Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reading List

Because my memory is so bad, I keep a list of all the books I read. This helps me remember books that I might otherwise forget, and if I’m in doubt about whether I’ve read something, I can go back and check.

Want to know what I’ve been up to on the reading front over the past few years? Here’s the list, from spring 2003 to now, with the most recent books at the bottom. (I know, I read some bizarre stuff.)

1. Gift from the Sea -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
2. The Lovely Bones -- Alice Sebold
3. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
4. The City of the Beasts -- Isabel Allende
5. The Timeless Place, the Chosen People -- Paule Marshall
6. In the Beginning -- Alistair McGrath
7. Stuffed -- Patricia Volk
8. A Slipping-Down Life -- Anne Tyler
9. A Whistling Woman -- AS Byatt
10. The Plague Tales -- Ann Benson
11. Capote -- Gerald Clarke
12. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe -- Carson McCullers
13. The Shell Collector -- Anthony Doerr
14. Middlemarch -- George Eliot
15. Ambidextrous: The Secret Lives of Children -- Felice Picano
16. Men Who Loved Me -- Felice Picano
17. A House by the Ocean, A House by the Bay -- Felice Picano
18. The Member of the Wedding -- Carson McCullers
19. Losing Battles -- Eudora Welty
20. Young Man from the Provinces -- Alan Helms
21. Waves, an anthology of new gay fiction -- Ethan Mordden (ed)
22. War Talk -- Arundhati Roy
23. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency -- Alexander McCall Smith
24. A Home at the End of the World -- Michael Cunningham
25. Jim the Boy -- Tony Earley
26. The Half-Mammals of Dixie -- George Singleton
27. The Culture of Desire: Paradox and Perversity in Gay Lives Today -- Frank Browning
28. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street -- Helene Hanff
29. Q's Legacy -- Helene Hanff
30. A Good Man in Africa -- William Boyd
31. The Look of Architecture -- Witold Rybczynski
32. Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man -- Susan Faludi
33. Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness -- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
34. Sex With Strangers -- Geoffrey Rees
35. Nickel and Dimed -- Barbara Ehrenreich
36. Shampoo Planet -- Douglas Coupland
37. Peyton Amberg -- Tama Janowitz
38. Samuel Pepys' diary
39. What I Loved -- Siri Hustvedt
40. Nine Hills to Nambokaha -- Sarah Erdman
41. The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less -- Barry Schwarz
42. Hot Water -- P.G. Wodehouse
43. Underfoot in Show Business -- Helene Hanff
44. Between the Palms -- Michael Luongo
45. At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig: Travels through Paraguay -- John Gimlette
46. Like Water for Chocolate -- Laura Esquivel
47. The Trust -- Susan Tifft and Alex S. Jones
48. Sick Puppy -- Carl Hiaasen
49. Moby-Dick -- Herman Melville
50. Cloud Atlas -- David Mitchell
51. The Amateur Marriage -- Anne Tyler
52. Running With Scissors -- Augusten Burroughs
53. Dry -- Augusten Burroughs
54. Atonement -- Ian McEwen
55. Dream State -- Diane Roberts
56. Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert -- William Langewiesche
57. An American Childhood -- Annie Dillard
58. Love Monkey -- Kyle Smith
59. Buddha -- Karen Armstrong
60. Under the Banner of Heaven -- Jon Krakauer
61. Back When We Were Grownups -- Anne Tyler
62. Mind of Clover -- Robert Aitken
63. The Three Pillars of Zen -- Philip Kapleau
64. The Line of Beauty -- Alan Hollinghurst
65. The Da Vinci Code -- Dan Brown
66. The Confessions of Max Tivoli -- Andrew Sean Greer
67. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed -- Jared Diamond
68. A Map of the World -- Jane Hamilton
69. Paris to the Moon -- Adam Gopnik
70. The Moviegoer -- Walker Percy
71. Tampa Boy -- George Ryland Bailey
72. The Snow Leopard -- Peter Mathiessen
73. Eleanor Rigby -- Douglas Coupland
74. Middlesex -- Jeffrey Eugenides
75. The Year of Magical Thinking -- Joan Didion
76. The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington -- Brian Francis
77. The Dream at the End of the World -- Michelle Green
78. Confessions of a Gay Marine Porn Star -- Rich Merritt
79. Answered Prayers -- Truman Capote
80. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn -- Betty Smith
81. West with the Night -- Beryl Markham
82. Tab Hunter Confidential -- Tab Hunter/Eddie Muller
83. Portnoy's Complaint -- Philip Roth (2nd time)
84. The Other Side of Ethel Mertz: The Life Story of Vivian Vance -- Frank Castelluccio and Alvin Walker
85. Bright Lights, Big City -- Jay McInerney (2nd time)
86. Don't Get too Comfortable -- David Rakoff
87. The Boy Harlequin and other stories -- Girard Kent
88. Time and Again -- Jack Finney
89. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time -- Mark Haddon

