7 Books to Read on the Fourth of July

July 4, 2019

It’s America’s birthday today! And she’s looking good for 243.

If you are wanting to feel extra patriotic on the Fourth of July, these are some great books to read. The good and the bad are there, as they are everywhere, and these books show a mixture of that. But they also show all the great things the people who make up the United States are capable of — including writing Pulitzer Prize-winning novels, setting legal precedents and overcoming all the challenges that face them.

So, Happy Fourth of July! I hope some of these amazing American stories inspire you today (or any day, because I know we are all going to be cooking out and watching the fireworks today).

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

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RBG’s biography is a must-read for Americans today. The Supreme Court justice literally helped set the precedent for gender discrimination laws today. She’s a feminist icon and an American we can all admire, especially because she’s STILL serving as a Supreme Court justice at 86, having beat cancer.

Check this book out on Amazon.

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, compiled by America Ferrera

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In this book, America Ferrera compiled essays from 31 Americans from different cultures, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kumail Nanjiani and Auli’i Cravalho. Everyone’s experience as an American is different, and these essays capture how unique our country is.

Check this book out on Amazon.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

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C’mon, you know I had to include Michelle Obama’s book in this list. We know her as the former First Lady, an advocate for health and for women, and so much more. But her memoir dives into her experience growing up in Chicago, becoming a mother, and her private life at 1600 Pennslyvania.

Check this book out on Amazon.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

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I enjoy fast food as much as the next person, but I also think it’s important to know how it’s changed the United States. Eric Schlosser’s book shows that fast food is about more than just the burgers — it’s changed the culture, economy and food production of America, and the world.

Check this book out on Amazon.

There There

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There are a lot of underrepresented groups in literature, and one of them is Native Americans. Tommy Orange’s book is fiction but it captures at least some of the Native experience, and how their different cultures can exist in today’s America.

Check this book out on Amazon.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

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This book comes highly acclaimed and is one of the most unique stories America has to offer. Tara Westover really shows that America isn’t all urban, and it isn’t all the media says it is. Raised by a survivalist family, she didn’t go to school until 17. The things she’s accomplished since then are amazing.

Check this book out on Amazon.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Colson Whitehead wrote about one of America’s most famous historical journeys, and turned it into a literal railroad. His Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows a slave’s journey on this railroad headed north, where every state she passes through offers a different experience. Think Gulliver’s Travels, but dealing with race and modern vs historical America.

Check this book out on Amazon.

I hoped you liked my list of books to read on the Fourth of July.

What are some of your favorite American books?

  1. Hey, I just remembered this one you might also consider: Independence Day by Richard Ford!!

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