Patriotic Picks: October 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

  • “Maggie-Now” by Betty Smith. From the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn comes this story of a young woman struggling to navigate men, a career, and an unquenchable desire to make her own way in the world.
  • “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. Quick-witted George and simple-minded Lennie companionably eke out a living on hardscrabble California farms. But a tragedy soon unfolds that forces one man to commit an unthinkable act.
  • “Mama’s Bank Account” by Kathryn Forbes. This inspiration for the classic TV show “I Remember Mama” chronicles the triumphs and trials of a Norwegian-American family in early-20th-century San Francisco.

 

See more Patriotic Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: September 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

  • “1984” by George Orwell. Though written and set in Great Britain, this chilling, dystopian tale of Big Brother feels eerily relevant in the 21st-century United States.
  • “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Even in Puritan Massachusetts, the shameful “A” emblazoned on her chest can’t make Hester Prynne reveal the name of her lover. (Spoiler alert: It’s Dimmesdale.)
  • “3 by Flannery O’ Connor” by Flannery O’Connor. “Wise Blood,” “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” and “The Violent Bear It Away” comprise this matchless trio from the country’s foremost short-story writer.

See more Patriotic Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

  • “My Antonia” by Willa Cather. This final installment in the author’s prairie trilogy chronicles the lives of hardy 19th-century immigrants attempting to tame the wilds of Nebraska.
  • ‘Marjorie Morningstar’ by Herman Wouk. In this classic love story, a young Jewish woman in 1950s New York City seeks fame and fortune on the stage.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. How quintessentially “of the U.S.” is this tale of racism and hope set in the Deep South? In 2018, it was named the country’s “#1 Best-Loved Novel” by PBS’ Great American Read.

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: July 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This story of the ragamuffin Huck’s journey down the Mississippi River offers an often coarse, scathing commentary on racism and 19th-century societal norms.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Childhood in circa-1912, working-class Williamsburg is captured through the eyes of Francie Nolan, a young girl whose eccentric New York family is, by turns, scandalous, loving, erratic, and jubilant.
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. An elderly Cuban fisherman battles a massive marlin — and, ultimately, himself — in this classic man-versus-nature tale spun in a spare, beautiful style.

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: June 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

  • Obscure Destinies by Willa Cather. The Great Plains serve as the harshly beautiful backdrop for this trio of novellas about sacrifice, pride, love, and the endurance of the human spirit.
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. A 14-year-old boy ends up with a front-row seat to the Boston Tea Party, the first shots of the Revolutionary War, and other pivotal events from our nation’s birth.
  • The Good Times by Russell Baker. In this entertaining memoir, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author recalls his often absurd (and absurdly funny) days working his way up the rungs of the newspaper ladder.

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: May 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 

Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser. Class inequality, lost love, and personal sacrifice collide in this early-20th-century tale of a young lady’s struggle to make — and remake — her life in the face of tragedy.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. The famed poet’s first memoir is as much an account of her own fraught childhood as it is a story of the country’s ongoing problems with racism and casual bigotry.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The glitzy excess of Jazz Age New York forms a lavish backdrop for a brash millionaire’s pursuit of both the woman he desires and the (often elusive) American dream.

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: April 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. After being driven by fear from a Civil War battlefield, a young Union private regains his nerve and seeks an honor-bestowing combat wound.
  • Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca. In larger-than-life style, the son of Italian immigrants recounts his role in salvaging the American auto industry, and the slings and arrows he endured along the way.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. New England sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March grow into womanhood in this classic coming-of-age tale from the mid-19th century.

Patriotic Picks: March 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. In postwar Brooklyn, a young Hasidic Jew grapples with honoring his faith while somehow still feeding his insatiable desire to create art.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Race, politics, and the irrepressibility of the human spirit are all on display in this semi-autobiographical masterpiece of a novel set in 1930s Georgia.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The Pulitzer Prize-winning saga of the Joad family’s journey from Dust Bowl-devastated Oklahoma to an indifferent, hardscrabble California paints a searing picture of poverty and class in the U.S.

Patriotic Picks: February 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Humor, sentimentality, and the irrepressibility of the human spirit combine and shine in a seminal tale of 19th-century boyhood.
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. It’s 1851, and Father Jean Marie Latour arrives in New Mexico to spread the Gospel. And, for four decades, he does just that — gently, quietly, and while surrounded by his own unyielding loneliness.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Civil War-ravaged Atlanta burns as hotly as the tempestuous love between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that captures the death of the Old South.

Patriotic Picks: January 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

  • Ordinary People by Judith Guest. In this emotionally raw novel, members of an everyday family ripped apart by tragedy try to find their way back to one another.
  • The Drum of Destiny by Christopher Stevenson. It’s 1775, and orphaned Gabriel is living in New York with British loyalists. Will a discarded drum spur him to join the Colonists’ fight for freedom? (For middle-grade readers.)
  • The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Generational secrets, a malevolent curse, and a legacy of ill-gotten gains form the core of this classic gothic tale set in 19th-century New England.

 

 

Contact

Inquiries from authors, publishers and the media should be directed to:

John Grimaldi      917.846.8485