Books are in general a wonderful thing to experience by heart and mind. We definitely have that one genre or a certain book-ish moment that we wish to experience at least once in real life. From what I have heard and seen, books make living in America sound so filmy regardless of its timeline or location. Whether it’s a buzzing city romance or a small-town gripping horror, everything about it being American, pulls the readers through the pages and leaves us googling places like the ones we read. Especially if you’re a writer, The USA is the perfect place to set your story in because they’ve got it all, sleepless cities, quaint towns, historic sites, endless deserts, rainy villages, ancient Aztec temples, native grounds, and last but definitely not the least, the freedom to understand all of this through many movies, TV shows and books. Hence, here’s a list of books that plummet the readers into American life, brought to us through different filters.
1. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
This book is the definition of the prettiest American Romance, set in the pre- and post-World War II timeline, along a picturesque countryside where love blossoms between Noah Calhoun, a mill-worker boy who aims to support his loving father in the little ways he could, and Allie Nelson, a seventeen-year-old heiress whose life has been perfectly planned out by her parents. On a summer night at a carnival, Noah’s attention gravitates towards Allie who is completely oblivious to the moment when Noah irresistibly falls in love with her. Even though he fails to secure a date with her initially, his friends set them up and from then on, they spend the entire summer together. They become inseparable and every moment they spend together was a moment they’d remember for the rest of their lives. All was well, until the summer was coming to an end and reality struck the couple. Allie, coming from a family of wealth and status, was forbidden to be associated with a boy like Noah. She was ripped away from Noah’s life and to a place far away from him. The two of them, during their time of separation, dealt with their very own pain and problems which would then remind them how things would be much easier with the other by their side. Just when Noah accepts his fate, he learns to be content with himself, coming to accept that he’ll have to endure the rest of his life only with the memory of Allie and the summer they spent together, until she comes back in his life like a firework. The Notebook is an enthralling classic that glues your thoughts and feelings amidst the love and tension of Noah and Allie, a story inspired by a true couple known by the author. If you love the countryside, passionate romance, summertime, and the forever kind of love, dive into this story, a tender and fierce romance authored by Nicholas Sparks.
2. You say it first by Katie Cotugno
Meg’s life is something of the perfect sort, she has a wonderful boyfriend and her college at Cornell planned out with her best friend, which she’ll be attending in the fall. Everything is perfect, or so one would think looking at her delightful life from the outside, but Meg has her own troubles such as her parents’ divorce, which gnaws in her heart every time she tells herself everything is alright. With her spare time during college, she finds herself a job at the voters registration call centre in her Philadelphia Suburb. Colby on the other hand, unable to deal with his own family tragedy finds no purpose every waking dawn. His future looks like a big grey question mark and his job only sucks the life out of him. Everything changes when an accidental phone call connects them. Colby and his mental state are in no condition to listen to a rich girl go on about the greatness of the political process. He ensures they’re off to a harsh and heated start. But what ensues this tempestuous start are many more conversations, some fierce and some astonishingly interesting, leading to a reliable long-distance friendship and into a magnetic romance, where they challenge each other as well as understand each other. Let’s take a stroll through the journey of Meg and Colby’s refreshing banters that at some point reignite the sparks for us, the readers, even though we are mere eyes peering into their lives, a realistic and lovely book written by Katie Cotugno.
3. Paper Towns by John Green
Struck with mystery and awe, Quentin Jacobsen always found himself consumed by the thoughts of Margo Roth Spiegelman, whom he loved from afar. Margo was everything that amused him. She was unpredictable and Quentin loved that. His world is turned into the craziest ride when one night Margo climbs through his window, dressed like a ninja, dragging him along on a night of thrilling adventure which to Margo was a revenge plan she had concocted. They spend an entire night surprising each other and never letting their adrenaline rush die. All is well until the very next day when Quentin finds out that Margo had once again disappeared. But soon he finds out that she hadn’t just left. She has left behind some clues about her whereabouts, and Quentin is determined to find her again. The deeper he gets lost in her clues and the closer he gets to her, he finds himself questioning if the night they spent together meant anything at all. From the regular residential suburb to the paper towns of the USA, John Green takes us on a splendid ride as Quentin tries to find Margo along with his friends, an exceptionally invigorating story authored by John Green.
4. Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
Will Cooper, an inquisitive twelve-year-old orphan, is set out on a journey through the unexplored wilderness of the Cherokee nation with only a horse, a key and a map. He must run the Indian trading post but while obliged to his duty, Will is befriended by the Cherokee chief named Bear, who soon becomes a father figure to him. He learns their way of living, makes friends within the community and above all finds love in the most unexpected place. Claire Featherstone, wife of a white Indian landowner who is a distinguished leader in the Cherokee nation that expands from the Carolinas to Oklahoma. Will can’t declare his love for Claire but at the same time, the mere thought of her name awakens a chaos he cannot silence in his heart and mind. Thirteen Moons is an exhilarating tale of Will Cooper and his life with the natives co-existing along with nature in harmony, a fabulous story written by Charles Frazier.
5. The Shining by Stephen King
The Overlook hotel is a luxurious resort that stands isolated at the Colorado Rockies, with enthralling sceneries and during the seasons, it has always got its crowd of people. But during the off season, the winter can get pretty harsh up there. Hence, the hotel requires a caretaker to look after the hotel during the off season. Jack Torrance takes up his new job at the closing season of the Overlook hotel with his family, which seems like a wonderful way to bond with his wife and his little boy, as well as work on his writing, since as the caretaker, he has got plenty of time. Everything starts out just fine. The beginning of winter doesn’t seem like much of a problem until, the snow starts piling and the hotel begins to feel more secluded and eerie. The only person seeing things for the way they are at the hotel is Danny Torrance, Jack’s peculiar son. Is the hotel truly as menacing as it can be? Are there other dark forces within, clawing their way into the life of the Torrance family? Dive into the gripping and unnerving horror tale of the Torrance family at the Overlook hotel as we find out what malice the place holds for them in a story authored by the one and only Stephen King, inspired by a real hotel, the Stanley hotel.
6. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Alice Wright, who lived most of her life in the suffocating walls of her home in England, when married to the American Bennet Van Cleve, hopes for just a little color in all the overwhelming blues. But the small-town Kentucky soon proves to be just another version of her haunting home in England, and it gets even worse with her dominating father-in-law. As a part of Eleonor Roosevelt’s moving library movement, a team of women are being put together. Alice signs up immediately since tolerating the men at home is stressful on its own. Alice makes new friends as she finds out who she is without the men in her life deciding everything for her. One woman in particular becomes Alice’s really close friend, Margery, the leader, a self-reliant and independent woman who scoffs at asking permission from men to live their lives. Alice, Margery and three other women become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. This book ventures into the real events of the past where women cut off the leashes on their throat and navigate their ways in an unfair world where without a man a woman is no one. Travel back in time to Alice’s quaint town where she and her friends who bring books to the people who never owned any, making factual and valuable information available to them, that could bring about unfathomable changes in the world, a light-hearted, slow and enlivening story written by Jojo Moyes.