Category Archives: book lists

Lists of favorite and popular books.

41 Books about Our Nation’s Presidents

As any history lover will tell you…there is an ABUNDANCE of books written about America’s past presidents. Some 15,000 books have been written about Abe Lincoln ALONE! Powering through these biographies is a daunting task for even the most die-hard history fans…but if you want to read the best of the best about our nation’s leaders, stay tuned!

Here lies some of the best biographies about our nation’s presidents. From Washington to Obama (as of 2017, there has not been an official biography written about Donald Trump), this list basically makes up our nation’s history.

presidents8

Granted I have not read ALL of these, so I can’t personally vouch for most of them…however, I did my best to gather books with the best reviews, comments, and recommendations from other readers and historians. To add a personal note, I have read Lincoln, which was outstanding, as well as an excerpt from The Accidental President, which was also really interesting…so I can at least vouch for those!

41 Books about Our Nation’s Presidents

presidents1

George Washington
His Excellency
Joseph J. Ellis

John Adams
John Adams
David McCullough

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham

James Madison
James Madison
Ralph Ketcham

James Monroe
The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness
Harlow Giles Unger

John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
Harlow Giles Unger

presidents2

Andrew Jackson
American Lion
John Meacham

Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren and the Political System
Donald B. Cole

William Harrison
Old Tippecanoe
Freeman Cleaves

John Tyler
John Tyler
Gary May

James Polk
Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
Walter R. Borneman

Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Jack Bauer

presidents3

Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President
Robert J. Rayback

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son
Peter A. Wallner

James Buchanan
President James Buchanan: A Biography
Philip S. Klein

Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln
David Herbert Donald

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson: A Biography
Hans L. Trefousse

Ulysses S. Grant
Grant
Ron Chernow

Rutherford Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior & President
Ari Hoogenboom

presidents4

James Garfield
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of the President
Candice Millard

Chester Arthur
Gentleman Boss: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur
Thomas C. Reeves

Grover Cleveland
An Honest President
Paul Jeffers

Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Charles W. Calhoun

William McKinley
In the Days of McKinley
Margaret Leech

Theodore Roosevelt
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Edmund Morris

William Taft
Our Chief Magistrate and His Powers
Jefferson Powell

presidents5

Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
John Milton Cooper, Jr.

Warren Harding
Warren G. Harding
John W. Dean

Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge
Amity Shlaes

Herbert Hoover
Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
Kenneth Whyte

Franklin Roosevelt
Man of Destiny: FDR and the Making of the American Century
Alonzo L. Hamby

Harry Truman
The Accidental President
A.J. Baime

presidents6

Dwight Eisenhower
Eisenhower in War and Peace
Jean Edward Smith

John Kennedy
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy
Robert Dallek

Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President
Robert Dallek

Richard Nixon
A Life in Full: Richard M. Nixon
Conrad Black

Gerald Ford
Gerald R. Ford
Douglas Brinkley

Jimmy Carter
The Unfinished Presidency
Douglas Brinkley

presidents7

Ronald Reagan
Reagan: The Life
H. W. Brands

George H. W. Bush
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Jon Meacham

William Clinton
The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
John F. Harris

George W. Bush
Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
Peter Baker

Barack Obama
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
David Remnick

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

2018 Reading Challenge

Is your resolution to read more in 2018? Well, allow me to help!

Here is your 2018 Reading Challenge, complete with fun activities to get you reading more. Broaden your reading horizons with new genres, new looks at old classics, and even going back to re-read some old favorites! If you complete everything on this list, you’ll have read 50 books by the end of 2018!  Happy reading!

reading-challenge.JPG

Download your own Reading Challenge worksheet!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

21 YA Books that are Actually Worth Reading

OK it’s time to get real for a sec…I’m so sick of sappy YA novels. HOW MANY MORE WAYS CAN WE TELL THE SAME STORY, PEOPLE?  I know I’m unique in my views on YA literature and I know a lot of you bookworms actually really love YA books and I think that’s awesome! But if I have to read one more book about a teen dying of cancer or losing the love of their life, I’m just gonna lose my damn mind.

