my reading list
This is a collection of some of my favorite books. I've included all genres and a few words about why I like them. They're arranged in no particular order so just scroll through kinda of like you would in a book store. I do want to highlight three books I think every single woman I know should read. 1) The Dovekeepers 2) A Personal History 3) The Stories of Eva Luna. These books are all written by women and present a complex, inspiring, and honest portrait of what it means to be a woman. All are on the list below. If you use the "Buy on Amazon" button here I get a little kickback from Amazon for referring you so you can help support my reading habit. Thanks in advance.
I literally love everything about these romantic books. Set in Egypt during the Second World War, they include some of the most lyric and beautiful prose in the English language. The first three books view the same events from the perspective of three different people, the fourth book is set 6 years later. Durrell plays with perspective, psychology (then a relatively new science) and metaphysics. I’ve given you links to kindle if you’re on a budget but I recommend buying them as 4 separate paper backs and giving yourself the option to read them later in a different order. Try this order the first time and then mix it up 1)Justine 2) Balthazar 3) Montolive 4) Clea.
The Funniest Book on Home Renovation EVER A naive Westerner embarks on the hilarious remodeling project in Casablanca. (Warning: there are demons and goats involved)
The Best Single Source for Understanding Mythic Structure I read this book 20 years ago and it completely changed my understanding of storytelling, conflict and the hero’s journey. An absolute MUST for all storytellers.
The Detective Novel That’s Where The Murder isn’t the Main Thing This is a great detective story by James Lee Burke, a master story teller. It's one of my favorites in his Dave Robicheaux mysteries and some of the key characters are introduced. .
Possibly My Favorite Novel of All Time
This is a story about resistance and the role that powerful women can play in society.
Wonder-filled and Magical This is an extraordinary coming-of-age story along with an eulogy to earth as a dying planet.
Don't Be Afraid of How Thick it Is This is one of my favorite works of fiction, pirates, prisons, poisoning and romance. If you haven't read it, seriously, there's a reason its been in print for over 100 years.
Not a Single Lawyer As far as I know this is the only book John Grisham ever wrote that isn't set in a court room or a law firm. It's beautifully written and a memorable story about life on a cotton farm and unexpected connections.
Easy, Satisfying Foray into the World Jane Austen No book list would be complete without Jane Austen, this one is my fav.
Don't Just Watch it on TV Back in the 90's everyone I knew was reading this. At the time it was just a virtuoso work of speculative fiction. These days it seems closer to reality than I find comfortable. Even if you watched the Hulu series it is worth reading. Margaret Atwood is one of the greatest writers of our generation.
Original, Weird and Unforgettable If you like sci-fi this is one of the most original things you'll ever read. The world he creates and his concepts about life and ETs will blow your mind. It's a mystery and thriller and horror story all rolled up into one. Warning, this is not for everyone but I loved it! (I read it twice because the first time I was like, what the heck just happened?!)
A Brilliant Mystery Writer Tries a New Genre This fantastic novel is about mankind coping with their eminent extinction. As far as I know it is PD James' only foray into the realm of sci-fi/speculative fiction. (This was made into a movie which has almost nothing in common with the book aside from the name and the premise. Don't bother to see it, REALLY)
Characters Who Will Never Let You Go An unforgettable foray into speculative fiction, you'll have to read it to figure to what the scary premise is. Also made into a superb movies starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield. (See Below)
An Author Who Makes a Screwed Up Childhood Hilarious I'm not kidding, this is the funniest book I've ever read. I'm. Not. Even. Kidding
An Utterly Unique Literary Voice A beautiful, lyric memoir about a troubled childhood and redemption
Sweeping and memorable Who doesn't love the French Resistance, spies and romance all in one book?
A Real Life Female Super Hero Another of my favorite non-fiction books. It is an absolute MUST READ for every American woman. Her perspective on being a woman in the 20th century sheds light on who we are and where we are today.
...No He Hasn't Won an Oscar Yet... I included this because it is genuinely an interesting read and I know the author, but also because my husband is mentioned.
Beautiful Story, Beautifully Told This book was famously touted by Hemingway as the most brilliant prose he had ever read. Beryl Markham is one of the least known writing geniuses from that era. This memoir records her childhood and life as a bush pilot in Africa. There were moments when I read this book that I literally had to catch my breath
Unforgettable and heartbreaking Brace yourself for a dose of tragedy. Louise Erdich writes brilliantly about the Native American experience but also about folklore, family and love. This book is part of a series that circle around this protagonist Fleur and other unforgettable characters.
Lyric and Insightful The fictional account of the live-in the Vietnamese cook employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
Surprising and Suspenseful If you like mysteries this one is a wild, unexpected pleasure about an artist who is drawn into a strange commission that turns dangerous
Romance British Style Two beautiful companion novels about the lives and loves of an eccentric British family
Romance Abroad A rapturous, unforgettable cross-cultural love story set in Egypt
A Must Read for Every Woman This is the beautiful and lyric companion to Eva Luna which is a Scheherazade story set in Latin America. Isabelle Allende sees women and portrays in a way that is both unique and powerful (See below)
Powerful Portrait of Femininity This is the book that inspired The Stories of Eva Luna (above). Isabel Allende is one of the most important authors of the 20th century and her perspective is at once fully human and entirely feminine.
Brilliant Poetic Prose This is possibly the most poignant book I have ever read. After I made this list my friend Daria reminded me that I had touted this as "the best book I ever read." It is beautifully written, surprising and profoundly true.
Poignant and Magical
This is by the author of the bestseller "A Man Called Ove", I loved this so much, it is a mixture of fairy tales and real life drama. Lovely and lovable characters.
A Surprising Thriller about the Power of Love
When I read this I loved the relationship between narrator and the child she befriended. Hoeg is a master story teller.
Beautiful Memories of Life in Russia by a Master
Makine's language and imagery is powerful and beautiful. An unforgettable story of the love of place.
Station Eleven I really like speculative fiction and this one is a favorite. It is one of the few post-apocalyptic stories that envisions mankind doing better after the collapse of civilization. It's also beautifully written and a real page-turner.