Suggested One Read: Life on the Mississippi

Book cover for Life on the MississippiEvery year we get a handful of nominations of books widely considered classics: “1984” by George Orwell, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck or “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, for example. This year is no different.

Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi” combines history of the great river and the decline of the steamboat era with memoir-like tales of Twain’s life as a young man, before he became a writer. This book showcases Twain’s gift for descriptive prose, keen wit, talent for telling a tall tale and firm grasp of history, economics and politics. Our nominator says, “This sprawling collection of Twain’s memories from apprentice river boat pilot to his later river travels would be an appropriate One Read by perhaps our best known American author.”

Read about the other titles mid-Missouri readers nominated for One Read 2016.

Suggested One Read: 1984

Book cover for 1984 by George OrwellIn 2003, the community read Harper Lee’s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” inspiring important discussions about race relations and social justice. This year, an area reader suggests another classic work be considered for One Read: “1984” by George Orwell.

In this dystopian novel, protagonist Winston Smith begins to question the totalitarian government, which watches and controls the actions of its citizens. Our nominator writes, “With revelations that government is tracking conversations, are we living in the Big Brother society predicted to happen 30 years ago? Also, this is the 65th anniversary of book’s publication.” A timely suggestion, indeed.

See other One Read 2014 nominations we’ve highlighted.