What I DO love are YA books that are honest and real. Books that put it all out there and make you uncomfortable and make you question your beliefs. Books that talk about things like race, gender, religion, and friendship in a way that feels relatable, not sugar-coated. Not everyone comes from a broken family…hell, not everyone even has parents and siblings. We all don’t get the chance to tell that guy from homeroom that we like him…and not all of us can relate to the “popular” click that so often rule the school.

Throughout my years as an English student, I’ve read my fair share of YA lit…and I’ve gotta tell ya, a lot of it was rough…but there were a few books that really stood out to me as novels that were relevant and important. These books taught me something and made me think…some even pissed me off. Some were just a delight to read and are on this list just because I firmly believe their existence makes the world a better place.

ya-books-worth-reading

So if you are one to dive into YA lit now and again, I highly suggest you check out some of these titles if you haven’t already. What other books should make this list? Let me know in the comments below!

21 YA Books that are Actually Worth Reading

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
51A99teA6iL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
61KNHXmOrvL

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
outsiders_test_cover14

The Giver, Louis Lowry
download

The Hunger Games Series, Suzanne Collins
ceec91c6cf2fed33f1a713fc6521c240

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
lotf7-320x504

The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling
harry-potter-series

HOLES, Louis Sachar
91P77R7krNL

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Book-Cover-the-phantom-tollbooth-1342828-311-475

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
To-Kill-a-Mockingbird-50th-Anniversary-Edition-Australia

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor
9780140348934_mres

Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Anne-of-Green-Gables-by-L.M.-Montgomery-Rifle-Paper-Co.

His Dark Materials Series, Philip Pullman
hdm-covers

Wonder, R.J. Palacio
81zdSFzJh+L

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Catcher 4

A Separate Peace, John Knowles
51PXSCEFWZL

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
71p9tDTq97L

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
11

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne
Boy-in-the-Striped-Pajamas

Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
tumblr_inline_nlfrq6PWeG1t8roph_400

Watership Down, Richard Adams
cover

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

The Best Books to Give to Everyone on Your List

We all have so many different kinds of people in our lives…and it’s near impossible to find books that best suit every type of friend…BUT, I’m here to offer some help!

best-gift-book-ideas

Outside of the usual fiction lovers or top 100 lovers, there are people out there who just want to laugh at their sadness…or read about f*cking amazing food.  There are people who need advice on raising their kids and people who are just kids at heart.  With this list, you’ll be able to find amazing books that you can buy for your single friend, your friend who loves to travel, your friend who secretly loves a good YA novel and even your friend who is there for you during your most embarrassing times.

The Best Books to Give to Everyone on Your List

The Single Friend
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, Jenni Ferrari-Adler
41d0SLYjiEL
A collection of hilarious short stories about cooking for one, this book is a MUST even if you sometimes cook for two or five.

The Traveler
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
51FH8CFR32L.jpg
No one can tell a travel tale like Bill Bryson. With hilarious antidotes about hiking the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods will make you want to pack a backpack (and maybe some toenail clippers) and hit the open road.

For the SAHM
Sh*tty Mom, Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner
1200x630bb
Written by four moms who have seen it all, this book is the ultimate parenting guide. Each chapter presents a common parenting scenario with advice on how to get through it in the easiest way possible (like, “How to Sleep Until 9 AM Every Weekend”, for example).

For the Foodie
F*UCK, that’s Delicious, Action Bronson
41i+kfcMIVL
This ain’t no cookbook. This ain’t no memoir. This is a devotional book about the overwhelming power of delicious – no, f*cking amazing – food.

The Working Girl
#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso
515mDsAAP3L
The founder, creative director and CEO of Nasty Gal fills her memoir with advice on how to get hired, stay employed, and how to take care of your own business…all while keeping true to yourself.

