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Player Ratings to the Theme of Classic American Novels

Traditional books for a traditional event: KU winning the Big XII

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s keep things traditional. There’s nothing more American than apple pie and Route 66 road trips and Kansas winning the Big XII. Times are changing (and not for the good!), but for now let’s look back at what many think are the best books written by Americans. Yes, your opinion will most definitely differ, and yes, the contemporary novel isn’t on this list, but these are consensus books, much like it’s always a consensus that KU will win the league.

5 Stars: To Kill a Mockingbird

This novel is one of the best books ever written, by anyone, from any time period, and from any nationality. It is simply a classic that has endured and in some cases, become just as relevant (or even more relevant?) as it was when it was written.

No one was a five star in this one.

4.5 Stars: Of Mice and Men

It’s hard for me to pick a personal favorite on this list, but John Steinbeck’s classic novel has to be way up there. The character development is superb, but for me, Steinbeck is the master storyteller because of the details and description he uses. It’s so simple yet so masterfully done.

Devon Dotson had another good all-around game. He scored 17, assisted five times, and grabbed 7 rebounds. His shooting was a little off in this one, but maybe it was the Tech defense.

4 Stars: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston is the most important novelist that many haven’t heard of. Her majestic story of Janie Starks is an epic journey of self realization and a masterpiece of the Harlem Renaissance. Read it if you get a chance.

Ochai Agbaji was good. Scored 12, made two of five from three, bothered the other team in a variety of ways.

Nine points and eight rebounds for Marcus Garrett (again).

For being constantly swarmed by all of Tech’s players, Udoka Azubuike had a nice game. Fifteen points and eleven rebounds is nothing to laugh at when the other team is constantly grabbing at your body to prevent you from scoring.

3.5 Stars: The Great Gatsby

More has been written about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel than perhaps any on this list and for good reason. He keeps his characters mysteriously vague and all actions and thoughts are up to the reader to decide.

3 Stars: The Catcher in the Rye

The classic three-star. You either love Holden Caulfield or you hate him. There really is no in between. Personally, I love this book.

Christian Braun scored five in this one as did David McCormack. I’ll throw Tristan Enaruna here as well because where else is he going to go?

2 Stars: Hemingway Books

I just can’t get into Ernest Hemingway books. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.

Isaiah Moss was one of six from the field and that one basket was a three. He missed his other four attempts from beyond the arc.

1 Star: Moby Dick

If I wanted a sixteen page description of a sail of a ship, I’d just start reading Russian novelists. Fun story: I had a professor at KU who was obsessed with Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville. He had annotated the entire text through hyperlinks (in the early days of the internet, 1996 I believe) and he didn’t really care for you if you disagreed with his opinions. Long story short, I disagreed, using evidence that I thought was relevant and that backed up my thesis. He gave me a D. That guy sucked.

No one was as bad as Moby Dick or that terrible professor.