Showing posts with label bestbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bestbooks. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2010

How can I possibly limit myself to
ten favorite reads this year???

I read 255 books this year!
The ten best?
Tough call.

So I'll do ten lists of favorite books.
How about that?

Best Books About Happiness
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The How of Happiness
The Way to Stillness
59 Seconds
Joie de Vivre
The Pocket Therapist
Hector and the Search for Happiness

Over Hyped
Sarah's Key
Who Moved My Blackberry?

Thoughtful and Spiritual
Same Kind of Different as Me
If the Church Were Christian
Mystically Wired
Celebration of Discipline

Best Children's Chapter Books
The Iron Giant
Stuart Little
Amazon Adventure

Best Children's Picture Books
The Church Mice and the Ring
Mister Magnolia
The Boy Who Grew Flowers
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Come Away From the Water, Shirley
Mr. Fox
The Elephant and the Bad Baby

Brilliant Books I'm Not Cool Enough to Appreciate
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Selected Works of T. S. Spivet

Best Travel Books
Country Driving
The Lunatic Express
A Year in Provence
The Lost Girls

Favorite Fiction
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
The Stone Angel
The Spare Room
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
The Three Musketeers
Gone With the Wind
Let the Great World Spin
Midnight's Children

Odd (But in a Good Way) Books
The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?
The Tattooed Map
And the Pursuit of Happiness

Memorable Nonfiction
Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
At Home by Bill Bryson
Serve It Forth by M.F.K. Fisher
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Library at Night

Okay, okay!
Because you are begging me,
here it is:
a rather random list,
Top Ten Books I've Read in 2010:

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Skellig by David Almond

Serve It Forth by M. F. K. Fisher

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Best of 2010 in Books

1. Best book of 2010?
Three-way tie:

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

2. Worst book of 2010?

Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love)

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?

Skellig by David Almond
6. Best series you discovered in 2010?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo, David Almond, Salman Rushdie

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?

The BFG by Roald Dahl

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?

Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Caldecott Winner 2010)

12. Most memorable character in 2010?

Oscar, the cat who anticipates when an elderly person is
about to die in Making Rounds With Oscar by David Dosa
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?

Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock (first Nancy Drew!)

If you want to fill out this survey, head over to The Perpetual Page-Turner and add your link to the list!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quiet Masterpieces

Here is a question from The Blue Bookcase
designed to provoke discussion:

What literary title (fiction or non-fiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated?
We all know about the latest Dan Brown, and James Patterson isn't hurting for publicity.
What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?

Most of my all-time favorite reads are literary reads.
Most of my all-time favorite reads are quiet masterpieces.

To choose my favorite quiet masterpiece,

I shall visit my list of favorite reads.

My All-Time Favorite Reads

 So, what shall I choose as my small favorite,
my favorite quiet masterpiece?

How about
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell?
The story of Mrs. Bridge is the story of an ordinary person.
Mrs. Bridge is just an average
upper-middle class white housewife
living in America in the middle of the last century.
But it is an extraordinary story.
The book is written in little chapters,
almost like long poems, little snapshots,
about the everyday events in Mrs. Bridge's life.
No sensationalism.
No Big Awful Traumatic Problems.
But a powerful story of
a little life,
a person who lived, in the words of Thoreau,
a life of "quiet desperation."
A quote: 
"They had started off together to explore something
that promised to be wonderful,
and, of course, there had been wonderful times.
And yet, thought Mrs Bridge,
why is that we haven’t — that nothing has — that whatever we — ?"
There's a Mr. Bridge, too,
but I like Mrs. Bridge best.

I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Salon: Salman Rushdie!

Do they have exclamation points in Hindi? 
Or is it just understood that everything in India
should be said with an exclamation point?

I just finished Midnight's Children.
It is the masterpiece of Salman Rushdie.
And now I want to end every sentence I write about
this author, this book, with an exclamation point.

Midnight's Children!
A masterpiece!
Salman Rushdie!

My husband and I went to see Salman Rusdie Friday night.
He talks just like he writes.
He speaks in beautiful metaphors
that seem to flow from his mouth
as naturally as rain from dark clouds.

I couldn't take any pictures inside,
so I must be happy with
the picture I took of the marquee.

