Great ____ Novel

btt button

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July and all, I’m feeling a little patriotic, and so have a simple question:

What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel?
At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.

Now, I know that not all of you are American–but you can play, too! What I want from you is to know what you consider to the best novel of YOUR country. It might be someone the rest of us haven’t heard of and, frankly, I think we’d all like to get some new authors to read.

In fact, while we’re at it–I’m curious about the geographical make-up of this meme. So, while you’re leaving your link to your post, tell us where in the world you are! (For the record, I’m in New Jersey, USA.)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


51 responses

  1. Okay. Mine’s up here. (Any minute now.)

  2. My answers are here. But you might also want to check out the rest of the blog — because it’s Buy A Friend A Book Week!

  3. Mine can be found here:

    I have posted about great Australian novels…because that’s where I am from!

  4. Mine’s up here:

    I live in southeastern Pennsyvlania, about an hour from both Philadelphia and Baltimore.

  5. Mine’s up. Happy BTT!

  6. I’m up. My answer is here:

    And oh yeah…I live in Peoria, Illinois, USA!

  7. Oops. I don’t read instructions well. I’m in Dallas, Texas, USA

  8. My answer is at

    I’m Canadian, but live fulltime in the Caribbean. Couldn’t think of a favourite Caribbean novel though.

  9. i’m from the Philippines. here’s my answer.

  10. mine’s up! (this is just my second week) and I live in California

  11. My second week!

  12. Here’s mine..and I am Canadian(from BC)

  13. From PEI, Canada, I present my answer:

    You have to come to see if I picked Anne or not!

  14. My answer’s here:

    My answer in short: Harper Lee & John Steinbeck.
    Plus I’m in Germany…

  15. I’m in Southern California, but my heart’s not here.

  16. Mine is at

    As for me, I’m in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  17. This was a tough one, but mine is up! Incidentally, I am in Arizona!

  18. My lame answer’s up. I’m in South San Francisco, CA, BTW. (That’s NOT the same thing as San Francisco; I’m 15 or 20 minutes south of The City.)

  19. Coming to you from Dallas, my answer is now up over here.

  20. […] Booking through Thursday: What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel? At least to date. A “classic,” […]

  21. This Pennsylvanian (Philly suburbs) had a hard time choosing just one. So I chose two. I could have put tons more on my list–different works have different strengths, right?–but managed to exercise (some) self-restraint.

    Happy Thursday, everyone!

  22. It’s late in the day but here is my my BTT entry.

    Happy BTT everyone!

  23. I’m feeling lazy, so I thought I’d post my response here instead of on my blog. Being an all-American, left-leaning girl, I’d say that To Kill a Mockingbird is a perfect nominee for Great American Novel.

  24. Cutting it really close here (I offically made the post at 2 minutes to 12) but here’s my post:

    Oh and I’m Canadian although I talk about American books too.

  25. I know the day is almost over but I’ve finally got my answer up.

  26. Mine is up at Rhinoa’s Ramblings and I am from the UK.

  27. Possibly not what you guys have in mind, but when have I ever done that for you?

  28. Hi,

    I am from Scotland and have listed an answer for both UK and Scotland.

  29. I’m in Sydney, Australia and my nominee for the Great Australian Novel is Voss by Patrick White.

  30. This is my first week – glad to have found you.
    I’m living in Montgomery AL but I remain a San Franciscan by nature and nurture

  31. Away last week, catching up.


    Darned if I know!! Either US or Canada. I don’t read books for their “literary” value. I read books for the entertainment or educational value.

    Some Canadian authors I really enjoy reading (off the top of my head): Robertson Davies, some Farley Mowat, James Alan Gardner (SF), Robert Sawyer (SF), L. R. Wright (mystery). I’m sure there are others.

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