Living in Oregon, it seems like a worthwhile goal to read books by Oregonians or about life in Oregon. According to Portland Monthly magazine, these are the "20 Greatest Oregon Books Ever."
Those I have red are in red; those on my TBR shelf are in blue.
Here is the list, from the October 2006 issue of Portland Monthly, compiled by Brian Doyle, editor of the University of Portland’s PortlandMagazine:
1. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
2. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
3. Winter Count by Barry Lopez
4. The River Why by David Duncan
5. Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistle Punks: Stewart Holbrook’s Lowbrow Northwest by Stewart Hall Holbrook
6. The Country Boy by Homer Davenport
7. Ricochet River by Robin Cody
8. Stepping Westward: The Long Search for Home in the Pacific Northwest by Sallie Tisdale
9. Hole in the Sky by William Kittredge
10. True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff
11. The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest by Alvin M. Josephy
12. The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis
13. Oregon Geographic Names by Lewis A. McArthur
14. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
15. Fire at Eden’s Gate: Tom McCall & the Oregon Story by Brent Walth
16. The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss
17. Every War Has Two Losers by William Stafford
18. Nehalem Tillamook Tales
19. To Build a Ship by Don Berry
20. In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geological and Natural History by Ellen Morris Bishop
I think there are a couple of others that could be included in a list of great Oregon-themed books, such as the new anthology of Oregon writings, Citadel of the Spirit; another anthology called Varieties of Hope, as well as the other books in the Oregon Literature Series published by the Oregon State University Press; and Robert Miller's Native America "Discovered" and Conquered, in which he examines how the doctrine of Manifest Destiny led to the creation of Oregon at the expense of Native Americans' property rights.
I welcome other suggestions.
UPDATE: Hat tip to Gabe at Reading Local for providing the link to the Oregon State Library's list of 150 Oregon books. The library compiled this list to commemorate Oregon’s sesquicentennial, which Oregonians celebrated on February 14, 2009: "The list consists of 150 books for children, teens and adults that describe the Oregon experience, including fiction, non-fiction, history, and poetry."
OTHERS READING THE BOOKS ON THIS LIST (If you would like to be listed here, please leave a comment with links to your progress reports or reviews ans I will add them here.)