And this one that I borrowed from the Guardian:

And here is a little Wondersay wordplay to celebrate Salman Rusdie:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best of the Decade

Have I ever read some fantastic books this decade?!

I didn't start reviewing and keeping track of all my reads until 2003, so the early years are a bit of a blur. Let's just say I read 50 books for each of those years...that's a low estimate, I'm quite sure. And I lost half my book log in 2004 (it only goes up to the end of July and I was at 126 then) so I'll have to estimate 175. So here are my numbers:


That gives me a total of 1538 books in the last ten years, an average of about 150 a year! Whew! That's a lot of books. It certainly helped that I gave up tv in 2003. And moving to a K-2 school has definitely pushed up my numbers since I read lots and lots of children's picture books now.

The highlights:

2000...A complete blur. This was when I was reading on my own, whatever I could find at the public library that looked interesting. No online reading groups. No place to see reviews of books except the Houston paper.

2001...I joined bookgrouplist online and the companion group All_Nonfiction and my reading choices soared. I still hadn't started reviewing my books, but I definitely remember reading many good books with the groups: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Norwegian Wood, The Red Tent, and Girl With a Pearl Necklace.

2002...I continued reading with my online groups but still hadn't started keeping records. I remember reading and loving Bowling Alone, Fast Food Nation, Founding Brothers, John Adams, My Own Country, Nickel and Dimed, Paris to the Moon, River Town, Seabiscuit, The Tipping Point, Traveling Mercies, all nonfiction choices, along with The Stone Diaries and A Fine Balance, choices from bookgrouplist.

2003...I joined Book-a-Week and set a goal of reading and reviewing 52 books in a year. No problem! I ended up with 250 books read. Favorites were Reading Lolita in Tehran, Speak, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Lord of the Flies, Easter Parade, Fahrenheit 451, Sloppy Firsts, The Color of Magic, Shooting the Boh, The Monk Downstairs, The Center of Everything, My Name is Asher Lev, The Hours, Civility, The Phantom Tollbooth, Mrs. Bridge, Woman: An Intimate Biography, Dreamers, Good Poems, A Child's Christmas in Wales, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and Independent People.

2004...I read so many books that I was asked to join a 100+ group that, sadly, disbanded after the first year....Thus, I have a book log that only goes to the end of July. I also benefited from joining bookrings and bookrays for fantastic books at Bookcrossing. I'll say I read 175 in 2004 and the ones I loved were: Namesake, The Death of Vishnu, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, My Family and Other Animals, You Are Not a Stranger Here, The Kite Runner, Brideshead Revisited, Family Matters, So Many Books So Little Time, Stiff: The Curious History of Cadavers, Blue Latitudes, Ex Libris, and Eats Shoots and Leaves.

2005...I began to actively give up on books that didn't grab me and ended up reading fewer but better books. Total for 2005: 158. Here's a list of memorable reads: An Invitation to Poetry, Truth and Beauty, Sahara Special, Oryx and Crake, Gilead, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, 1776, No Country for Old Men, English Passengers, Mountains Beyond Mountains, Freakonomics, Kafka on the Shore, The Ginger Man, and A Christmas Memory.

2006...First year I read all twenty of the Texas Bluebonnets, a nice new tradition. A grand total of 175, with these I loved: The Photograph, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Garlic and Sapphires, Dark Star Safari, The Accidental, Suite Francaise, Small Island, Night, The Lightning Thief, Eat Pray Love, Encyclopedia Prehistorica, If the World Were a Village, Criss Cross, Black Swan Green, Half of a Yellow Sun, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and Yoon and the Christmas Mitten.

2007...Moved to a new school library and only read 125 books. I also did not have as many memorable reads: Invention of Hugo Cabret, entire Harry Potter series, Then We Came to the End, Grace (Eventually), We Need to Talk About Kevin, Bless Me Ultima, and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.

2008...Year of the Newbery as I read all 72 Newbery winners. Read 197 books, with favorites: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, Olive Kitteridge, The Giver, Out of the Dust, Sounder, Last Night at the Lobster, A Single Shard, A Wrinkle in Time, Bud Not Buddy, A House for Mr. Biswas, The Great Gatsby, My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, Holes, Unaccustomed Earth, The Westing Game, Because of Winn-Dixie, A Voyage Long and Strange, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a Death in the Family, The Things They Carried, Adam of the Road, and Crispin.

