The Best Books of America
as selected by
The Last Thursday Book Club
- an independent, non-profit, highly qualified panel of subject matter experts not to be trifled with.

Best of the Best: 
First Tier Books     

 1    Grapes of Wrath    John Steinbeck
 2    A River Runs Through It   Norman Maclean
    Lolita [recommended:  The Annotated Lolita]  Vladimir Nabokov 
 4    Bless Me Ultima   Rudolpho Anaya
  5   All the Pretty Horses  
[Vol. 1, The Border Trilogy]
  Cormac McCarthy

 LTBC:  All Books Throughout Club History

Selections for 1993
Selections for 1994
Selections for 1995
Selections for 1996
Selections for 1997
Selections for 1998
Selections for 1999
Meeting Date       First Club Selections - 1993  Author Rating
April 29, 1993   A River Runs Through It   Norman Maclean   
May 27, 1993   The Education of Little Tree   Forrest Carter  
June 24, 1993   Talking God    Tony Hillerman  
July 29, 1993   The House at Otowi Bridge   P. P. Church
August 26, 1993  Sidhartha   Herman Hesse  
September 30, 1993  The City at the Edge of the World   V. B. Price  
October 28, 1993  Bless Me Ultima   Rudolpho Anaya     
November 1993   One  Richard Bach  
December 30, 1993  The Assault   Henry Mulisch  
     Selections for 1994
February 4-6, 1994  
[Field Trip:  
     Ransom Canyon, TX] 
 The Children of Men   P. D. James  
February 27  1994  The Killer Angels  (1974)   Michael Sharra   
March 29  1994  Hard Choices:  Health Care at What Cost?  Mark Jaffe et al
April 28  1994  Einsteinís Dreams  (fiction)   Alan Lightman 
May 26   The Good Earth   (1937)   Pearl Buck  
June 30   Alburquerque  Rudolpho Anaya    
July 28, 1994   Monsignor Quixote   Graham Greene  
August 28 (Sunday)   Red Badge of Courage  Stephan Crane   
 September 29   The Devil at Home   Oliver Lange   
October 27  1994  You Just Donít Understand   Deborah Tannen  
November 22, 1994  Tortuga  Rudolpho Anaya 
December 22 1994  The Painted Bird   Jerzy Kosinski
 Selections for 1995
January 26, 1995   Winter of our Discontent   John Steinbeck
March 5, 1995  Farewell to Arms   Ernest Hemingway
March 30, 1995  If Morning Ever Comes   Anne Tyler  
May 4, 1995  Hole in the Sky - A Memoir   William Kittredge
May 25, 1995  The Witches of Eastwick   John Updike   
June 22   Magister Ludi:  The Glass Bead Game    Herman Hesse   
July 27   The Moviegoer    Walker Percy  
August 31   A Confederacy of Dunces   John Kennedy Toole
September 29   The Reivers   William Faulkner
October 27-29  [Field Trip:  Pagosa Springs, CO]   Mozart  [extra credit:  view the movie Amadeus]  Marcia Davenport 
November 30  1995  A River Runs Through It  [redux]  Norman Maclean    
December 28   A Thousand Acres [extra credit:  King Lear by W. Shakespeare]  Jane Smiley 
 Selections for 1996
January 26, 1996    Glory  Vladimir Nabokov
February 29, 1996   Death Comes for the Archbishop   Willa Cather
March 31, 1996   Kingsblood Royal   Sinclair Lewis
April 25, 1996   Bluefeather Fellini in the Sacred Realm   Max Evans   
June 6   Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep [basis for Bladerunner]  Philip K. Dick  
June 25, 1996    Life on the Mississippi   Mark Twain
July 25, 1996   The Great Gatsby   F. Scott Fitzgerald
August  29, 1996   I Heard the Owl Call My Name   Margaret Craven
October 4-6, 1996  [Field Trip:  Pagosa Springs, CO]   The Best of Edward Abbey [or Slumgullion Stew]   Edward Abbey  
October 24, 1996   The Warrior Woman   Maxine Hong Kingston
November 21, 1996   God:  A Biography (won Pulitzer Prize in April, 1996)  Jack Miles    
December 19, 1996   The Spy Who Came In From the Cold   John LeCarre
 Selections for 1997
January 30, 1997   The Thief of Time   Tony Hillerman  
February 27, 1997   Heart of Darkness (novella, 1902)  Joseph Conrad    
March 27, 1997   One Hundred Years of Solitude   Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
April, 1997   Ride With Me Mariah Montana   Ivan Doig  
May 29, 1997   Roughing It   Mark Twain  
June 26, 1997   The Secret Agent   Joseph Conrad
July 31, 1997   Undaunted Courage  [non-fiction]  Stephen Ambrose   
August 1997   All the Pretty Horses [Vol. 1: The Border Trilogy]  Cormac McCarthy   
September 1997   Recapitulation  Wallace Stegner
October 1997  [Field Trip:  Pagosa Springs, CO]   MidAir [short stories]  Frank Conroy 
November  20, 1997   The Bean Trees   Barbara Kingsolver
December 18, 1997   Lie Down in Darkness   William Styron
     Selections for 1998
Thursday, 29 January 1998  The Grapes of Wrath (580 pgs)  John Steinbeck    
Thursday, 19 February 1998  Laughing Boy  (187 pgs)  Oliver La Farge  
Thursday, 26 March 1998  Brave New World  (270 pgs)  Aldous Huxley 
Thursday, 23 April 1998  Rabbit is Rich   John Updike  
Thursday, 28 May 1998  Dandelion Wine   Ray Bradbury
Thursday, 25 June 1998  The Crossing  [Vol. 2: The Border Trilogy]  [Extra credit:  Blood Meridian  Cormac McCarthy  
Thursday, 30 July 1998  A Fanís Notes   Frederick Exley  
Thursday, 27 August 1998
Thursday 23 September 1998   Buffalo Girls (350 pgs)  Larry McMurtry    
23-25 October 1998  [Field Trip: Winslow, AZ]  Lolita  [recommended edition:  The Annotated Lolita]  Vladimir Nabokov   
Thursday, November 1998  Hiroshima  
Thursday, late December  Cities of the Plain  [Vol. 3: The Border Trilogy]  Cormac McCarthy  
Selections for 1999
  Return to Index for Book List