90. Blinded by the Right -- David Brock
91. One Writer’s Beginnings -- Eudora Welty
92. Dandelion Wine -- Ray Bradbury
93. The One that Got Away -- Howell Raines
94. Off Ramp -- Hank Stuever
95. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Jonathan Safran Foer
96. Blue Highways -- William Least Heat Moon
97. London Fields -- Martin Amis
98. Manchild in the Promised Land -- Claude Brown
99. Annam -- Christophe Bataille
100. Ghosty Men -- Franz Lidz
101. The Man Who Saved Britain: A personal journey into the disturbing world of James Bond -- Simon Winder
102. The Master -- Colm Toibin
103. Love, Loss and What I Wore - Ilene Beckerman
104. Goodbye Lemon -- Adam Davies
105. The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket -- John Weir
106. What I Did Wrong -- John Weir
107. A Million Little Pieces -- James Frey
108. The Mayor of Castro Street -- Randy Shilts
109. Nature Girl -- Carl Hiaasen
110. Simple Gifts: Lessons in Living from a Shaker Village -- June Sprigg
111. Slouching Towards Bethlehem -- Joan Didion (2nd time)
112. The Berlin Stories -- Christopher Isherwood
113. Freakonomics -- Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
114. Gone to New York -- Ian Frazier
115. Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be -- Jen Trynin
116. Buddha or Bust -- Perry Garfinkel
117. Lullaby -- Chuck Palahniuk
118. The Tao of Pooh -- Benjamin Hoff
119. The Devil in the White City -- Erik Larson
120. Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh
121. The Dharma Bums -- Jack Kerouac
122. Portrait of a Lady -- Henry James
123. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee (2nd time)
124. Magical Thinking -- Augusten Burroughs
125. The Dreadful Lemon Sky -- John D. McDonald
126. Possible Side Effects -- Augusten Burroughs
127. Caught in Fading Light: Mountain Lions, Zen Masters and Wild Nature -- Gary Thorp
128. Then We Came to the End -- Joshua Ferris
129. An Empire Wilderness: Travels into America’s Future -- Robert D. Kaplan
130. The Men from the Boys -- William J. Mann
131. The Mezzanine -- Nicholson Baker
132. Let it Come Down -- Paul Bowles
133. The Beatles -- Bob Spitz
134. Confessions of a Shopaholic -- Sophie Kinsella
135. Beautiful Boy: A father’s journey through his son’s addiction -- David Sheff
136. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
137. The Kite Runner -- Khaled Hosseini
138. In Watermelon Sugar -- Richard Brautigan
139. Where the Heart Is -- Billie Letts
140. I’m With Stupid -- Elaine Szewczyk
141. Days in the Sun -- Drew Kent
142. A Wolf at the Table -- Augusten Burroughs
143. Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue -- Paul Bowles
144. Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr -- Michael Seth Starr

(Photos: Nails in wooden siding, Mt. Tremper, N.Y.)


  1. Here's the overlap of your list and mine:

    Wuthering Heights
    Like Water for Chocolate
    The DaVinci Code
    Portnoy's Complaint
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    A Million Little Pieces
    The Devil in the White City
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Jane Eyre
    The Kiterunner

    Which are your 10 favorite books?

  2. I read about ten of these--seems like a good list. I put of few of these titles on my library list. thanks. nice nails too.

  3. I read about ten books one year and decided I was reading too much.
    your list makes my head swim.
    We share only one book...Moby Dick....great book, tough read.

  4. oh, I have read "The Collected works of Ducrot Pepys" which may be related to Samueal...if you squint your brain just right.

  5. Barbara: It's always hard to pick favorites, but from this list I really liked "Dry," "Then We Came to the End," "The Devil in the White City," "Paris to the Moon" and "The Snow Leopard." (In fact, "The Snow Leopard" is probably one of my all-time favorite books.)

    The classics were terrific, too.

    I would emphatically NOT recommend a couple of these books: "The Boy Harlequin" and "Days in the Sun" were both bad, and "Sex With Strangers" is possibly the worst book I've ever read.

  6. Got it! I will definitely look for Snow Leopard.

    Here is the website for our couples book club. I have read all these books, with the exception of Songlines, which I could just never get into.

  7. great fun reading your list, I've read many of the books - however some I read many, many years ago.... but re the list you MUST read the rest of the ann benson books - plague tales was just the first in a 4 book series!!! book three you don't think is part of the series (the thief of souls) but when you read book 4, it is apparent that it is!!

    alexander mccall smith - has a few wonderful series - my favorite ones are actually the two set in scotland - maybe it's because he is scottish and the setting seems more authentic - although I do like the precious books....

    great seeing you last night!

    read on!!

  8. Dennis has read every book by Colm Toibin.

    (the first i is silent ) Toibin is such a great writer.

  9. I have read your list - and 16 of the titles on it (thanks to Augusten). Who knew there was a book about Vivian Vance?! I'll have to check that one out.

    What, no Harry Potter?

    I attempted to keep a list of books I read but I am just not a list kind of guy. I figure if it is important enough I'll remember it.

  10. i've read a fair few of them too, and i have been racking my brains for a book i read an interesting review on but couldn't remember the title or author (podbrian)...and it's on your list
    ta ste!