2009...Ridiculous total of 357 books. And what a year! Best reading year yet: Bend in the River, Member of the Wedding, Streetcar Named Desire, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep, Great Expectations, Gulliver's Travels, 14 Cows for America,Home, Little Women, Of Mice and Men, Rabbit Run, Tales from Outer Suburbia, The 13 Clocks, Elegance of the Hedgehog, Redwoods, Hunger Games, The Once and Future King, Moonshot, Eleanor Quiet No More, Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude, Whatever It Takes, Zeitoun, Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction, and Columbine.

Mercy! Have I left anything out?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Post In Which I Brag About How Many Books I Read in 2009

I read a lot of books in 2009. A LOT.

I stopped last week at 357. A nice round number.

(Oh, are you one of those people who doubt me? Well, I did read 357 books. I read every book and reviewed every book.

I see. You think I should not count children's picture books. Please. Some of these I read not once, but 35 times. And that shouldn't count as a book?)

I read fast. (Too fast, I often think.) I miss details, symbols, clever word play at times. I have tried many times to slow down but I can't. I'm like a speedy driver; I just like to go fast.

So, what were my favorites? Here are my choices for Best of 2009:

Why We Call Some Books Classics
Of Mice and Men
Rabbit, Run
Little Women
Secret Lives of Walter Mitty
The Once and Future King
A Streetcar Named Desire
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Great Expectations
The 13 Clocks
Good-bye, Mr. Chips

Best Going-Here-and-There
Nine Hills to Nambonkaha
Lois on the Loose
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven
When Wanderers Cease to Roam
Blue Highways

Best of the Bleak
The Word for World is Forest
The Year of the Flood
Hunger Games and Catching Fire
Radiant Girl
The Sea

Best Women's Reads
Everyone is Beautiful
Still Alice
The Group
Perfect Fifths
School of Essential Ingredients
That Night
The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Help
Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Best Books with Challenges
The Guinea Pig Diaries
Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper

Best Poetry
Staying Alive
Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast

Best Memoirs
Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper
Desert Solitaire
Crazy for the Storm
What I Thought I Knew

Best Surprises
Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak
Tales of Outer Suburbia

Best for Teachers
Work Hard. Be Nice.
Whatever It Takes
The Reading Zone

Best Children's Books that Grownups Will Love (though not, necessarily, kids)
The World That Loved Books
Abe's Honest Words
Absolutely Maybe
Life-Size Zoo
The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West
One Beetle Too Many
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach
The Box of Delights
Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
14 Cows for America
Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride
Eleanor, Quiet No More

Best New-To-Me Children's Christmas Stories
What Dogs Want for Christmas
Uncles and Antlers
An Orange for Frankie
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
Pirate's Night Before Christmas
Great Joy

Best Recent Fiction
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name
Elegance of the Hedgehog
Out Stealing Horses
The Thing Around Your Neck
The Sea
Royal Ghosts

Best Recent Nonfiction
Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction
What I Thought I Knew
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
Strength in What Remains

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Salon: Best Reads of 2008

I've read 314 books this year and there are still ten days to go.

I am a big reader.

It's time to list my favorites for the year.

Best Award-Winners
Things Fall Apart
The Things They Carried
The Great Gatsby
Wind in the Willows
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Best Books about Happiness
What Shamu Taught Me
The Geography of Bliss

Best Books about Books
Book Smart
The Uncommon Reader
The Book Stops Here

Favorite Newberys
The Westing Game
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Going Here and There
China Road
Voyage Long and Strange
Lost on Planet China
Queen of the Road
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
Zen and Now

If You Want Bleak...
The Trick is to Keep Breathing
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Out of the Dust
Last Night at the Lobster
One-Handed Catch
The Thing About Georgie
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Things They Carried
On My Honor
The Road
Acedia & Me

Practically Perfect in Every Way
Helping Me Help Myself
Reading the QED
Around the World in 80 Dinners

Garden Spells
When Will There Be Good News?

