Thursday, February 19, 2009

List of the Day: 20 Greatest Oregon Books

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.)

Opening Sentence of the Day: The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire

"Once upon a time there was a little girl name Alice Green who lived on what people who don’t know any better would call a farm, but which her family called their country estate." The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C. M. Mayo Kind of interesting -- going with the old tried-and-true "once upon a time" line. You really do not see that in adult books. Either this is going to be a great yarn, or too cute by half. I look forward to finding out.

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