I love the Fourth of July. The fireworks, the popsicles, the BBQs, the red, white, and blue decorations, the books. Yes the books. There are a lot of great books out there that will get the spirit of America running through your veins. In this installment of The Book Monster I’ve got a few books for you that are American as apple pie.
Last year I didn’t do any reading on the 4th of July because I was too busy as I imagine you will too. Read these books now and then when you’re running in the Butte to Butte or BBQing or hanging out at the rodeo or visiting your family or doing whatever it is that you do on the Fourth of July you’ll feel the patriotism swelling within you.
If you can think of other books that would be a great read for the 4th of July feel free to write it down in a comment at the bottom of the page.
We Were Soldiers Once and Young, by Harold G. Moore and Joe Galloway: The book is much better than the movie. This book follows the story of about 300 airmobile soldiers who were dropped off in the highlands of Vietnam, in Ia Drang, to take out enemy forces. Vastly outnumbered and completely surrounded these soldiers went through hell and then some to defeat the Vietnamese (even thought the Vietnamese also considered the battle a victory). This book is filled with first-hand accounts from the battle from a legion of survivors. Not only does the book tell about the battle itself but it tells stories of evasion and survival by a few soldiers who were lost in the jungle, it tells the stories of families were effected by casualties, and it sets the battle up with plenty of historical background information. This book is fantastically written by an officer and journalist who survived the battle of Ia Drang themselves.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury: This novel of pure unadulterated Americana follows Douglas Spaulding as he enjoys summer as every kid should. Spaulding deals with death, time machines, psycho-killers, grandparents, friends moving, and he is ultimately disillusioned.This story is set in the summer of 1928 in a small town in Illinois and has a way of taking the reader back to their own childhood summers. Most of all it will remind you what a great time of year summer is, and that it shouldn’t be wasted.
American Buffalo, by Steven Rinella: Rinella’s book is a tribute to buffalo, the icon of the American west. Rinella recounts his obsession with buffalo that began when he found a buffalo skull and culminated in a culminated in a challenging buffalo hunt in the wilds of Alaska. This author has the gift of being able to write about the natural world in a natural way. Every factoid and piece of history about buffalos you could ever hope to find are seamlessly interspersed throughout Rinella’s hunting journey. This half-memoir, half-well-researched-piece-of-journalism will get you in the mood for a road trip to Wyoming to take a look at these great beasts.