Sunday, June 3, 2018

The First Ten Books of the Great American Read (GAR)

1984 - Well, I probably should have read this long before 1984 rolled around.  I didn't.  And now I likely never will.  It is not on my TBR list.

A Confederacy of Dunces - I vaguely remember hearing of this book, probably when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981.  I was home raising three boys ages 4, 2 1/2, and a newborn.  Guess who was not reading books.

A Prayer for Owen Meany - I've not read any of John Irving so no surprise that I did not read this 1989 release.  I was in grad school and working full-time while raising the boys.  I'm lucky I had time to eat.

A Separate Peace - Published while I was still in junior high, it's another book I never heard about.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - My mother had this novel in her bookcase.  I read parts of the book whilst she yelled at me that it 'was dirty'.  I am not sure that I ever finished it.  My sister inherited my mother's house and everything in it and I wonder what she did with all of the books.  It was quite the collection though I never actually saw my mother read anything.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - I own this book.  I have tried to read it.  I just could not get into it.  What am I missing?

The Alex Cross series by James Patterson - I loved these books when they first appeared.  But over the years I began to dislike Alex, his granny and his kids.  When "Kill Alex Cross" was published I thought it wasn't such a bad idea.  I probably started to get tired of him after about 15 books or so.  Patterson is not the only author IMO to continue a character long after he/she should have been retired.  I could make quite a list.  On the upside, I've finally come across a book I've read.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - I own this too.  I've read it.  I don't get what all the enthusiasm is for.  One of you please explain it to me.  Thanks.

Americanah - Although published in 2013, I am clueless.  This title had never crossed my path until I saw it on the show.

And Then There Were None - One of the books I have read more than once and do own.  I read it when I was in high school for the first time and Agatha Christie became one of my favorite authors.  A few years ago I read or re-read all of her novels.  What can I say?  I love a good mystery.  And for those of you who want to tell me you had it all figured out before the end - spare me.  I won't believe you.  With this being the choice though, I am more likely to choose Murder on the Orient Express.

And there you have my take on the first ten of 100.  How about you?  Have you read any of these books?


  1. I've read all of them except Confederacy of Dunces and Owen Meant. A decent group.

  2. Of these books I've read Americanah (liked it), 1984 (powerful but depressing), and Confederacy of Dunces (I can remember nothing about it, which is not a great recommendation). None of the others are on my TBR list either. Americanah is very readable, an interesting perspective on Nigeria and America from a young woman who lives in both worlds.

    1. Thanks. I'll add Americanah to my tbr list.

  3. I've read 37 of the books - some of them were school assignments - others I just stumbled into. I'm still scratching my head over "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" being dirty. It was one of my favorite books as a young teen. Guess I'll have to reread it to find out. Americanah has been on my tbr list, which means it will probably never get read. Alana

    1. I think I need to reread it. Along with all the other books on my list.

  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was my favorite book in 8th grade. I must have read it 100 times. Loved the story. I should get a copy of it and re-read it now and see what I think of it. I read A Pray for Owen Meaney about 15 years ago. I struggled through it but did finish it and I don't think I've read anything else of John Irving's since.


  5. I need to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Been on my list for years. I loved Owen Meaney. Such a different book. I loved Tom Sawyer but don't know if I would now that I'm an adult. I used to love Alex Cross too. I agree with you that Patterson should have retired him years ago. I don't even like how Patterson writes anymore. I will have to look into And Then there Were NOne. I love good mysteries.


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