Read this not that

Looking to freshen up reading lists. Let’s get out of some old ruts and explore unexplored classics. Here’s the beginning to what might become a longer list. Would love to take suggestions from you about your favorite substitutions. Here’s my first two to get me started:

Read Revolutionary Road and not The Grapes of Wrath. Grapes is, of course, considered the classic great American novel. However, for me, because it is set in a period far removed from our own in both time and place, I’m far more a fan of Yates’s Revolutionary Road, which takes on the banality of suburban life, the destruction of family at the selfishness of adult ambition, and the recurrent way we drive ourselves off cliffs as Americans. A novel for me with much greater currency than Steinbeck.

Blood Meridian over Lord of the Flies. You just can’t beat McCarthy’s prose, and this rambling tale of soldiers across the southwestern deserts of North America in the post-Civil War moves beyond historical and into the mythopoetics of our violent nature.