Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Blurb from Goodreads

A landmark in American literature, presented in its complete and unexpurgated version. Dreiser’s unsparing story of a country girl’s rise to riches as the mistress of a wealthy man marked the beginning of the naturalist movement in America. Both its subject matter and Dreiser’s objective, nonmoralizing approach made it highly controversial, and only a heavily edited version could be published in 1900. In this restored version, the truly revolutionary nature of Sister Carrie is made fully evident.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy first day of the week everyone! It is the third day of the tenth month of the year. Woah. We are already done with nine months and right before us are the last three months of the year. Where did the time go? But since it is a new day and a new week, I hope you started the week on the right note. I hope that the rest of the week will go great for everyone. More importantly, I hope that you are all doing well and are in a good state of health, both in your mind and body. As we approach the last quarter of the year, I hope that you all get repaid for all the hard work you’ve poured in. I hope that all your prayers get answered. My biggest wish, however, is for COVID-19 and monkeypox to be finally eradicated. With this, I remind everyone to be diligent in observing minimum health protocols. I wish that everyone will have a great week ahead!

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. Seeing that I still have several works of American literature on my active reading challenges, I have decided to make my October reading journey an extension of my September reading journey. Since last month, I have been focusing on my active reading challenges as I realized toward the end of August that I have been lagging behind in most of these challenges. In order to avoid last-minute cramming which usually happens toward the end of the year, I have been ticking off books from these challenges. Thankfully, I have been making headway and I intend to carry this momentum this October. To align with this month’s motif, I have been featuring works of American literature in this month’s Goodreads Monday updates. This week, I am featuring Thomas Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.

American literature is certainly vast. Because of it being a melting pot and the heart of the proverbial American Dream, American literature drew influences from different and diverse cultures. It is not difficult to find works from every walk of life and from every racial background within the vast ambit of American literature. As such, I have been featuring the works of writers from this vast sphere. For instance, last week, I featured the work of a Hispanic American writer. For this week, I am featuring the work of a European American writer. The long interaction between the American and European continents goes back a long time. Spanish, French, Dutch, and British colonizers have, at one point in time, held parts of the modern USA as part of their territories. Their cultural influences reverberate in the contemporary.

Several American writers have European ancestry. One of these writers is Thomas Dreiser who has German heritage. He used to work as a journalist before pursuing a career in literature. Sister Carrie, first published in 1900, was his debut novel. It was well-received by literary pundits, with some calling the book the greatest of all American urban novels. The premise does sound common: a young woman from an American small town living moving to a big city. The titular character sets off for Chicago in order to pursue her dreams and aim for that American Dream. Nevertheless, I am curious about how Dreiser spun the novel’s threads to come up with a cohesive whole. Yes, the book is also listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I think I first came across the book through must-read challenges. I can’t wait to experience Dreiser’s prose.

How about you fellow reader? Are there works of European American literature you want to recommend? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!