Newbery Books Sure to Offend
Daniel Boone
The Story of Mankind
Smoky the Cowhorse

Wonderul Kids' Books
The Hero and the Crown
Because of Winn-Dixie
A Single Shard
An American Plague
The Pepins and their Problems
Judy Moody Goes to Colege
(Cybils choices to be announced at the end of this month)

Wish I Hadn't Bothered
New Earth
Wishing Year
Art of Racing in the Rain
Zookeeper's Wife

Best Recent Nonfiction
Relentless Pursuit
Sundays in America
Beautiful Boy
Not Quite What I Was Planning
An Exact Replica
Cactus Eaters
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
Reading the QED
Listening is an Act of Love
Proust and the Squid
Why We Hate Us

Best Recent Fiction
Olive Kitteridge
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
So Many Ways to Begin
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Last Night at the Lobser
Fire in the Blood
Unaccustomed Earth
The Road


My Top Ten for 2008
The Things They Carried
Things Fall Apart
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Olive Kitteridge
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
Relentless Pursuit
Beautiful Boy
Wind in the Willows
Not Quite What I Was Planning

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Salon: My Wishlist Swells

These wonderful best-of-the-year book lists!

I've browsed several and my wishlist is swelling.

Here are some grownup books from best-of lists I want to read:

Personal Days by Ed Park
It was compared to Then We Came to the End, another book about the quirky world of office life.

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

The World is What It Is
An authorized biography of Naipaul.
The review called it one of the best biographies ever written.

My Jesus Year by Benyamin Cohen
The son of a rabbi wanders in search of his religious beliefs.

How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still Alive)
This one sounds like it was made for me.

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
On almost every list.
It initially didn't sound appealing to me, but if this many people love it....

The Post-American World

The Big Sort by Bill Bishop
Bishop was at the Texas Book Festival, but I didn't get a chance to hear him talk. People are segregating themselves by education and interest and level of affluence, with consequences for America.

2666 by Roberto Bolano
Rave reviews everywhere for this book.
It doesn't sound like one I'd like and it's very long...but still I'm intrigued.

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Setting in India.

The House at Sugar Beach
Had this one from the library and gave up on it, too soon, I think now.

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
I bought this last week and I'm reading it next.

I also found these kids' books I want to read:

What the World Eats by Peter Menzel
One of my all-time favorite reads is Material World. I've always wanted to share this book with the kids at school. What the World Eats is a kid version of Menzel's Hungry Planet.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Science fiction-ish book about an apocalyptic world.

The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West by Sid Fleischman
Two reasons for reading this: Love Sid and read Roughing It this summer.

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
Nazi Germany.

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

Adele & Simon in America

Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein

Anyone have any other books from best-of-2008 lists they are dying to read?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Best Reads Ever (to be updated regularly)

An online bookgroup invited its members to submit their 100 favorite reads list. Here's mine (100 plus a few extra):

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
Book of Luminous Things edited by Czeslaw Milosz
Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Candide by Voltaire
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
Civility by Stephen L. Carter
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
A Death in the Family by James Agee
The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynn Truss
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Grass Harp by Truman Capote
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Half Magic by Edgar Eager
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Happenstance by Carol Shields
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by J. K. Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Heaven is a Playground by Rick Telander
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Holes by Louis Sachar
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Into that Good Night by Ron Rozelle
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
John Adams by David McCullough
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
The Last Shot by Darcy Frey
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lives of the Writers by Kathleen Krull
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Pec
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Love is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Magister Ludi by Hermann Hesse
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Make a World by Ed Emberly
Material World by Peter Menzel
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia Rylant
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The Odyssey by Homer
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
One Man’s Meat by E. B. White
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster
Plan B by Anne Lamott
A Poem a Day edited by Karen McKosker
Possession by A. S. Byatt
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Rotten Island by William Steig
Sailing Alone Around the World by Billy Collins
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodge
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The Secret History by Donna Tarte
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Silk by Allesandro Baricco
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Sounder by William Armstrong
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Step Ball Change by Jeanne Ray
Strong Measures edited by Philip Dacey and David Jauss
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Waiting by Ha Jin
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Watership Down by Richard Adams
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevtich
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
Working by Studs Terkel
The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Zen and Zen Classics by R. H. Blyth