America in Literature II

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Here continues my list of quintessential American literary works:

PART II of II


The Things They Carried

by Tim O’Brien
A classic, life-changing meditation on war, memory, imagination, and

the redemptive power of storytelling

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com


Gone With the Wind

by Margaret Mitchell
Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

The Catcher in the Rye
By J.D. Salinger
A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation.
Wikipedia

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Moby Dick

By Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com


The Crucible

By Arthur Miller
Based on historical people and real events, Arthur Miller’s play uses the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence unleashed by the rumors of witchcraft as a powerful parable about McCarthyism.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com


Civil Disobedience

Henry David Thoreau
An essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Sound and The Fury
By William Faulkner
The tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and  one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

 

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America in Literature I

119001003406-originalThere is a plethora of great American literature, I could not create a list of less than 20. However, I focused less on the popularity of a novel/author and more on a variety and depth of “American ” (U.S.) content/concepts and ideas/ideals etc. Literature that focuses on the history, growth, and culture of our nation.
So, I was able to narrow it down…

Here is my list of the top quintessential American literary works:

PART I of II

Common Sense
By Thomas Pain
Paine arrived in America from England in 1774. A friend of Benjamin Franklin, he was a writer of poetry and tracts condemning the slave trade. In 1775, as hostilities between Britain and the colonies intensified, Paine wrote Common Sense to encourage the colonies to break the British exploitative hold and fight for independence. The little booklet of 50 pages was published January 10, 1776 and sold a half-million copies, approximately equal to 75 million copies today.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston

Out of print for almost thirty years due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist. Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


By Mark Twain

One of the most challenged or banned books due to racist language, Twain’s novel can be read as an indictment of unenlightened nineteenth-century thinking or as a heartbreaking coming-of-age novel, but what’s undisputed is the novel’s position as one of the most influential books in American literature.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com10ca59f648094240a32e3146b99bce6c

Book Bean: Iced Huckleberry Hibiscus
Brew some hibiscus tea add honey to taste and chill. Lightly crush a handful of fresh huckleberries (raspberries or marion/black berries are great too). Add berries and ice to a tall glass and pour in chilled tea.

The Scarlet Letter
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
An 1850 work of fiction in a historical setting, and is considered to be Hawthorne’s “masterwork”. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

An anti-slavery novel published in 1852, the novel “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War”, according to Will Kaufman.Wikipedia. Denouncing the institution of slavery in dramatic terms, the incendiary novel quickly draws the reader into the world of slaves and their masters.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

An exemplary novel of the Jazz Age acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. It is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

green-spritzer-051-mbd109404_vertRated 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Fitz SpritzerGreen tea chilled, fresh lime juice, sugar, and club soda. Pour mixture over ice and enjoy your own Green Rickey 😉 Make it fun, add an olive, lime wedges, and/or mint for garnish.


Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman

A visionary volume of twelve poems. Showing the influence of a uniquely American form of mysticism known as Transcendentalism, which eschewed the general society and culture of the time, the writing is distinguished by an explosively innovative free verse style and previously unmentionable subject matter.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Beloved

By Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery,  the novel is inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky late January 1856 by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. Set after the American Civil War (1861-1865) this spellbinding novel transforms history into a powerful story as intimate as a lullaby.

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck
A Pulitzer Prize–winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
California Frappe
Frappe-1080x631Cut off peel and white pith from 2-3 orange wedges. Bring 1/2 cup of dry red wine, 2 Tsp. of sugar, a grate of orange zest, and 1/2 Tsp. of cinnamon to a simmer, add the orange wedges and simmer for approx. 10 min. mixture should reduce to a syrup, let chill. Pull 2 shots of espresso (or use 4 oz of brewed coffee chilled.) In a blender add ice, coffee, syrup (for an easier option use marmalade 😉 ), and milk (to taste) blend and enjoy!

Stay tuned for PART II July 4th!

