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AMERICAN AUTHORS CHALLENGE 2019 GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 8:29pm Top



Welcome to the 2019 version of the American Authors Challenge. Those of you who have participated in the past will know that Mark msf59 has been hosting the challenge for the last five years, and under his guidance there has been a LOT of wonderful reading and discussion. His shoes are gonna be tough to fill.

We had a good interchange about who to include this year, and if you weren’t part of that, but would like to know how we arrived at the 2019 line-up, you can scope out the Planning thread here.

We’ve covered 56 distinct authors in the past; the list can be found in the first post of the planning thread as noted above. We occasionally had a Theme Month (Poetry, Narrative Non-Fiction, etc.) instead of an individual author, which is why there are not 60 names on the list.

The list for 2019, based in large part on a consensus of those offering suggestions and opinions on the planning thread, looks like this:

January: Chaim Potok
February: Louisa May Alcott
March: Jon Clinch
April: Jesmyn Ward
May: Jay Parini
June: Pearl Buck
July: Founding Fathers (and Mothers)
August: Ernest J. Gaines
September: Leslie Marmon Silko
October: DRAMA
November: W. E. B. DuBois
December: Marilynne Robinson

BONUS/WILD CARD: Genre Fiction. My recommendations for this category are Sharyn McCrumb and James Lee Burke, but it's a wild card. Use it for whatever you like.


I will post links to each month’s discussion thread here. So let’s get started with our first “chosen” author, Chaim Potok. The January thread is here.

2msf59
Edited: Dec 27, 2018, 8:25am Top

Nice introduction over here, Linda. Promising choice of authors. Looking forward to 2019. Potok is a good choice, to kick off the year.

**The January link is faulty.

3jessibud2
Dec 27, 2018, 9:26am Top

I meant to say, I love the graphic in >1 laytonwoman3rd:. Very cool.

4laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Dec 30, 2018, 6:14pm Top

>2 msf59: Thank you Mark. The link should work now. ETA: But see >5 below

>3 jessibud2: I love that graphic too, Shelley.

5laytonwoman3rd
Dec 28, 2018, 9:28am Top

If the links are not working, the view of the thread is skeletal, or photos and graphics are not loading, there is something screwy with the talk forums right now, apparently especially for those using a laptop. Hopefully when the backstage crew is back to full strength after the holidays, it will get sorted out. Meanwhile there have been some suggestions about remedies we can try ourselves, such as making sure the URL of all links begins with https://

6Ameise1
Dec 28, 2018, 9:32am Top

>5 laytonwoman3rd: Yep, https:// or sign out and then sign in.

7jessibud2
Dec 28, 2018, 9:46am Top

>5 laytonwoman3rd: - Yes, I have noticed that a few times! I thought something must be screwy with the site because it wasn't happening anywhere else I went on the internet. But leaving LT then coming back seemed to work.

8bohemima
Dec 30, 2018, 9:45am Top

I’m glad to see this and will certainly be reading at least some of the authors this year. I’m grateful that you set us up here, Linda!
On the links: it depends on where I click from. Definitely something wonky going on, but I keep trying, with some success.

9lycomayflower
Dec 30, 2018, 10:44am Top

That graphic up top sure is spiffy!

10lycomayflower
Dec 30, 2018, 10:51am Top

I'll try to mention this again when July rolls around, but on the assumption that I'm likely to forget over the intervening months: a recent episode of the podcast Just the Right Book featured an interview with Joseph Ellis, discussing his most recent book American Dialogue: The Founders and Us. Perfect listening for thinking about reading for July's challenge.

You can listen to the episode here or by seeking out Just the Right Book in your podcatcher of choice and looking for the episode from December 12, 2018.

11laytonwoman3rd
Dec 30, 2018, 11:12am Top

>6 Ameise1:, >7 jessibud2:, >8 bohemima: Glad this temporary (we hope) glitch isn't discouraging anyone!

>9 lycomayflower: I thank you. The internet thanks you.

>10 lycomayflower: And thank you again. I'm making a list of my own for books about the founders. I assume their own writings can speak for themselves.

12fuzzi
Dec 30, 2018, 12:16pm Top

I’m working on classics again this year, and have NEVER read Little Women in its entirety, so February looks good for that!

13laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Jan 1, 11:10am Top

>12 fuzzi: Well, be prepared to put Little Women in the freezer. (If you don't get that reference, I apologize. "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivnqbyYI-yY" )

14katiekrug
Dec 30, 2018, 7:32pm Top

>12 fuzzi: and >13 laytonwoman3rd: - NO! Don't watch that! Spoilers!

15laytonwoman3rd
Dec 30, 2018, 8:30pm Top

>13 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, right....good point, Katie. Don't watch that! In fact, I'll put it under a spoiler cut right now.

16nittnut
Edited: Jan 1, 11:04am Top

Love the line-up! Thank you for keeping this challenge going. Off to have a look at the TBR pile for some unread Potok.

>10 lycomayflower: ETA I love Joseph Ellis. I just read The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, and I have several of his other books. He's an excellent resource.

17lycomayflower
Jan 1, 12:18pm Top

>16 nittnut: I've never read him, but that interview makes me want to!

18crazy4reading
Jan 1, 1:58pm Top

>5 laytonwoman3rd: I had trouble viewing these threads on 12/28/18 while I was a work and I was on a desktop. I thought it was because our IT department had updated our firewall. I came home and had the same problem. I cleared my cache and that seemed to help. So far so good. I also get a Not Secure up in the web address bar still.

I am hoping to try and participate in this challenge.

19laytonwoman3rd
Jan 1, 3:35pm Top

>18 crazy4reading: The problem was addressed by Tim and crew a couple days ago, Monica. It should all be OK now. The not secure message is probably from your firewall, which doesn't like any URL's without the https (meaning secure) in them. If your IT people are really sticklers about that, you may not get full functionality at work. (How DARE they?) In any case, I'm glad you'll try to join the AAC this year. The more the merrier.

20laytonwoman3rd
Jan 27, 3:30pm Top

The Louisa May Alcott thread for February is up. Come on over and talk about what you're planning to read.

AND...watch this space for another thread announcement in the next few days. It has been suggested that a separate thread for the Wild Card reads would be a good idea, and I agree, so I'll be working on that one.

21laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Feb 11, 6:27pm Top

As promised above, I have created a thread for the Wild Card Category. Stop there any time during the year when you choose to read outside the selections, and fill us in on what great genre fiction you're reading.

22fuzzi
Feb 27, 1:37pm Top

Is the March thread up yet? I was just wondering.

23laytonwoman3rd
Feb 27, 8:18pm Top

>22 fuzzi: Working on it...been distracted by taxes.

24fuzzi
Feb 27, 9:08pm Top

>23 laytonwoman3rd: oh, dang...you had to remind me...

25laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Mar 2, 4:26pm Top

And now the March thread is up. Please come over and get acquainted with Jon Clinch.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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