Reading Lists

You can learn a lot about a person by what’s on her bookshelves or nightstand. Here’s what I’ve been reading… (Fellow book lovers can also find me on Goodreads.)

2016 || 2015 || 2014 || 2013 || 2012 || 5-Year Classical Reading List

2016 Reading List

  1. Paradise Lost by John Milton — loved! A brilliant & moving epic.
  2. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin — great
  3. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce — lovely
  4. The Misanthrope and Tartuffe by Molière (trans. Richard Wilbur)
  5. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
  6. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke
  7. Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon — fascinating!
  8. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift — good. I love Swift!
  9. The Hours by Michael Cunningham — now I’m in the mood for more Virginia Woolf
  10. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  11. Longitude by Dava Sobel — short, fascinating & surprisingly charming
  12. Elements of Style by Erin Gates
  13. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson — lovely
  14. Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess
  15. Candide by Voltaire (trans. Henry Morley)
  16. How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
  17. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie — a beautifully-designed clothbound edition
  18. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi — profound & moving
  19. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  20. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (trans. Maurice Cranston)
  21. The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson — ok, but seemed a bit dated
  22. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  23. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter — loved!
  24. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  25. His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis
  26. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates — loved!
  27. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  28. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi — such a powerful story!
  29. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin — American Dream 1.0
  30. Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk & Jeff Speck
  31. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
  32. The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
  33. To be continued…

2015 Reading List

  1. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse — a jolly good romp
  2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler — I recommend the audiobook
  3. Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins
  4. King Lear by Shakespeare — intense & complex. Tragedy at its finest.
  5. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. Maybe Baby edited by Lori Leibovich — meh.
  8. Don Quixote by Cervantes (trans. Edith Grossman) — funny but lo-o-ong!
  9. Rainbow Valley by L. M. Montgomery
  10. From Sweetness by Debra Marquart
  11. History of the Rain by Niall Williams — loved! A strange & charming novel for book lovers.
  12. Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson
  13. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder — excellent!
  14. The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus — lovely
  15. Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery — one of my childhood favorites
  16. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  17. Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik — meh.
  18. The Martian by Andy Weir — great story idea, but mediocre execution.
  19. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander — a must read!
  20. Styled by Emily Henderson
  21. Meditations by Descartes (trans. Desmond Clark) — Cogito ergo sum. “I think, therefore I am.”
  22. Artful by Ali Smith — loved! Clever, mysterious, inspiring… this book defies categorization.
  23. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert — some parts I loved, some parts I hated
  24. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon — fun & encouraging, as always
  25. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin — wow!
  26. God Is in the Manger by Dietrich Bonhoeffer — my favorite Advent devotional

2014 Reading List

  1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  2. The Prince by Machiavelli (trans. Wayne Rebhorn) — better than I expected!
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  4. Yellowrocket: Poems by Todd Boss — loved!
  5. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
  6. Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery — I re-read this series every few years
  7. Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
  8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts… by Susan Cain
  9. Utopia by Thomas More (trans. Logan/Adams) — fascinating
  10. The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  11. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel — literary historical fiction is my (secret) love!
  12. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel — sequel to Wolf Hall
  13. Still Writing: The Perils & Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro — good
  14. The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo
  15. Complete Essays by Montaigne (trans. M.A. Screech) — erudite, charming & inexhaustible!
  16. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
  17. Anne’s House of Dreams by L. M. Montgomery
  18. The Immortal Profession by Gilbert Highet — essays on teaching & lifelong learning
  19. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  20. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver
  21. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman — so good! I’m obsessed with WWI history.
  22. Rabbit Redux by John Updike
  23. Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation… by Keith Houston
  24. Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
  25. Richard III by Shakespeare — one of my favorite Shakespearean characters!
  26. The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Fadiman & Major
  27. Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber — Highly recommended!
  28. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  29. Twelfth Night by Shakespeare — a strangely melancholy comedy
  30. The Children Act by Ian McEwan — loved!
  31. The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir — ok. I love Tudor history but found this overly long & repetitive.

2013 Reading List

  1. The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe — loved it!
  2. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  3. The Aeneid by Virgil (trans. Sarah Ruden) — a beautiful translation!
  4. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
  5. Rabbit, Run by John Updike — brilliant writing, vexatious characters
  6. Metamorphoses by Ovid (trans. Allen Mandlebaum)
  7. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman — clever and imaginative, an old favorite
  8. Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
  9. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
  10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  11. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  12. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  13. Storycatcher by Christina Baldwin — good!
  14. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
  15. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  16. City of God by Saint Augustine (abridged ed. Vernon J. Bourke) — exhaustive but amiable
  17. Native Son by Richard Wright
  18. Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
  19. Saturday by Ian McEwan
  20. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  21. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
  22. An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis — thoughtful and stimulating
  23. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose — great! (includes a good reading list too)
  24. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery — a beloved lifelong favorite!
  25. Beowulf (translated by Seamus Heaney) — I read along while listening to Heaney’s audio recording & loved it!
  26. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
  27. A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin
  28. Inferno by Dante (trans. Robert Pinsky) — brilliant!
  29. Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
  30. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer (trans. Neville Coghill) — meh.

2012 Reading List

  1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  2. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner — favorite book of the year!
  3. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
  4. Desperation by Stephen King — didn’t like
  5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  6. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  7. Little Bee by Chris Cleave — didn’t like
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — loved it!
  9. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver — didn’t like
  10. Flapper by Joshua Zeitz
  11. Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
  12. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman
  13. The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts
  14. Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
  15. Paradise of Bombs by Scott Russell Sanders — good collection of personal essays
  16. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  17. Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline — didn’t like
  18. The Odyssey by Homer (trans. Robert Fagles) — loved it!
  19. Hiroshima by John Hersey — haunting
  20. Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules (ed. David Sedaris) — good short story collection
  21. Gods & Goddesses of Classical Mythology by S. W. Crompton
  22. Grayson by Lynne Cox
  23. The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
  24. The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles (trans. Robert Fagles) — loved!
  25. Bossypants by Tina Fey — I recommend listening to the audiobook
  26. The Idea That Is America by Anne-Marie Slaughter
  27. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
  28. The Republic by Plato (trans. Desmond Lee)
  29. God Is in the Manger by Dietrich Bonhoeffer — a great devotional for the Advent season

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