The Michener Challenge

The premise:

I have been a fan of James A. Michener ever since reading Chesapeake in high school.  I have many of his books, but I never seem to get around to reading them.  They are usually quite long so it can be a daunting task.  Consequently, I decided to start a Michener challenge! This will be a perpetual challenge, meaning no time constraints.  Feel free to join whenever it suits your fancy.  The challenge will officially start on January 1, 2010, but feel free to start sooner if you so choose.  I am including a Mr. Linky for sign up and I will post another Mr. Linky starting after January 1st for you to post your reviews and/or reflections.  Also, I have provided a list of all Michener's works in the post prior to this (check in the blog archive list for easy access).  I hope you enjoy the challenge!

Updated note: As you can see, this challenge has been hanging around since 2010. I have not done very well keeping up with it, but I intend to change that.

The original sign-up linky and the review linky are below. 

A list of Michener's works are at the bottom of this page.



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Here is a list of the works of Michener. Each section is in order by publication date. I have included fiction, non-fiction and collections, but you can choose the area or all areas you want to focus on in the challenge. I will probably focus primarily on his fiction. Please let me know if any titles are missing and I will be glad to add them. (Titles in red are the works I have read)

The Fires of Spring (1949)
The Voice of Asia (1951)
The Bridges at Toko Ri (1953)
Sayonara (1954)
Hawaii (1959)
Report of the County Chairman (1961)
Caravans (1963)
The Source (1965)
The Drifters (1971)
Quality of Life (1971)
Centennial (1974)
Chesapeake (1978)
The Covenant (1980) (attempted - will return to it at a later date)
Space (1982)
Poland (1983)
Texas (1986)
Legacy (1987)
Alaska (1988)
Journey (1988)
Caribbean (1989)
The Eagle and the Raven (1990)
Mexico (1992)
Recessional (1994)
Miracle in Seville (1995)
Matecumbe (2007)

The Floating World (1955)
The Bridge at Andau (1957)
Japanese Prints from Early Masters to the Modern (1959)
Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections (1968)
Presidential Lottery: The Reckless Gamble in Our Electoral System (1969)
Kent State: What Happened And Why (1971)
A Michener Miscellany: 1950-1970 (1973)
Sports in America (1976)
On Sport (1976)
All We Did Was Fly to the Moon (1985)
Six Days in Havana (1989)
Chesapeake Bay (1990)
Pilgrimage: A Memoir of Poland And Rome (1990)
The Novel: The Battle for a Bestseller (1991)
My Lost Mexico: The Making of a Novel (1992)
The World is My Home (1992)
James A Michener's Writers Handbook (1992)
Literary Reflections: Michener On Michener, Hemingway, Capote, And Others (1993) (see Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway)
This Noble Land: My Vision for America (1996)

Tales of the South Pacific (1948)
Return to Paradise (1950)
Rascals in Paradise (1957)
Selected Works (1976)
The Watermen: Selections from Chesapeake (1979)
Great World War II Stories (1989) (with Nicholas Monsarrat and Nevil Shute)
Creatures of the Kingdom: Stories of Animals And Nature (1993



  1. This was a fun find since I was/am in the process of doing this challenge on my own already. Having a checklist will make things a bit easier! Thanks.

  2. I have read a number of Michener books and always have admired his writing. However recently I was reading his book Hawaii and was shocked to encounter a scene in which a 19th century business tycoon on the islands decides to take his 13-year-old grandson to the brothel district of Oahu where he purchases the favors of a child prostitute. Michener describes the encounter in euphoric terms of bliss without showing any angst regarding the child abuse and probable rampant disease afflicting these young girls. This scene horrified me. I threw away the book and promised not to read Michener novels anymore.


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