The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Pulitzer Prize-winning author McCarthy is one of our greatest living prose stylists. His post-apocalyptic novel, The Road, in which a father and young son struggle to survive, is made all the more profound by its brevity. It’s a good book to read that’s both quick and stays with you. Intrepid readers undaunted by a more ornate, challenging, Faulknerian style should also read McCarthy’s masterpiece Blood Meridian.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Shelley was still a teenager when she created the iconic mad scientist and monster. Frankenstein never loses its grip on our imaginations, because the questions it raises about science, ambition, and our humanity remain as urgent as ever. Here’s the science behind why you love the smell of old books.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
A deeply religious woman, O’Connor wrote about morally flawed characters with humor, compassion, and a razor-sharp mind. She was a master storyteller, as evidenced in her best known and most-loved collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find. Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia home is one of the stops on our American literary road trip.