Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1960 - 1969
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Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
This is the book I imagine Aaron Sorkin reading before writing the scripts for The West Wing. It is a story of the US Senate and all it's machinations. A good book with well developed characters. If you like political fiction, this is for you.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A classic! This really is a great story (and movie with Gregory Peck). This is the third time I have read this. There are only a handful of books on the list that are "important" for their time. This is one. Remember this book was released in 1961. The Selma marches didn't happen until 65. This was the very beginning of the civil rights movement. It was a brave Pulitzer pick given it's content. But I can't imagine how the committee could have done anything different.

The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Conner
A long book that I wasn't sure I would like. It is about a dispirited Catholic priest in New England. Not a bad read, but the opposite of a Tom Clancy novel.

The Reivers by William Faulkner
Yes, a much better book than Fable. This is a story about a 12 year old who takes a road trip in his grandfathers model T with a disreputable companion. There was quite a lot to like about this book. It has a wry sense of humor about it throughout the book. Again Faulkner proves his mastery of the language. My favorite passage in the book is one of Lucius' musings about his plight: "...including the automobiles also which once where mere economic necessities but are now social ones, the moment already here when, if all the human race ever stops moving at the same instant, the surface of the earth with seize, solidify: there are too many of us; humanity will destroy itself not by fission but by another beginning with f which is a verb-active as well as a conditional state; ..." I howled at this wry commentary.

The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
OK book. It is a multigenerational story about a family that lives in a house in the Midwest. It also has a racial sub-plot that must have been controversial in 1965, but seems quaint now.

Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter
Didn't finish all of this one. I can see how her writing would appeal, but I didn't take to it. Many of the stories are older, and so have what seems like an out of date style. Skip this for something on the top 10.

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Wikipedia says that Malamud is one of great Jewish/American writers. I believe it. The Fixer is the first Malamud I have read. But I went on to read The Natural and part of The Assistant. His stories are definitely not 'light' reads, but I think he handles it well. And for his Oregon tie-in, he was a teacher at Oregon State for many years ('49-'61).

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
OK book. Frankly the history and controversy around this book is more interesting than the book itself (probably much to Styron's chagrin). Styron is lambasted for writing a first person account of a black man. Styron's friendship with James Baldwin, and the books these two men were writing at the time, is itself a fascinating story.

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
From the blurb on the back, this was the ground breaking book for Native American writers. It was disjointed and talky. Thumbs down.

  Dave's Pulitzer Reviews 1960 - 1969
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