The I Hear America Reading List of Lists


These lists are reproduced from I Hear America Reading, a collection of letters about reading, compiled by Jim Burke, an English teacher at Burlingame High School in California. Most of the lists have ten titles. Look them up, by title or author, in your local library catalog to find out whether they are available for you check out.
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Books for People Who Think the World is Absurd
The Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll
Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and other books in the trilogy), Douglass Adams
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
Scoop, Evelyn Waugh
V, Thomas Pynchon
Books for the Adventurous
Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
The Mosquito Coast, Paul Theroux
The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
Seven Summits, Dick Bass and Frank Wells
Shooting the Boh: A Woman's Voyage down the Wildest River in Borneo, Tracy Johnston
Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback, Robyn Davidson
Travelers' Tales: The Best of Travelers' Tales, Larry Habegger (ed.)
Treasure, Clive Cussler
 
Books to Read Aloud in the Car While Traveling
Baseball and Summer Squash, Don Graves
Dispatches, Michael Herr
The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West, Patricia Nelson Limerick
Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Rising Tide, Jahn Barry
A Summer Life, Gary Soto
Books Worth Reading Aloud to Children
A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
Fairy Tales (Pantheon series)
Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
The Stinky Cheese Man, John Scieszka
Taxi Dog, Debra Barracca
The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
Books About America
American Dreams, Studs Terkel
Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon
Citizen Soldiers, Stephen Ambrose
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, Ron Takaki
Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
Lies My Teacher Told Me, Gerald Eskelin
Revising America, Frances Fitzgerald
Saturday Night in America, Susan Orlean
The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trip, Stephanie Coontz

  
Books About Books
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Anne Fadiman
Genesis: As It Was Written, David Rosen berg
The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in the Electronic Age, Sven Birkerts
Great Books, David Denby
A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel
How Reading Changed My Life, Anna Quindlen
Imagining Characters, A.S. Byatt and Iris Sordre
The Most Wonderful Books: Writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading, Michael Dorris and Emile Buchwald
The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word, Mitchell Stephens
Ruined by Reading, Lynne Schwartz

 
Books of Booklists
The Book Group Book, Ellen Slezak
Books for a Small Planet: A Multicultural-Intercultural Bibliography for Young English Learners, Dorothy S. Brown
500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide, Erica Bauermeister, et al.
Great Books for Girls: More than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls and Tomorrow's Women, Kathleen Odean
A Lifetime Reading Plan, Clifton Fadiman
New York Public Library's Books of the Century, E. Diefendorf, ed.
The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today, Martin Seymour-Smith
The Reading Group Book: The Complete Guide to Starting and Sustaining a Reading Group, Davis Laskin and Holly Hughes
Strong Souls Singing: African American Books for Our Daughters and Our Sisters, Archie Givens, ed.
Spirited Minds: African American Books for Our Sons and Our Brothers, Archie Givens, ed.
The Western Canon, Harold Bloom

 
Books a Teenage Boy Would Want to Read
Always Running, Luis Rodriguez
Dogsong, Gary Paulsen
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien
Makes Me Want to Holler, Nathan McCall
A River Runs through It, Norman Maclean
Rule of the Bone, Russell Banks
The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff
Way Past Cool, Jess Mowry

  
Books We Should All Read Before Childhood Ends
The BFG, Roald Dahl
The Box Car Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner
Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle

 
Books About Cultures
Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, Robert Kaplan
From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas L. Friedman
Genesis (Memory of Fire Trilogy, Part 1), Eduardo H. Galeano
The Gift of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, Thomas A. Cahill
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, Thomas A. Cahill
India: A Million Mutinies Now, V.S. Naipaul
My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience, Rian Milan
Pictures from the Water Trade: Adventures of a Westerner in Japan, John David Morley
Tales of the City (Series), Armistead Maupin
A Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul

 
Books for a Desert Island
The Annotated Alice, Lewis Carroll
Collected Works of Shakespeare
The Divine Comedy (Pinsky translation), Dante Alighieri
Finnegan's Wake, James Joyce
The Histories, Herodotus
King James Bible
The Odyssey (Fagles translation), Homer
Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabar-Zinn

 
Essential Books About Education
American Education, Lawrence A. Cremin
Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, Martha Nussbaum
The End of Education, Neil Postman
Horace's Hope: What Works for the American High School, Theodore Sizer
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, Richard Rodriguez
The Paideia Proposal, Mortimer Adler
Releasing the Imagination, Maxine Greene
Savage Inequalities, Jonathon Kozol
School Girls: Young Girls, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, Peggy Orenstein
The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them, E.D. Hirsch

  
Best Films That Began as Books
The African Queen (1951) C.S. Forester
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Erich Maria Remarque
Apocalypse Now (1979) from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Ben Hur (1959) Lew Ayres
Blade Runner (1982) from Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Pierre Boulle
The Color Purple (1984) Alice Walker
Cry, the Beloved Country (1995) Alan Paton
The Dead (1986) James Joyce
The English Patient (1996) Michael Ondaatje
From Here to Eternity (1953) James Jones
Gone with the Wind (1939) Margaret Mitchell
Last of the Mohicans (1920,  James Fenimore Cooper
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Ken Kesey
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) Walter Van Tilburg Clark
A Passage to India (1984) E.M. Forster
A River Runs Through It (1992) Norman Maclean
A Room with a View (1986) E.M. Forster
Schindler's List (1993) Thomas Keneally
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Stephen King
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Thomas Harris
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Harper Lee

 
Books About the Future
Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Children of Men, P.D. James
The Earthsea Triology, Ursula K. Le Guin
The Giver, Lois Lowry
Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
Kindred, Octavia Butler
Left Behind, Rim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
The Popcorn Report: Faith Popcorn on the Future of Your Company, Your World, and Your Life, Faith Popcorn
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

 
Books a Teenage Girl Would Want to Read
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Anywhere But Here, Mona Simpson
Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
Betsey Brown, Ntozake Shange
Black Ice, Lorene Cary
The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
Bridge to Terabitha, Katherine Paterson
Coffee Will Make You Black, April Sinclair
Dharma Girl, Chelsea Cain
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons
Forever, Judy Blume
Girl Interrupted, Suzanne Kaysen
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Julie Alvarez
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher
She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
When I Was Puerto Rican, Emeralda Santiago