For Music Lovers
Your Song Changed My Life, Bob Boilen
u34+1F!EVWH7ngw7NLVXIcKIKW2pmYA+Gl!w8rbMsYH!BRIAG5OUet9tcq9F2XjffXkZsjELHH1dotzfe59Az8458JDs9D0t2hphI9KAc!+WsW1OYzkgsRAdZgmVYczu
NPR’s music guru asks dozens of artists (Jimmy Page, St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson) about the songs that inspired them.

For Film Buffs
Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris
51J-BqxQ49L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_
A look at five films, including The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, that were made during the 1970s. Studios were taking chances and making daring, thought-provoking, original movies that had nothing to do with sequels. By some, it’s thought to have been the true golden age of Hollywood.

The DIY Enthusiast
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, Amy Sedaris
51M+CAiFhrL
Filled with actual great ideas for cheap ways to make gifts and decorate you rhome, Simple Times is bound to be a favorite with crafters and creative minds alike.

The YA Lover
One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus
9781524714697
It’s The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl.  Five teens walk into detention, but only four walk out alive.  A threat to release juicy gossip about classmates finds one teen belly up in a classroom.

For Those Who Love a Twist
My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult
my-sisters-keeper-lg
I know it’s an old book, but I LOVED the twist at the end! When Kate is born with a horrible illness, her parents decide to give birth to Anna, a child who was medically altered to be able to be Kate’s sole blood and organ donor. But when Anna fights her family for rights to her body, things start to spiral out of control.

For the Book Lover
My Ideal Bookshelf, Jane Mount
9780316200905_p0_v5_s550x406
A large assortment of writers, actors, musicians, and popular leaders in the country share what books would populate their ideal bookshelves.  This book also features amazing illustrations of what those shelves might look like. A coffee table-style book that’s a must for any bibliophile!

For the Fashionista
Women in Clothes, Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton
518YRTVa27L._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_
The three women behind this book survey more than 600 women about their feelings and perspectives on fashion.

The History Buff
Grant, Ron Chernov
9780525528456
Often misunderstood and under-appreciated, General Ulysses S. Grant is all too often caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman…but Chernov gives readers a new view of the General, bringing to light how one simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

For the Soon-to-Be Grown-Up
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, Kelly Williams Brown
510VK8Q1dbL
Based on Brown’s blog, ADULTING, this book makes the scary, confusing “real world” approachable, manageable…and even conquerable.

For the Quirky One
Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, Alida Nugent
51ZY34pkcRL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_
They say misery loves company…and this book is like that weird friend you just need in your life sometimes…to help pick you up, dust you off, and give you a story so bizarre if not just to make you feel better about wearing your shirt inside out all day.

For the Visual Reader
The Lego Architect, Tom Alphin
architect_cover-front-sm-600x600
If you’re looking for a book for someone who just loves looking at pictures, take a gander at this book of amazing Lego creations.  There are even instructions on how you can build your own replicas of the models featured in the book.

For Animal Lovers
The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
download
This book is about a man and his dog, narrated from the dog’s point of view. Enzo, the dog in the book, is the kind of pet that we all imagine we own…wise, genuine, loving, kind and comical.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

25 Celebrities Reveal Their Favorite Books

A few weeks ago we looked at 24 Authors Who Shared Their Favorite Books…today we’re gonna continue the list and see what our favorite celebrities love to read when they have some rare time off.

favorite-books

Looks like it’s time to rehash my Goodreads list now…

25 Celebrities Reveal Their Favorite Books

James Franco
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

franco

“My father gave me this book when I was getting into trouble in high school…I really love the interior lives of the characters and the multiple perspectives—they have inspired my own stories.”

Zoe Saldana
Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

lucy

Lucy…called out to me, to the kind of life I had and the kind of person I am.”

Katie Holmes
Washington Square by Henry James

holmes

“I loved the setting and the way James writes about people.”

Jon Hamm
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

hamm

“Stoppard has an amazing command of the English language. He moves the plot along in such a way that if you’re not paying close attention, you won’t catch the five or six things that are going on.”