While you wait vote for you favorite American Author 

 Share with us about your vote, what do you love about this author, and what makes them “A Great” in American literature?

 

Honoring George Orwell

george-orwell-bbc.jpgEric Arthur Blair better known by his pen name George Orwell, born this day in 1903
was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

Animal Farm

A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com


Down and Out in Paris and London

Orwell’s first work — a sensitive and insightful description of the life of the working poor in Paris and the homeless in London. It is still very relevant today, and while aimed at the casual reader, it is of interest to the scholar and activist.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com


“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a match against the powers that be.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Share your thoughts
Have you read Orwell, has he influenced you in any way?

 

The Godfather of Caffeine

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who is celebrated in today’s Google doodle, was the discoverer of caffeine and the first person to isolate quinine, but his contribution to chemistry is often overlooked. Check out this Article by Sam Wong and learn all about the Godfather of Caffeine. While sipping away at your various Café delicacies today, tip your hat to Runge.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2193138-friedlieb-ferdinand-runge-the-godfather-of-caffeine/amp/

A Salute to C.S. Lewis

Happy Birthday to the Brilliant and Truly Imaginative C.S. Lewis

43363176071_4c83157eea_b - CopyBorn on November 29, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland, C.S. Lewis went on to teach at Oxford University and became a renowned Christian apologist writer, using logic and philosophy to support the tenets of his faith. Lewis wrote more than 30 books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies.
He is also known throughout the world as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series, which have been adapted into various films for the big and small screens.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

As one of my all time favorite Authors I would love to showcase
my three  favorite works:

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

The first (some say 2nd) book in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe endures more than half a century after its publication. It is not necessarily my favorite of the series, that would be a hard thing to choose. However it is brilliant and holds within it, everything I love about the series as a whole.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” 

Out of the Silent Planet
Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, of which Out of the Silent Planet is the first volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus’s The Plague and George Orwell’s 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of the moral concerns. For the trilogy’s central figure, C. S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

The Screwtape Letters

Written in a satirical style. First published in February 1942, the story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior Demon Screwtype to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle’s mentorship pertains to the nephew’s responsibility in securing the damnation of a British man known only as “the Patient”. This tale was both eerie and thought-provoking, a chilling combination, but one that will always stay with me.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough
or a book long enough to suit me.”

Fun Fact: Lewis was good friends with equally brilliant J. R. R. Tolkien and both members of the Literary group, The Inklings.

“We are what we believe we are.” ~C.S. LewisCSLewisPlaque

The Formidable Frida Kahlo

5225360416_5320e7aafb_bBorn today June 6th in 1907
Frida Kahlo was a was a Mexican self-portrait artist who was considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists.

She began painting mostly self-portraits after she was severely injured in a bus accident.

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Kahlo later became politically active and married artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954.

She is still admired for her
fiercely evocative art, feminist qualities, and iconic fashion.5363472939_23c05e4aef_b-e1525915781478.jpg

The intimate life Frida is beautifully revealed in the illustrated journal she kept during her last 10 years. This passionate and at times surprising record contains the artist’s thoughts, poems, and dreams; many reflecting her stormy relationship with her husband, artist Diego Rivera, along with 70 mesmerising watercolour illustrations. The text entries in brightly coloured inks make the journal as captivating to look at as it is to read.

This intricate book allows the reader to enter this revered artist’s world, both literally and metaphorically. Through a series of consecutive die-cut pages, one is drawn in passing through aspects of her life, art and creative process while exploring the themes that inspired her most, such as love, death and maternity. Iconic and visceral, her work has always had the ability to transcend borders and resonate with its honest and graphic depiction of the human condition.

Pain and passion: The original and intimate art of Mexico’s most famous female painter

 The arresting pictures of Frida Kahlo (1907–54) were in many ways expressions of trauma. Through a near-fatal road accident at the age of 18, failing health, a turbulent marriage, miscarriage and childlessness, she transformed afflictions into revolutionary art.