by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

This is the time of year for reading lists.

The what-to-read-at-the-beach list.

The required-readings-for-school list.

Here’s another list to help inform your readings. The Library of Congress has compiled a list of Books That Shaped America.

The list of 88 books are listed in order by publication date and starts with Benjamin Franklin and includes Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Thurston, Tennessee Williams and Malcolm X.

The list includes fiction and non-fiction.

You can take a survey on the Library of Congress website to select your top three books from their list of 88.

The non-fiction includes: Ida Tarbell, The History of Standard Oil (1904), Alcoholics Anonymous (1939), and Benjamin Spock’s The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946).

As many of the Journalism Education Association mentors and mentees have a background in teaching English and/or history in addition to journalism, I thought this list would be on interest.

When you visit the Library of Congress website, you’ll have the option of taking a survey — selecting the three books from the list of 88 that you think have had the greatest influence in shaping America.

The Library of Congress website includes a poster for the National Book Festival, which will be held on Sept. 22-23 and will include President and Mrs. Obama.

Mentors, you can add to your own summer reading, and you also can alert English/history/journalism teachers, who could use the National Book Festival next fall as part of a teaching unit.

The list includes many books that I’ve read and many that I’ve taught. One of my favorites is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953), which I read as a high school student. That book helped launch my interest in science fiction.

What about you? Which is a favorite book of yours that is on the list?