Bill Murray
A Story Like the Wind by Laurens Van Der Post

murray

Natalie Portman
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

portman

“It’s one of the most beautiful, entertaining, challenging books – something that takes all your attention. I think the stories are meditations on violence, specifically the necessity of violence.”

Michael Caine
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

caine

Michelle Obama
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

obama

“…that book helped me love reading…it grabbed me and pulled me and I just kept reading and kept reading.”

Robin Williams
Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

williams

“It’s one of the greatest books of all time, and the greatest character is The Mule.”

Stephen King
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

king

Dolly Parton
The Little Engine that Could, Watty Piper

parton

“I’m the little engine that did. I think it’s a great little inspirational book. It really kinda sums me up pretty good.”

Denzel Washington
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

washington

Emma Watson
The BFG by Roald Dahl

watson

“My dad read me The BFG when I was younger. I like books that aren’t just lovely but that have memories in themselves. Just like playing a song, picking up a book again that has memories can take you back to another place or another time.”

Tom Hanks
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

hanks

Olivia Munn
Replay by Ken Grimwood

munn

“The takeaway for me was that no matter what life you’ve led or the choices you’ve made, there will always be great love and great sadness – you can’t escape those two things.”

Kate Winslet
Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

winslet

Alec Baldwin
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

baldwin

“In some important ways the characters that we have grown to love in this story are worse off at its end, but they are wiser, and the family still has each other. This is a great story about facing life’s difficulties and moving on, no matter what.”

Zooey Deschanel
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

zooey

“It’s delightfully astute.”

George Clooney
War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy

clooney

Will Smith
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

smith

“Coelho talks about the whole of the universe, and it’s contained in one grain of sand. For years I’ve been saying that, and not it’s really starting to expose itself to me.”

Jim Carrey
Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

carrey

Rachel McAdams
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

mcadams

“[David Sedaris]…has a way of finding humor in the strangest and most painful moments…[his] books are such a revelation about how you can celebrate life’s strangeness and idiosyncrasies.”

Halle Berry
Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime by J. California Cooper

barrt

“The stories in this collection follow common folk dealing with everyday issues. They’re good people who sometimes make evil choices, and you see them suffer as a result. While many of the stories start off dark and depressing, ultimately, they are incredibly inspirational.”

Emma Thompson
The Odyssey by Homer

thompson

Daniel Radcliffe
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

radcliffe

“It’s just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart.”

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

8 Books that Encourage Discussion – Part 2

Several months ago, I gave some suggestions for books that encourage discussion.  Since that post, I’ve read several other books that would be great for book clubs, talking about over dinner, or reading with your family.

Whether you’re looking for a new book to bring to your group or just like a book that really makes you think, here are 8 more Books that Encourage Discussion.

book-club-books

8 Books that Encourage Discussion – Part 2

For Interracial Groups:
51Qry6Ul0-L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_
Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult – During her shift at a Connecticut hospital, Ruth Jefferson begins a routine checkup on a newborn baby, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents of the newborn, who are high-ranking white supremacists, don’t want Ruth, an African-American nurse, touching their child. But when the baby goes into cardiac distress, Ruth is put in a tough position…does she safe the child or obey the parents’ wishes and leave the baby to die? An emotional and extremely relevant book, Small Great Things tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and acceptance with great empathy and candor.

For Groups with History Buffs:
19-lincoln-in-the-bardo.w245.h368
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders – Set over the course of one night, Lincoln in the Bardo is an amazing novel about death, grief, acceptance, and understanding. Two days after his young son Willie dies, Abraham Lincoln goes to visit his son’s crypt in the dark of night. As Lincoln sits with his son’s body, the cemetery comes to life with ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, talking about death, grief, and the powers of good and evil. With dark humor and grace, Saunders’s novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read and will surely encourage discussions not only about Lincoln himself, but about fathers and sons, life and death, and all the other big and small choices along the way.

