An Independence Day Book List

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope your day is filled with hot dogs, fireworks, and lots of reading time. I unfortunately have to work – working in the news business sometimes has it’s downsides – but to celebrate I’m giving you a list of my favorite America-themed books. They’re separated into Fiction, Nonfiction, and History/Biography. They run the gamut from being blatantly about America, having “America” in the title, or being relatively American in theme. Enjoy, and please add any you think I’m missing to the comments. Have a great holiday!


America America by Ethan Canin

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Independence Day by Richard Ford

Forever by Pete Hamill

In America by Susan Sontag

American Pastoral by Phillip Roth

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

On the Road by Jack Keroac

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe


What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank

I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away by Bill Bryson

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time by Peter Lovenheim

The Intellectual Devotional: American History by David Kidder

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson

America (the Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by John Stewart

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell


Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J Ellis

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

1776 by David Mccullough

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto

A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J Ellis

The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S Wood

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis

The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture by Joshua Kendall


4 Responses to “An Independence Day Book List”

  1. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog July 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Yay for Sarah Vowell love AND for reminding me that I still need to read AMERICA, AMERICA. Happy 4th to you!

    • Rachel July 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for the tweet! Have a good holiday 🙂

  2. William Torgerson July 5, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Hey, I was excited to see Richard Ford’s Independence Day here. I love that whole trilogy that also includes The Sportswriter and Lay of the Land. Have you read from it?

    If you’re willing to read Ford, you might also enjoy (it’s actually a pretty intense book to use the word “enjoy”) you might give Phillip Roth’s American Pastoral a try.


  3. Meg July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Ooo, there’s a lot of good ones here. I love, love, love Bill Bryson’s books. I definitely see a few books that need to be added to my TBR list.

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