Books I Like

I regret not keeping a list of all the books I’ve ever read.  I would have started it in 1965 when I was in first grade and had just learned to read.  I’ll never forget the cover of that first book.  It had a picture of two boys in a rowboat.  The book, checked out from the library, felt wonderfully heavy and thick; I felt so mature, so accomplished!  If I had kept that kind of list it would be a tome by now, a precious treasure and invaluable window into some of my early and ongoing literary influences.

Here at The Life Literary, the editorial staff believes that when it comes to living literarily, it’s never too late to start.  Therefore, I’m going to build a list of books I’ve read and am reading at the moment.  As my memory allows, I’ll include books from my past.  So I didn’t start the list when I was six.  Who says I can’t start it 45 years later?

What I’m reading now:  The Human Comedy, William Saroyan (Quirky little book with well-written vignette chapters that form themselves into a very human story.)

The Ultimate Burns Supper Book, Clark McGinn (a funny, well-written, concise guide to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about hosting a Burns Supper.  My companion every January.)
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
– Dylan Thomas
Great Expectations
, Charles Dickens
A History of Scotland
, J.D. Mackie
A Man without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut (A peek into the mind and heart of one of my favorite writers, also from Indianapolis.  I kinda wish I didn’t identify with it so much.  Harsh words for lying leaders.  Written in 2005)
The Thurber Carnival
, James Thurber
The Secret Life of Bees
, Sue Monk Kidd
Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns
, Ian McIntyre
The Undertaking
, Thomas Lynch (A beautifully written book about death and dying written by a well-known, published poet who is also a mortician.)
Echoes of a Native Land: Two Centuries of a Russian Village, Serge Schmemann (An awarding wining New York Times reporter and the son of a well known Russian Orthodox priest writes about the village where one branch of his family lived.)
Last Night in Twisted River, John Irving (Irving’s latest.  Fun for dyed-in-the-wool Irving fans like me)
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (One of the great books of the 20th century.)
E.B. White: A Biography, Scott Elledge (A well-written fun read about one of my literary heros.)
Walden, Henry David Thoreau (A classic.  A life changer.  An odd dude.)
John Adams, David McCullough (A beautifully told biography of one of the key authors of the great experiment known as the United States.)
1776, David McCullough (A book of history.  A page turner.  A must-read for any student of American history yet also a treat.)
Jailbird, Kurt Vonnegut (Such fun.  Lots of laughs.  We still quote it.)
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut (Dark.  Heavy sailing.)
The Girl With the Pearl Earring, Tracey Chevalier (If I were to try to write a historical novel, this would be my model.)
Rabbit, Run, John Updike (Luscious.  Rich images.  Pointed critique of the  of 50s and 60s middle America.  Part one of four)
Rabbit Redux, John Updike (Continues the saga.  He writes about sex and lies, intimacy and rage with a sure hand but without hitting the reader in the face with the whole schmear.)
Puddinhead Wilson, Mark Twain (A great read.  Classic, biting, funny.)
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (About betrayal and redemption, set against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.  Dense, creamy prose.)
Liberty, Garrison Keillor (About lust, middle-age, intimacy and forgiveness .  An author for whom “more of the same” is high praise.)
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (I read it and weep every Christmas.)
The Gift of the Magi, (I read it and weep every Christmas.  Note to self: read more O’Henry this year.)
A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas (I read it – but don’t weep – every Christmas.  One of my favorite wordsmiths of all time.)
Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, A.J. Langguth (Fun and informative sketches of America’s Founding Fathers.)
From Every End of This Earth, Steven V. Roberts (Oral histories of newly arrived immigrants in the U.S.  A book I wish I’d written.)
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (A great book.)
Essays of E.B. White, E.B. White (One of my inspirations.)
The Old Man and the Sea, Earnest Hemingway (Of course a classic.  Spare language, a compelling story, a keeper.)
The Coup, John Updike (I was surprised to enjoy it so much.)

About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
This entry was posted in Reading and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply