Great Reads for America’s ‘Glorious Fourth’

Here is a selection of great titles to explore during the long Independence Day holiday. Each of them tells the American story in its own unique way.

Magnificent Marches

Sousa Marches by John Philip Sousa – Perfect music to listen to on the Fourth of July, whether you’re reading or not! This CD from the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble includes Sousa’s best-known marches—El Capitan, The Thunderer, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Post March, and of course, the classic Stars and Stripes Forever, which is performed all over the United States on Independence Day. |CD Music

Our Nation’s History – Nonfiction

1776 by David McCullough – Chronicles the Revolutionary War from Bunker Hill to the Crossing of the Delaware at Christmas in the fateful year 1776.  A fresh look at the events that does not gloss over difficulties and failures.  Superbly written, well researched, and entertaining. |Print||Large Print||CD Audiobook| |e-Audiobook 

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin – An insight into Franklin’s mind through his memoirs. |eBook |

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs – This book is autobiographical and allows you to see and feel what a woman has lived through, first as a slave, then as a fugitive, and finally free. |Print |eBook|

Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes by Marc Jaffe – This compilation of essays and personal accounts gives more insight into and deepens a story that was originally only told through Lewis and Clark’s words. |Print|

North of Boston: Poems by Robert Frost – You can experience Frost’s world in the early twentieth century by reading these poems. In typical Frost style, you see can easily see the scenes that inspired his wonderful poetry. |Print |

On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed – Juneteenth became America’s newest federal holiday this year, and this brief memoir by a noted historian and native Texan tells “its essential and sweeping story.” |Print|

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson – Bryson employs his usual charm in relaying the story of the eventful summer of 1927. Think Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and The Jazz Singer.  |Print |eBook |Audiobook |CD |

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard – Part biography and part adventure story.  After losing the 1912 election, Theodore Roosevelt wanted distraction.  He chose to journey down a previously unmapped tributary of the Amazon River and barely survived to tell the tale. |Print| |eBook

Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi – An analysis of racial history in America, and winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. |Print |eBook |Audiobook|

The Vietnam War  by Ken Burns – This 18-hour documentary series, filmed for television, features contemporary interviews and archival footage to present a grimly fascinating and exhaustive history of the Vietnam War. |DVD |Kanopy|

Fiction for the Fourth

11/22/63 by Stephen King – Buckle up for this time-travel novel about Kennedy’s assassination. |Print |eBook |Audiobook|

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – A devastated man’s new job as the bodyguard of a mysterious figure leads him down a path into mythic Americana. |Print |eBook |Audiobook |GN 

The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs – The tumultuous true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic American names—Washington, Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and others. |Print |eBook|CD/Play  

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich – Based on the story of Erdrich’s grandfather, who took the fight for Native rights to Washington, DC, the book weaves history with fiction as it portrays a community struggling to overcome against great odds. Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. |Print |eBook |Audiobook |Playaway 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – The First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends. |Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

U. S. A. by John Dos Passos – This classic trilogy of novels showcases the first three decades of America’s 20th century through the interwoven lives of twelve characters. |Print |

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