Friday, July 4, 2014

A Fourth of July Reading List

The Fourth of July, the celebration of American independence, is one of my favorite holidays. The other is Thanksgiving which we celebrate in November. Both are very American holidays and neither involve presents, only parades, good food, football in the fall and baseball in the summer.

I went to a baseball game last night. My home team is the Louisville Bats, the AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. I love our downtown stadium with its views of the bridges crossing the Ohio River. I love the sweet smell of the funnel cakes (that fried bread dusted with powdered sugar) and the mouth-watering aroma of onions and green peppers simmering on the grill. Everyone at a baseball game is in a good mood.

Last night was a perfect evening - cool and a bit overcast - but no chance of a rain-out. And when the game was over, fireworks exploded in the sky - a very Fourth of July festival of freedom.

If I had to come up with a Fourth of July reading list it would include: 

John Adams by David McCullough

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman ("I hear America singing...")

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

and, of course,

The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson.

Any thoughts on others?


  1. Maybe 1776 by David McCullough or Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard Beeman. They're both excellent books.

    1. Great suggestions, Lark. I own a copy of "1776" but am not familiar with Mr. Beeman's book. I will investigate. Thanks for your additions to the list.

  2. Bit of a problem leaving a comment, which I'm pretty certain was on my end of things, Belle, so, I'm trying again. Here goes:

    Cokie Roberts' "Founding Mothers" is worth a spot on 4th of July reading list, and I second Lark's suggestion of David McCullough's "1776".

    1. Thanks, Penny, for the shout out to the women!

    2. I just found another one by Ms. Roberts - "Ladies of Liberty:The Women Who Shaped Our Nation".