The Reading Nook: My Very Own Reading List

Previously, I was working on reading through the BBC’s 100 Must-Read books list. I found out this was a bad idea. Here’s why: I didn’t want to read all of them. And when I got 25 pages in and didn’t like them, I had to keep reading them. Life is just too short! Who wants to spend hours pouring over the pages of a book you don’t want to read, when there are so many delightful things out there you actually do want to read? I did enough of that in school. So I’ve been working on crafting my own reading list. With no pressure to finish, only the inspiration to start, each book. Some I know I’ll love, for instance, you’ll find I’m planning to read all of Dickens’ novels. Some I’ve picked up in the library a dozen times, and then put down again in favor of something more familiar (like Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune). A few, I’ve chosen because I’ve enjoyed other works by the same author (such as Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace). The rest, I have this sort of feeling that as a woman who considers herself well-read, I ought to read them. I’ve even included a couple I read long ago, and would like to read again – you’ll find them starred at the bottom of my list.

So, in no particular order:

  • Barnaby Rudge, Dickens
  • Dombey and Sons, Dickens
  • Hard Times, Dickens
  • Martin Chuzzlewit, Dickens
  • Our Mutual Friend, Dickens
  • Pickwick Papers, Dickens
  • Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • Bel Canto, Patchett
  • The Bell Jar, Plath
  • Beowulf, Heaney Translation
  • Daughter of Fortune, Allende
  • Ethan Frome, Wharton
  • Finnegan’s Wake, Joyce
  • The Fountainhead, Rand
  • History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volumes 1-6, Gibbons
  • The Joy Luck Club, Tan
  • Out of Africa, Denison
  • Siddhartha, Hesse
  • Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
  • The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoffer
  • 1000 Gifts, Voskamp
  • Desiring God, Piper
  • Knowing God, Packer
  • Quo Vadis, Sienkiewicz
  • Medea, Euripides
  • The Arabian Nights, Burton
  • Metamorphosis, Ovid (not Kafka)
  • Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde
  • The Histories, Thucydides
  • The Alchemist, Coelho  Didn’t finish
  • The Club Dumas, Pérez-Reverte
  • The Historian, Kostova
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Clarke
  • Memoirs of Cleopatra, George
  • 1000 White Women, Fergus
  • The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield
  • Alias Grace, Atwood
  • King’s Fool, Barnes
  • Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shirer
  • Bonhoffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Metaxas
  • Federalist Papers; Hamilton, Madison and Jay
  • Eleanor of Aquataine, Wier
  • The Princes in the Tower, Wier
  • The Way We Live Now, Trollope
  • Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey, Schlissel  didn’t finish
  • The Illiad and The Odyssey, Homer*
  • Paradise Lost, Milton*
  • Brave New World, Huxley*
  • 1984, Orwell*
  • The Divine Comedy, Dante*
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines, Willard*
  • The End of Sparta, Hanson

What else would you add to my list? You can always check out my Goodreads shelf to see what I’ve already read and enjoyed.

~Amanda

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4 thoughts on “The Reading Nook: My Very Own Reading List

  1. i feel rather uncultured when looking at your list. but since, as you so well put, life is too short to read things i dont care about, i wont feel too bad =) however divine comedy is on my list and i see a few others on yours i’ll have to check out when i finish outlander.

    • If you really want to feel uncultured, search online for the Rory Gilmore reading list. Made me feel like a dunce. Be sure to get a well-annotated version of the Divine Comedy, it doesn’t make a lot of sense without the comments – Dante uses a lot of cultural references that we don’t understand any more.

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