For Feminist Groups:
51Wt0vz4fKL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_
Becoming Unbecoming, Una – A devastating personal account of gender violence told in comic book form, Becoming Unbecoming is about a woman’s struggle with shame and social responsibility after she becomes the victim of a very violet act. Set against the backdrop of the 1970’s Yorkshire Ripper manhunt, this graphic novel interweaves two emotional stories into one.
Read more by visiting my Becoming Unbecoming review.

For Groups with Lots of Millennials:
thecircleegers
The Circle, Dave Eggers – When Mae Holland is hired to work for The Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms, the flurry of activities and clubs to join – it all seems too good to be true. But as Mae begins to learn more about The Circle and her role there, important questions begin to rise about privacy, history, and personal connections. This book is sure to get under your skin and will certainly make you think twice about every email you send, every bill you pay online, and every picture you share – either privately or publicity.
Read more by visiting my The Circle review.

For Groups Wanting to Talk About the Tough Stuff:
71p9tDTq97L
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness – Around midnight, 13-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom…but this isn’t the monster that’s been haunting Conor’s dreams for the past few nights…this is a new one…it’s ancient and wild. It’s goal is simple…all it wants from Conor is the truth. A book that will shake you to your core, A Monster Calls is about the things that haunt us, both real and imagined, and how sometimes acknowledging those fears is the best way to start healing. Bring tissues for this one, guys.
Read more by visiting my A Monster Calls review.

For Groups Going Back to the Classics:
go-set-a-watchman
Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee – For those book clubs that want to dive back into the classics, there’s no better place to start than To Kill a Mockingbird. A story that can speak to any generation, TKAM is basic book club 101. And if you’re looking to further your conversation, consider the sequel to TKAM, Go Set a Watchman. Set 20 years after we last left the Finch family, Scout returns home to visit her father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Scout begins to realize how small-minded Maycomb, Alabama remains, even as the rest of the world begins to move forward. Adding depth, context, and understanding to its companion novel, Go Set a Watchman shows readers that things aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes it’s just as hard to come home again as it was to leave in the first place.

For Groups with Dreamers:
71+CEZqfxDL
Daytripper, Fabio Moon – What are the most important days of your life? The day you met your spouse? The day your child was born? The day you got your dream job? Or maybe it was just one Thursday when everything just seemed to go right. In this stunning graphic novel, Bras de Oliva Domingos explores the days that changed him. Days that helped make him who he is. A mysterious and moving story about life itself, this journey uses the quiet moments, the stolen glances, the quick brushes of the skin, to ask the big question…what’s it all about?
Read more by visiting my Daytripper review.

For Groups Looking for YA Books:
EverythingEverythingCover
Everything Everything, Nicola Yoon – Maddie is sick. She’s allergic to the world. She doesn’t leave her house and spends her days in her white, clean, pristine room. But when a moving truck arrives next door and she sees a tall, lean boy step out, everything (everything) changes. A story about living, in whatever form that may take, Everything, Everything is a modern take on John Travolta’s Boy in the Plastic Bubble, and will surely encourage discussions about what it really means to live your life.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists

24 Authors Share Their Favorite Books

Good writers know the secret to writing…they read. They read a lot. When I took writing classes in college, most of our time was spent reading and analyzing various novels and poems to help inspire a jolt of creative energy – and your favorite writers are no exception.

Below is a list of books well-loved by some of our most popular writers, both past and present. J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, and many more share their top pick of favorite book. Do you share any favorites with these authors?

authors-favorite-books

24 Authors Share Their Favorite Books

Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Favorite Book:  Calumet K, Henry Kitchell Webster
Image result
A novel about the problems encountered in building a grain elevator in Chicago. It’s a refreshingly honest portrayal of labor unions and morality.

Ernest Hemmingway (A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea)
Favorite Book:  Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Image result for Anna Karenina book cover
A story about a woman who has an affair and is given a choice between going into exile or remaining with her family and abiding by the rules of discretion.

Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking, Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Favorite Book:  Victory, Joseph Conrad
Image result for Victory, Joseph Conrad book cover
Axel Heyst, a dreamer and a restless drifter, decides to cut himself off from humanity on a remote island. When he rescues a young English girl, their relationship becomes a perceptive study on power and love.

Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine)
Favorite Book:  John Carter: Warlord of Mars, Edgar Rice Burrough
9427629
John Carter is the greatest hero of two worlds! Marvel at these classic tales of danger and daring as Carter battles deadly opponents, warring civilizations and a host of Barsoomian beasts.

George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones)
Favorite Book:  The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Image result for The Lord of the Rings Book cover
You know the story…hobbits, rings, friendship, talking trees…

Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Favorite Book:  And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
Image result for And Then There Were None Book cover
First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island. Their host is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal. One by one they fall prey…and only the dead are above suspicion.

Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Favorite Book:  Ulysses, James Joyce
Image result for Ulysses Book cover
Ulysses stands as an inventive, multiple-point-of-view (there are eighteen) vision of daily events, personal attitudes, cultural and political sentiments, and observations of the human condition.

Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Favorite Book:  King Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
Image result for king arthur, sir thomas malory
In a time when there were damsels in distress to save, and mythical dragons to slay, King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table were there to render justice in the face of any danger. From the incredible wizardry of Merlin to the undeniable passion of Sir Lancelot, these tales of Arthur and his knights offer epic adventures with the supernatural, as well as timeless battles with our humanity.

Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings)
Favorite Book:  Old Filth, Jane Gardam
Image result for Old Filth book cover
An old man slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, he approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.

Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
Favorite Book:  The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
Image result for the maltese falcon book cover
Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Favorite Book:  Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
Image result for Sister Carrie book cover
The tale of Carrie Meeber’s rise to stardom in the theatre and George Hurstwood’s slow decline captures the twin poles of exuberance and exhaustion in modern city life as never before.

Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot)
Favorite Book:  The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
5107
Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, a young boy leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. Insanity ensues.

R.L. Stine (Goosebumps series)
Favorite Book:  Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
Image result for Dandelion Wine book cover
A magical, timeless story about summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding.

J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter series)
Favorite Book:  Emma, Jane Austen
Image result for Emma book cover
Nothing delights Emma more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
Favorite Book:  Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Image result for little women book cover
Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer)
Favorite Book:  Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Image result for Wuthering Heights book cover
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father.

John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men)
Favorite Book:  King Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
Image result for king arthur, sir thomas malory
In a time when there were damsels in distress to save, and mythical dragons to slay, King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table were there to render justice in the face of any danger. From the incredible wizardry of Merlin to the undeniable passion of Sir Lancelot, these tales of Arthur and his knights offer epic adventures with the supernatural, as well as timeless battles with our humanity.

Cheryl Strayed (Wild)
Favorite Book:  The Dream of a Common Language, Adrienne Rich
Image result for The Dream of a Common Language book cover
A powerful collection of poetry about power, sexuality, and violence against women.

Joyce Carol Oates (We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, The Gravediggers Daughter)
Favorite Book:  Crime and Punishment, Fydor Dostoyevsky
Image result for crime and punishment book cover
Through the story of the brilliant but conflicted young Raskolnikov and the murder he commits, Fyodor Dostoevsky explores the theme of redemption through suffering.

Judy Blume (The Romona Quimby series)
Favorite Book:  American Pastoral, Philip Roth
Image result for American Pastoral book cover
In American Pastoral, Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all the twentieth century’s promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss.

Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle, Half Broke Horses)
Favorite Book:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Image result for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn book cover
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident.

Emma Donoghue (ROOM)
Favorite Book:  Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon
Image result for Far From the Tree book cover
Solomon’s startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down’s syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, and who are transgender.

Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Favorite Book:  The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
Image result for  The Snow Child book cover
A couple living in Alaska build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone…but they glimpse a young blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Favorite Book:  The Music Room, Dennis McFarland
327990
In an incredible novel of devastating beauty, Martin Lambert must come to terms with the aftermath of his brother’s suicide. Replaying sad melodies of his affluent youth, Martin embarks on a poignant journey through his family’s haunted past.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists