Being a country of immigrants, Americans come in all shapes, sizes and colors with unique cultural backgrounds. So, unsurprisingly, what it means to be an American differs from person to person. Here at BBL, though, we agree that no matter what being American means to us, everyone is excited for fireworks and a day off work to celebrate with close friends and family. So if you find yourself relaxing on a beach, enjoying a summer barbecue or celebrating the July 4th holiday far away from American soil, here are some favorite books to remind you of America’s strengths and keep you company.
Stuff Every American Should Know by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese
There is more to being American than knowing the Declaration of Independence or every word to The Star-Spangled Banner. But you can learn these things and more – like how to bake the perfect apple pie or the 10 books every American should read – in this quick informative read. It is also handy to have around as a quick reference book!
American Vertigo by Bernard-Henri Levy
French author and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy may not be an American citizen, but after a year of traveling all over the United States he may have a better understanding of this county than those who live here. With the unique viewpoint of a person from the outside looking in, American Vertigo dives head first into the American psyche through interviews with regular folks and bold-face names like Barack Obama.
Portraits of America by William Albert Allard
One hundred and sixty-five photographs taken by American photographer William Albert Allard fill the pages of this historical collection. Taken over a period of 40 years, this beautiful book is an education in the growth and expansion this country has seen over the last century.
Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz
Bob Dylan isn’t just an American musician, he is a definitive part of this country’s cultural history. He defined a decade and changed the face of American music. Princeton Professor and Dylan aficionado Sean Wilentz places Dylan’s music in the context of its time and offers a new way to appreciate this living legend.