Books

A not-quite-all-encompassing database of books I have read: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oOAvMoISrBFrswSKCopomFr0-Nr19rB0o_qdlzMp9-Q/edit?usp=sharing.

More usefully, a selection of some books I’ve enjoyed recently:

2020 (thus far)

  • How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Magdalena: River of Dreams by Wade Davis
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • Divergent, Insurgent by Victoria Roth
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty
  • King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild
  • Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
  • Free Will by Sam Harris
  • Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky
  • What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel
  • On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
  • The Best of Roald Dahl by Roald Dahl (short stories)
  • The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • L’Étranger by Albert Camus
  • Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
  • Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Man vs. Beast by Robert Muchamore
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

2019

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman
  • Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  • A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
  • Divine Madness by Robert Muchamore
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • United We Stand by Eric Walters
  • We All Fall Down by Eric Walters
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel
  • Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt
  • The Long Walk by Richard Bachman
  • The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  • The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
  • The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier
  • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
  • The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
  • Peak by Roland Smith
  • Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva
  • The Forever Letter by Elana Zaiman
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  • The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
  • Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
  • Thunderhead by Neil Shusterman
  • How Democracies Die: What Our History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Dry by Neil Shusterman
  • Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
  • This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter by Peter Singer
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Memorable Books from 2018 and Before (not a comprehensive account)

Books I read 7 times or more because I think that’s a good test of literary appeal

  • The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
  • The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
  • The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
  • Meet the Austins by Madeline L’Engle
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  • The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
  • The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Loser by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Particularly memorable nonfiction books targeted towards adults, which made me feel Incredibly Sophisticated as a eight-year-old reader

  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson
  • Red Notice by Bill Browder
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The End of Faith by Sam Harris
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
  • Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
  • Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Code Book by Simon Singh
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Time to Dance, a Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518 by John Waller

Classics that I liked, because as archaic as they might be, they seem useful (defining classics as books which lots of people regard as intellectually significant, not necessarily books which are old)

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Phanton Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • White Fang by Jack London
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Other books which I remember distinctly and were influential in some way

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  • Floors by Patrick Carman
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
  • The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • True by Katherine Hannigan
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpugo
  • Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
  • Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester
  • Paperboy by Vince Vawter
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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