Recommended Second Tier Books 
   Undaunted Courage  Stephen Ambrose 
 2   A Fanís Notes  Frederick Exley 
   The Crossing  Cormac McCarthy 
 4   The Moviegoer    Walker Percy
 5  The Best of Edward Abbey [or Slumgullion Stew]  Edward Abbey
 6   All The Kingís Men  Robert Penn Warren
 7  Monsignor Quixote  Graham Greene 
 8  Sidhartha   Herman Hesse 
 9   Death Comes for the Archbishop Willa Cather 
 10    The Education of Little Tree   Forrest Carter

Not Recommended - Lower Tier Books 
 1 The Devil at Home Oliver Lange 
 2 Rabbit is Rich John Updike
 3 The Witches of Eastwick John Updike
 4  Ride With Me Mariah Montana Ivan Doig 

Warning:  Do Not Read These Books
 1    Bluefeather Fellini in the Sacred Realm  Max Evans
 2 Alburquerque  Rudolpho Anaya 
 3  Magister Ludi:  The Glass Bead Game  Herman Hesse
 4   Buffalo Girls  Larry McMurtry
 5   One Hundred Years of Solitude  Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

Books for Great Discussion/Controversy 
 1   God:  A Biography  Jack Miles 
 2  You Just Donít Understand  Deborah Tannen 
 3  One  Richard Bach 
 4   Hard Choices: Health Care at What Cost?  Mark Jaffe et al 

Books We Still Donít Understand
 1  Magister Ludi:  The Glass Bead Game  Herman Hesse
 2  Heart of Darkness  Joseph Conrad 

Audiotapes of interest:
J. Robert Oppenheimer: Shatterer of Worlds

 If you have comments or suggestions, email the LTBC via

This page last updated on 6 February, 1999.
Return to Index for Yearly Selections.
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