Top Ten Tuesday: Native American Reads

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Opened books lying down on a flat surface. Every inch of the surface is covered in books. This week’s prompt was a Thanksgiving freebie. Since I’ve already written a few different posts about the Canadian and American Thanksgivings over the last month, I decided to use this prompt to share books written by Native American and First Nations authors that I’ve already read or am I’m hoping to read soon.

If I’ve read it, I’ll share a sentence or two about why I liked it.

1. Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis

Generally, survival and adventure stories are a tad too intense for my tastes. This one began when two old women were abandoned by their village during a terrible winter famine. Where the plot went from there is why this has become one of my all-time things to read when I do want to read about adventure and survival.

2. Born with a Tooth by Joseph Boyden

3. Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese

4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Mr. Alexie has a fantastic sense of humour. I can’t count the number of times I laughed while reading this book.

5. Gardens in the Dunes
by Leslie Marmon Silko

6. Solar Storms by Linda Hogan

7. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

8. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

This was my first introduction to Mr. Wagamese’s work. I’ve been a fan of his writing style and storytelling ever since. He has a way of making every scene come alive no matter what is happening in it. That is, his ordinary scenes are just as unforgettable as the heartbreaking ones.

What books can you all recommend adding to this list?

87 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Native American Reads

  1. Lydia,

    Another intriguing list. It reminded me that I want to read _Two Old Women_. I just have to remember where I put it.

    I’d add Silko’s _Ceremony_, and Louise Erdrich’s work, and would sneak some poets onto your list: Joy Harjo (U.S. Poet laureate), Linda Hogan, Paula Gunn Allen, Scott Momaday, Simon Ortiz.

    I remember reading books by Joseph Bruchac and Paul Goble to my kids.

    I’ll be interested to know what others recommend,

    Ruth

  2. I’ve never heard of them, need to check them out. Have you read any Tony Hillerman or his daughter, Anne Hillerman’s books? New Mexico writers with stories mostly set on the Navajo reservation.

  3. Great list! Two Old Women sounds amazing. I haven’t read it yet, but The Inconvenient Indian has been on my TBR for ages and one of these days I need to get to it. I also enjoyed Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut, Trail of Lightning, and I’m so excited to read more First Nations-inspired fantasy from her. She’s not North American, but Alexis Wright is an indigenous Australian writer whose work I’d like to try, too.

  4. I definitely need to check some of these out! I’ve read some books by Native American authors before but I hadn’t heard of any of the books on your list. I hope you enjoy the ones that you haven’t read yet 🙂

  5. V. relevant topic choice Lydia. I think I’ve devoted more lip service to NA books through library displays, etc than I’ve actually read myself.
    Two Old Women has been on my list too long, it comes highly recommended and I happen to love survival stories.

    • Thank you very much!

      I think you’d love Two Old Women since you like survival stories. There was a lot of that in the plot (along with many other themes).

  6. This is a really cool post. I’m going to have to look some of these up. I just recently read the All the King’s Men duet by Kennedy Ryan. It had a Native American protagonist and it was really interesting to delve into some of the topics she was fierce about. It made me want to read more about those issues. Nice topic!

  7. Woah! This is such a great list 😮 ! I can’t say I’m one to reach for survival and adventure stories either, they definitely can be waaaaaaay too intense.

    But Two Old Women sounds so good?? Like, I would read that based on your small summary and review! XD

    Happy Reading! <3

  8. Oooh, I LOVE your spin on this! What a great time to call these out, especially. I’m sort of disappointed that I’ve never heard of any of these (and in fact, I have to really go out of my way to find anything by American Indian or First Nations authors, which I try to do from time to time). Thanks for bringing these to my attention!

    • Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy these books! And, yeah, I have trouble finding American Indian/First Nations authors, too. They need so much more exposure than they get.

  9. This is a great post, especially with Thanksgiving coming and the Native People being such a huge part of why we have that holiday. There are a few books her I want to check out. I read Birdie by Tracey Lindberg a couple of years ago. It was a very sad story, but very eye opening.

    • Thanks and absolutely. Native people definitely are overlooked at this time of the year by a lot of folks.

      Birdie sounds like a good read from what the blurb tells me. I’ll see if I can find a copy of it at my local library!

  10. Great take on the TTT. A book my mother has raved about for years you might be interested in is Sacajawea by by Anna Lee Waldo. I’ve added it to my to-read list but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  11. I love your take on this week’s topic. I read some Native American folklore when I was in college, but I’m not familiar with most of the reads on your list so thanks for putting them on my radar. Sherman Alexie is an author I’ve heard good things about but I haven’t tried anything by him yet.

  12. I haven’t read any Native American authors other than Louise Erdrich, but even then I’ve only read one of her short stories. I may have to have a hunt for more books by NA authors 🙂

  13. Love what you chose to share for this week’s topic, Lydia! As I’m neither from America or Canada, Thanksgiving is not a big thing for me, but I think we can always stand to learn more about the people who were in a country before ‘everyone else’ came and took over. A lot of these titles sound interesting! I’ll be sure to bookmark them and check them out!

    • Now that you mention it, I’ve read one of her books: Future Home of the Living God. It was super interesting. What other Louise Edrich books would you recommend?

  14. I hope you enjoy all of these you’ve yet to read, Lydia. It’s always fun to have lists of books to anticipate. Happy reading!!

    …thanks so much for the Finding Wonderland visit, as always. 🙂

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