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.

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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.

 

 

Patriotic Picks: December 2018

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.

  • I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg. A 16-year-old girl enters a mental hospital to conquer her schizophrenia in a 1964 novel called “convincing and emotionally gripping” by the New York Times.
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Gilded-Age Manhattan serves as both a rarefied playground and an emotional prison for its moneyed, hollow inhabitants, chief among them Lily Bart.
  • Like a River: A Civil War Novel by Kathy Cannon Wiechman. Two teens — one an underage boy, the other a girl in disguise — fight for the Union and their own futures in this visceral tale written for middle-grade readers.

Patriotic Picks: November 2018

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.

    • Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterley. Shining a light on the brilliant but unsung “human computers” who worked to put a man on the moon.

 

    • Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. A young girl sets out for Chicago in search of the American Dream, only to discover there’s more to life than “having it all.”

 

    • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. After being expelled from prep school, 16-year-old Holden Caulfield journeys to New York City, where he ponders childhood, growing up, and the prevalence of phonies.

 

Patriotic Picks: October 2018

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.

  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. The seminal tale of an American ambulance driver and English nurse finding love in Italy amid the carnage of World War I.
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Two Jewish boys — one Hasidic, the other Orthodox — form an unlikely and enduring friendship in post-WWII Brooklyn.
  • Native Son by Richard Wright. Poverty and race collide in 1930s Chicago in this searing story of Bigger Thomas, a young black man who commits an unthinkable act.

Patriotic Picks: September 2018

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:

  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. An immigrant family struggles on (and with) the Nebraska prairie in this first installment of the author’s “Great Plains” trilogy.
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. This classic tale of an obsessed Captain Ahab seeking vengeance on an elusive white whale is as American as, well, obsession and revenge.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell. A political allegory about tyranny, revolt, and the seductive — and often devastating — allure of power.

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Contact

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

John Grimaldi      917.846.8485