Monday, August 11, 2008

Reading List

I've added a reading list to the blog. My goal is to read (or re-read) anything well written. I've heard so many people say that reading well written material can help one write well. So my list will help me to focus my reading and to be more attuned to good writing. And I hope people will write in with suggestions for books (either fiction or non-fiction) that they found to be well written. I'm putting an asterisk by the books that I would recommend (there are only two listed so far, and I found both quite beautiful), italics for books on the craft of writing, and ~ by miscarriage related material. I also have a list of my favorite books on my profile page.

Happy reading, everyone!

Here's my ongoing list:

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (8/11)*
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby (8/11)**
House of Splendid Isolation, by Edna O'Brien (8/13)
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (8/15)
Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwidge Dandicat (8/21)
Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson (8/22)
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, by Janet Burroway (8/25)*
Being Dead, by Jim Crace (9/12)
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing (9/15)*
Escape, by Carolyn Jessop (10/4)
Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane (10/14)
The Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton (10/15)
In Full Bloom, by Caroline Hwang (10/24)
Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama (11/1)*
To Full Term, by Darci Klein (11/7)~
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ismael Beth (11/10)*
The Road of Lost Innocence, by Somaly Mam (11/11)
Safekeeping, by Abigail Thomas (11/13)**
Waiting for Daisy
, by Peggy Orenstein (11/23)~
Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth About Miscarriage, by Jon Cohen (11/29)*~
Supreme Courtship, by Christopher Buckley (12/6) - Not as funny as Thank you for Smoking.
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser (1/9)** - Basics of good non-fiction writing.
Den of Lions
, by Terry Anderson (4/25)** - Heartbreaking memoir by an AP journalist who was held hostage by the Islamic Jihad for 7 years. Reminds me to appreciate my every days.
The Tears of My Soul, by Kim Hyun Hee (5/31) - Disturbing story of a woman who was trained to be a spy by North Korea and bombed a Korean Air Lines flight 858 in 1987, killing 115 passengers.


  1. I'm a terrible college student (Sr.). Out of all the books you have on your favorite book list, I've only read two (Hemingway and Wharton). I must have awful taste(I like John Irving).

  2. If you had to spend the rest of your life on an isolated island and only bring along 5 books with you, which would those be? How about 4 books? How about 3 books? How about 2, and how about just 1 book?

  3. I don't know if you'll still get this comment, but I have loved the following books:

    Vendela Vida: And Now You Can Go
    Vendala Vida: Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name
    Amanda Davis: Wonder When You'll Miss Me
    Heidi Julavits: The Uses of Enchantment
    Heidi Julvaits: The Effect of Living Backwards
    Yehuda Koren & Eilat Negev: The Lover of Unreason (FASCINATING book. I felt a little embarrassed that I was so engrossed in a book about the Ted Hughes' mistress, but it was very well done.)

    I am a more recent Georgetown Law grad though we are about the same age. I definitely appreciate a lot of the things you have written here.

  4. Hi, Anonymous at 8:40,

    I've fallen behind on my reading with my hectic schedule these few months, but I am so grateful for your recommendations. I'm looking forward to squeezing in some serious reading the next few months before the little one shows up. Thank you so much -- and thanks for stopping by!