Classic books, the ones you read for school or because they are on some list. Are they any good? Find out for yourself. Here are some classics that have publication anniversary dates in November. Have you read these classics?
Nov. 10, 1961: Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 based on his experiences in WWII, but with the anti-war sentiments of the Vietnam War. The protagonist, Captain John Yossarian, is an army bombardier stationed in Italy. The novel’s title alludes to a no-win situation. Yossarian and his squadron try to keep their sanity while still doing their duty, but when they reach the limit of required missions before being sent home, the number gets continually raised.
Nov. 30, 1955: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith is the first in a series of crime novels featuring Tom Ripley. He is a suave con artist and serial killer. Despite being a murderer, Highsmith portrays him as a somewhat likable character who gains the readers' sympathies. In the novel, Ripley is hired by a shipping magnate to bring his wayward son home from Italy. Ripley befriends the young man and becomes obsessed.
November 1971: The Winds of War by Herman Wouk was originally going to be one novel about WWII. However, it was 1000 pages long and he had only made it to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Wouk finished the story of naval officer Victor ‘Pug’ Henry and his family in the sequel, War and Remembrance. Both books were made into popular miniseries in the 1980s.
These authors are celebrating birthdays in November. Have you ever read their books? If not, give one a try. If you have, make sure you've read their most popular book or series. Have you read all their books? Make sure you've read their latest.
Colson Whitehead was born Nov. 6, 1969, in New York City. He is the third of four children, and his parents owned a recruiting firm. When he was young, he decided to be a writer after reading a Stephen King novel. Whitehead graduated from Harvard and then he wrote for The Village Voice about television, books, and music. In 1996, he was watching a television show about an escalator inspector. He was inspired to write his first published novel, The Intuitionist, about a Black elevator inspector who is sabotaged by her white coworkers. Whitehead has written 10 books, many of which were finalists for or won major awards. Two of his novels, The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, won the Pulitzer Prize. Whitehead’s writings can be found in numerous popular publications and he has taught at colleges and universities across the country. He has received the MacArthur Fellowship (Genius Grant), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Library of Congress’s 2020 Prize for American Fiction. Whitehead is married to a literary agent and has two children. Whitehead’s latest novel is Crook Manifesto, the second book in the Ray Carney trilogy. (Whitehead image from Wikimedia Commons)
Charles James Box Jr., known as C.J. Box was born on Nov. 9, 1958, in Casper, Wyo. He graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Mass Communications. He worked briefly as a ranch hand, a fishing guide, and a newspaper reporter. He and his wife Laurie owned an international tourism marketing firm that promoted the American West and Rocky Mountain states. He has three daughters and two grandchildren and lives on a ranch in Wyoming with his wife. Box wrote his first novel Open Season in 2001 about a Wyoming game warden named Joe Pickett. Box is an executive producer on the television show Joe Pickett which will hopefully be renewed for a third season. His other book series is about an investigator named Cassie Dewell. The television show Blue Sky was based on this series and lasted for three seasons. Box has won numerous awards such as the Edgar Award and the Western Heritage Award for Literature from the National Cowboy Museum. He has sold millions of books that have been printed in 30 languages. His latest Joe Pickett novel is, Storm Watch. The 24th Joe Pickett novel, Three Inch Teeth will be published in early 2024. (Box photo by Frank Langley from Amazon)
Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pa., on Nov. 28, 1944. She was adopted by her mother’s cousin and was raised in Pennsylvania and then in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She attended the University of Florida but was expelled for her involvement in the civil rights movement. She received her bachelor’s degree from New York University and has two doctorates, one in literature and the other in political science. In the late 60s, Brown was involved in several movements: civil rights, anti-war, feminist, and gay liberation. She participated in multiple groups, like the Gay Liberation Front and the National Organization for Women, but felt they ignored the rights of lesbians. Brown has been a photo editor, professor, poet, and screenplay writer. Her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, is semi-autobiographical and was published in 1973, now celebrating its 50-year anniversary. Brown is best known for her Mrs. Murphy mystery series, which she cowrites with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. In the books, Mary Minor ‘Harry’ Haristeen and her cat Mrs. Murphy solve crimes in their small Virginia town. Brown has been in relationships with author Fannie Flagg and tennis star Martina Navratilova and lives on her horse farm in Charlottesville, Va. She has won several awards including the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library and the Lambda Literary Pioneer Award. Brown’s latest book is Lost and Hound #15 in her foxhunting series, Sister Jane. (Brown photo by Bryan Costin from Flickr)