I live about 30 miles away from Washington, D.C., home to one of the greatest places on Earth, the Library of Congress
(LOC). I have visited the library many times to take in the beautiful history, architecture, and of course, all of the books, which include Thomas Jefferson’s
personal collection. I recently acquired a LOC Readers Card
which allows me access to the reading rooms. The public is not allowed to check out books, but reading and researching in person on site is highly encouraged. During my latest visit there was an exhibit entitled “America Reads.” In 2012, a group of curators and subject experts in the LOC developed the exhibit, “Books That Shaped America
.” The group chose 88 core books by American authors that had a profound effect on American Life. This group asked the public to name other books that shaped America and to vote on which of the 88 books were most important to them. The top 40 vote-getters for the other books that shaped America are on display along with the public’s top choices from the original 88 selections. I have a list of all the books, those chosen by the curators and the American public, and this is my new reading list. I have read a handful of the the books, but think it would be fun to read all the books. The Top 25 favorite books, as chosen by America from the original 88 selections, is my starting point. Once I read those I’ll pick up the remaining 63 from the list. I’ve also included the titles from Americas Top 40 Nominations for 2016. While I’m at it, I figured it would be fun to read this list as well.