a group read, I'd love to do it as a buddy read anyway!)


message 21: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (fetchsomepopcorn) | 26 comments The Circle by Dave Eggers
http://www.amazon.com/The-Circle-Dave...


message 22: by Kara, TBR Twins (new)

Kara (karaayako) | 3971 comments I would read basically any of these. Love the nominations so far!


message 23: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments I looked up Americana books on GoodReads and there were a lot of books on the list that are on my "To Read" list. I decided to nominate In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.


message 24: by Nurai (new)

Nurai | 678 comments I'm definitely interested in reading Americanah, either as a group read or a buddy read!


message 25: by Nurai (new)

Nurai | 678 comments Cassandra wrote: "Meg, here's a link if you're interested: Chimamanda's TED talk. She is such an eloquent speaker.

(Also, if the book doesn't get selected for a group read, I'd love to do it as a buddy read anyway!)"


I just watched the TED talk. Wow. She really knows how to deliver a speech.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I'll second In Cold Blood.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Jodi wrote: "I looked up Americana books on GoodReads and there were a lot of books on the list that are on my "To Read" list. I decided to nominate In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in th..."


I read this one last year and it kept me up at night (which is a good thing, because scared is fun). I may or may not have kept a hall light on at night for a week after finishing it.


message 28: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments Alissa wrote: "Jodi wrote: "I looked up Americana books on GoodReads and there were a lot of books on the list that are on my "To Read" list. I decided to nominate In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

On November 15..."


I like a good scary book too Alissa. What I think makes this even more scary, is that it is non-fiction.


message 29: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (fetchsomepopcorn) | 26 comments I could go for In Cold Blood as well.


message 30: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 280 comments I'd like to nominate Gilead

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.


message 31: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  | 12 comments All of these sound like great reads! It's so hard to pick each month. Americanah also interests me! Looks like a great book.


message 32: by Joe (last edited May 04, 2015 01:49PM) (new)

Joe | 110 comments Gilead and Plainsong were the two books that immediately came to mind. I'm glad to see them nominated! But I will throw A Painted House by John Grisham on the list. It certainly is Americana.

A farming family struggles to survive in the Midwest in the 1950s while listening to St. Louis Cardinals games on the radio. Told from the perspective of a 7 year old Stan Musial fan, for me, this book evoked To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath. I really enjoyed it!


message 33: by Laurie (new)

Laurie I already nominated a book, but I will second A Painted House. It is one of my absolute favorite books. I would love to see what others think of it.


message 34: by Courtney (new)

Courtney | 15 comments I second the Selection


message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Heinzman (vasandra) | 19 comments I second the Devil in the White City.


message 36: by Megan, Challenges (new)

Megan (lahairoi) | 6440 comments I join in the nomination for Americanah!


message 37: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Heinzman (vasandra) | 19 comments When I saw the topic, my first thought was that Americanah should be on the list (it's on my TBR as well)>


message 38: by Kadijah Michelle (new)

Kadijah Michelle (kadmich) | 2176 comments Cassandra wrote: "I'd like to nominate Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for having a similar name and same pronunciation.

I've wanted to read this one for a long time and I just listened to h..."


I'm with Americanah!


message 39: by CMG (Mac) (new)

CMG (Mac) Great choices. I will just vote on one of these. I might even have learned what Americana means!


message 40: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments CMac I had to look it up! I just know it as a drink you can order at Starbucks :) Here is the definition though.

A·mer·i·ca·na
əˌmeriˈkänə,-ˈkanə/
noun
things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States.


message 41: by Carol (new)

Carol Strange | 22 comments I vote for Americanah. I haven't read it yet, but heard a review on public radio.


message 42: by Elsbeth (new)

Elsbeth (elsbethgm) | 242 comments I second My Antonia. (but I wouldn't mind reading Americanah as well...)


message 43: by Heather (new)

Heather (dustypork) | 24 comments Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
Deals with isolated America, FBI, and CPS system.


message 44: by the-perks-of-war (new)

the-perks-of-war | 3 comments Gretchen wrote: "I nominate A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It's about a family in Brooklyn during the first part of the 20th century, struggling with poverty, alcoholism and rising above all things to liv..."

I could be your reading buddy for A Tree Grows In Brooklyn if you're up for it. c:


message 45: by JoJo (new)

JoJo (jojo2013) | 813 comments Water for Elephants

It's on the Americana list on goodreads.


message 47: by Coralie (last edited May 13, 2015 08:04PM) (new)

Coralie (corkybookworm) | 31 comments I second the Selection by Kiera Cass!! Becauase, fantastical or not, I like to wonder what America will become in our future (and I'm a sucker for anything with an interesting societal set-up, plus it's YA!)


message 48: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 95 comments The Book of Unknown Americans

I nominate The Book of Unknown Americans by CRISTINA HENRÍQUEZ.

It's a touching story of modern day immigrant experience, America from a different perspective.


message 49: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12010 comments hopefully I am doing this right my choice for July is Water For Elephants By: Sara Gruen. I haven't read the book yet but I do believe it was set during the depression so it should fit the theme nicely.


message 50: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (readinbooks) | 1912 comments That is great Sammy! That is exactly what you do.


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