An Ever-Growing Reading List
Of course this book list isn’t comprehensive, I’m just trying to get the ball rolling and I’ll be adding to this as I read more and rack my brain for those old favorites.
If there’s anything I’ve missed, or that I need to read, please tell me. I spend so much time researching books and reading book reviews and I’d love to hear your thoughts. After all, word of mouth is always the best recommendation.
This is a list of books that I’ve read and that I’d heartily recommend. I have to say that I rely on my local library and garage sales for books. The Candy family always get each other new books for birthdays and Christmas, and if we’re going traveling I’ll buy some new books for everyone, but otherwise we use the library. Typically we borrow 60 books a week, for a family of five, and most of them get read too.
By the way, I’ve discovered some links to great author websites from doing this, and what a diverse bunch they are, but if I couldn’t find the author’s site I’ve provided a link somewhere so you can find out more if you wish. Forgive me for declaring this page an umlaut and accent free zone. I’m still trying to forgive myself and hope that I don’t feel the need to go back and add them. Happy reading!
Reading List for Writers
A Novel in a Year, Louise Doughty
The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction, Elizabeth George
She makes it sound like hard work though
The Writer’s Guide, Irina Dunn
Great beginners guide for Aussies and Kiwis getting into any type of writing.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
On punctuation and grammar but an interesting linguistic read.
“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott
On Writing, Stephen King
Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction Excellent stuff.
The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, Noah Lukeman
Tackles everything you need to know to make sure your manuscript doesn’t end up languishing in the slush pile.
Reading List for Travelers
Undress Me Naked in the Temple of Heaven, Susan Jane Gilman
Dervla Murphy: Pick your destination, she’s been all over the place and writes thoughtfully about her escapades.
Swahili For The Broken-Hearted and The Wrong Way Home, Peter Moore
Read a great interview with Peter Moore about travel and writing here.
Naked in Dangerous Places, Cash Peters
The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley – Set in Kenya from 1912 onwards,a classic book every travel writer should read.
Reading List for Parents (and the lucky children they read to)
Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
And all his other books too. Personally I think he’s the best writer ever:)
Kaspar Prince of Cats, Michael Morpurgo
Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey
If you’re a seven year old boy it doesn’t get much better than this
Dr. Dog and Mummy Laid an Egg, Babette Cole
Each Peach, Pear, Plum, Alan & Janet Ahlberg
Miffy, Dick Bruna
Mister Magnolia, Quentin Blake
Pukunui, James Waerea and Pat Hohepa
Cleo the Cat, Caroline Mockford
Hairy Maclary, Lynley Dodd
Gordon’s Got a Snookie, Lisa Shanahan
The Great Pie Robbery and Other Mysteries, Richard Scarry
Excellent stories and brilliant illustrations. What more could you hope for? Characters don’t get any livelier than Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat and Bananas Gorilla.
Mrs. Armitage, Queen of the Road, Quentin Blake
Reading List for Preteens
Puberty boy, Geoff Price
Puberty girl, Shushann Movsessian
General Fiction Reading List
Enduring Love & Atonement, Ian McEwan
I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
If you like this one, the prolific Alexander McCall Smith has a whole series for you. Alexander (I don’t think he’ll mind if we call him that) is a gifted story teller, as good as Roald Dahl. His stories play out slowly and his characters win their way into your heart despite their faults. Alexander has some other series which I love too although Precious Ramotswe from The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency can never be topped. Did I mention that all the stories are philosophical and funny? Well, they are! Alexander also emailed me once to tell me about the books he’s writing now and new ones that are soon to be published.
“Thanks for your generous remarks on Twitter.” @McCallSmith
I’d love to score an interview with him for you soon.
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
The Other Boleyn Girl, Phillipa Gregory
The Shipping News Annie Proulx
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
Perfume, Patrick Suskind
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
The Vintner’s Luck Elizabeth Knox
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
The Bride Stripped Bare, Nikki Gemmell
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka
This book was rejected by agents and publishers over and over again before finally being published when the author was 57, and going on to win literary prizes. It’s a brilliant and witty read about immigrants in the UK. Her second novel, Two Caravans, is in the same vein. Love them.
The black book, Ian rankin
The lonely polygamist, Brady Udall
This novel has touched me more than any other book in 2011. It’s about the things we do that get us to the place we are now, about family and the ties that bind us.
Room, Emma Domicile
Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
The Vintner’s Luck, Elizabeth Knox
Reading List of True Stories
The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
Couldn’t Keep It To Myself, Wally Lamb and the women of York Correctional Institution
Tragic memoirs by women who are in jail.
Twenty Chickens For A Saddle, Robyn Scott
Amazing memoir of a childhood in Botswana surrounded by a smart, eccentric family.
Reading List for Thinkers
Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered, Geoff Dyer
Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Reading List For Business
Cash, Customers and Ads That Sell, Bradley Sugars
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
(Or anything by) Seth Godin
There are so many great books and authors missing here, like Paddy Clarke, Isabel Allende, Graham Greene, Voltaire, Margaret Atwood, Faye Weldon, Doris Lessing to name but a few. Still, it’s a start and I hope there’ll be something new here to entertain you.
Good luck with all your plans!