Patriotic Fiction for the Fourth (and Beyond!)

I am a mood reader.

I am also a seasonal reader.

Oh! And a thematic reader. (Can't forget that one.)

And while I'm at it, I'm kind of a holiday reader, as well.

What I'm saying is I basically read any and everything, but I have to be wholeheartedly there for it - mind, body, and soul.

That's why I created the Summer Road Trip Book Box - inspired by a couple of memory-making road trips I've had with my sister the past couple of years as well as a few decades worth of road trip memories I've made with my man (like this one and this one).

That's why I'm sharing vicarious vacation vibes all summer long at Pretty Literate, featuring book boxes that whisk the reader away to far-off destinations like this Caribbean classic (paired with the single BEST and most unique handmade novel treasure I've ever offered) and this besties river "road trip" across the pond (paired with a pretty practical novel treasure that is perfect for your waterside adventures).

That's why I shared a few Patriotic Paperbacks for Pretty Literate People this week (July 3, 2023) on Pretty Literate LIVE.

And that's why I decided to dive a little deeper into Patriotic Fiction for the Fourth (and Beyond!) this Independence Day week because when it comes to Revolutionary Reading, every red-blooded American will agree that there's no such thing as too much of a good thing.

#1 Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories by Joe Wheeler

"Each story in this rare and beautiful heirloom collection reveals the servant heart of President Lincoln, his dedication to the people who served him, and his homespun humor and wisdom. These are the stories that build character and inspire conviction in those who read and hear them. Gathered for the very purpose of being passed from generation to generation, these delightful stories will become favorites of adults and children alike—as parents and grandparents read them again and again to their children and grandchildren. Collected over a lifetime from old magazines and publications—most published between the 1880s and the 1950s—these stories tell of the personal life of Lincoln, his tumultuous years during the Civil War, and the impact he had on the people who met him."

#2 Soldier Stories: True Tales of Courage, Honor, and Sacrifice from the Frontlines by Joe Wheeler

"True stories of people who endured the shock and trauma of war—and whose spirits triumphed.

  • A priest in the infamous Bataan Death March who kept others alive with his faithful recitation of the Lord’s Prayer
  • The journey to faith by a skeptical B-17 copilot lost at sea
  • A young American widow caught in the “Dresden Inferno” who survived the firestorm with her three children
  • The lesson of post-war forgiveness learned by a British soldier tortured by the Japanese
  • A rowdy Arizona cowboy who achieved World War I flying ace status in a matter of weeks
  • and many more

Soldier Stories’ true, soul-stirring accounts of those who have risen to the challenge of unimaginable circumstances will inspire you—no matter what obstacles you may face."

#3 1776 by David McCullough

"Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known."

#4 The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed

"This epic work―named a best book of the year by the Washington PostTime, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times―tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family’s dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826."

#5 Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell

"It is autumn 1777, and the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia, has fallen to the British. Yet the true battle has only just begun.

On both sides, loyalties are tested and families torn asunder. The young Redcoat Sam Gilpin has seen his brother die. Now he must choose between duty to a distant king and the call of his own conscience. And for the men and women of the prosperous Becket family, the Revolution brings bitter conflict between those loyal to the crown and those with dreams of liberty.

Soon, across the fields of ice and blood in a place called Valley Forge, history will be rewritten, changing the lives and fortunes of these men and women forever."

#6 The Man Without a Country by Edward E. Hale

"He cried out, in a fit of frenzy, 'Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again"

This nation never wishes to make war. Our whole policy is a policy of peace, and peace is the protection of the Christian civilization to which we are pledged. It is always desirable to teach young men and young women, and old men and old women, and all sorts of people, to understand what the country is. It is a Being. The LORD, God of nations, has called it into existence, and has placed it here with certain duties in defence of the civilization of the world.

It was the intention of this parable, which describes the life of one man who tried to separate himself from his country, to show how terrible was his mistake.

It does not need now that a man should curse the United States, as Philip Nolan did, or that he should say he hopes he may never hear her name again, to make it desirable for him to consider the lessons which are involved in the parable of his life. Any man is "without a country who, by his sneers, or by looking backward, or by revealing his country's secrets to her enemy, checks for one hour the movements which lead to peace among the nations of the world, or weakens the arm of the nation in her determination to secure justice between man and man, and in general to secure the larger life of her people." He has not damned the United States in a spoken oath."

#7 Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock

"Mark’s dog Wolfie is part malamute, part German shepherd, and all heart. Mark can hardly imagine life without his big, loving canine companion. But in 1969, the Vietnam War is still raging, and when Mark learns that the army needs scout dogs, he decides to send Wolfie. As his dad says, a smart dog like Wolfie could save a lot of soldiers—soldiers like Mark’s brother, Danny. Besides, it seems like the patriotic thing to do. Inspired by real events, this is a heartbreaking story about sacrifice, loyalty, and the complex meanings of patriotism."

What Type of Reader Are You?

If you enjoy a good thematic/seasonal/holiday/mood read, too, I invite you to check out Pretty Literate's Monthly Book Club in July.

We're opening our doors to new members this month (our 2-year Monthly Book Club Birthday!) and we've got a level to fit every type of reader - and budget! 

We are a group of women who want to include more classic literature in our reading rotation and find that we get a lot more out of it when we read together. This isn't high-brow academia, but a group simply desiring to connect with the author, the title, the characters, and one another in a more meaningful way.

If that sounds like you, I hope you'll consider joining us on the level that suits you best.

✔️Enjoy audiobooks, library loans, or ebooks? Book Club is for you.
✔️Want the book (and the book alone) to be shipped to you every month? Book Box is for you. 
✔️Looking for a monthly bookish pampering experience? Gift Box is for you.


All three levels include access to our private online community, discussion prompts, weekly connection emails, and more.

More Patriotic Fiction for the Fourth (& Beyond!)

Have you read any great Patriotic Fiction? Please add your favorite titles to the comments.

*all book blurbs are courtesy of Amazon & all book links are Amazon affiliate links which do not affect your shopping experience but enable Pretty Literate to get a small referral fee from Amazon if you chose to buy

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