The Library

On The Nightstand (Adult):

  • The Past, Tessa Hadley (don’t miss reading this–her storytelling is layered and graceful, such a pleasure to read her prose, always)
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates (everyone has to read this book–and listen to the interview on NPR)
  • Arctic Dream, Barry Lopez (the prose is deeply insightful, beautiful, clear and calming)
  • The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery (exquisite, exquisite, exquisite)
  • Plastic Ocean, Capt. Charles Moore (riveting/disturbing/a must read)
  • Headwaters: Poems, Ellen Bryant Voigt (all hail)
  • The Life of Poetry, Muriel Rukeyser (better late than never)
  • Help, Thanks, Wow, Anne Lamott (a quick read, which is great, because then you can read it again)
  • The Breakout Novelist, Donald Maass
  • The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson (any nightstand’s ultimate staple)
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (will never leave the nightstand)
  • Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem, Dorothy Corkille Briggs (stays on nightstand!)
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (can never get enough of JANE JANE JANE JANE)
  • The Ocean World, Jacques Cousteau (will be reading in perpetuity)

On The Nightstand (Children’s/YA–see also “read/children’s/YA” below)

  • Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs (loving it)
  • Pills and Starships, Lydia Millet (gah!)
  • A Diamond in the Desert, Kathryn Fitzmaurice (this book is a MUST-READ! Gorgeous, poetic, riveting–will stay on nightstand for inspiration)
  • Destiny, Rewritten, Kathryn Fitzmaurice (exquisite–will also keep on nightstand for inspiration)
  • Starry River of the Sky, Grace Lin
  • The Knife Of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness

Read And Filed To The Livingroom Bookshelves–Or Not… (Adult):

  • All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (absolutely loved it)
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (do not miss this book)
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, Maria Semple (LOVE LOVE LOVE–can’t wait for the movie)
  • The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (loved it)
  • The Rehearsal, Eleanor Catton (fascinating)
  • The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey (beautiful–a must read)
  • Fates & Furies, Lauren Groff
  • The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson (I survived)
  • State of Wonder, Ann Patchett (I don’t want to go the rainforest EVER)
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tart (gah! but will keep)
  • The Signature of all Things, Elizabeth Gilbert (gah! but will keep)
  • The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings (so much more rewarding than the film–and I liked the film)
  • The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obrecht (beautiful)
  • Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand (she is amazing)
  • The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins (successfully suspenseful!)
  • Let The Great World Spin, Colum McCann (book club–a beautiful read)
  • The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows (totally sucked me in)
  • White Noise, Don Delillo (all hail)
  • The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin (great tips)
  • A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson (bildungsroman on speeeeeeed!)
  • Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin (lived in Oxford when I was a child—perception of Lewis Carroll now changed forever…gah…)

Read And Filed To The Living Room Bookshelves–Or Not… (Children’s/YA):

  • Doll Bones, Holly Black (those crazy boat-stealing children!)
  • The Fires Beneath The Sea, Lydia Millet (ahhh–excellent adventure)
  • Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech (QUEEN Sharon)
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly (instant classic)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart (for the thinking child)
  • Across The Universe, Beth Revis
  • Goblin Secrets, William Alexander (2012 NBA Winner)
  • The Year the Swallows Came Early, Kathryn Fitzmaurice (5 gold stars)
  • Through The Ever Night, Veronica Rossi (excellent 2nd book)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart (I loved this book–right away the author makes it clear he is going to treat his young readers like the smarties they are)
  • Divergent,Veronica Ross (am now officially burned out on kids killing kids)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs (So clever, imaginative, intelligent with gripping action scenes. A must read!)
  • Liesl & Po, Lauren Oliver
  • The Book Of Three, Lloyd Alexander (all the books are must-reads)
  • The Changeling, Zilpha Keatley Snyder (no, not every chapter ends with a page turner—why? Because the author is extremely busy TELLING A STORY, the way authors used to before being told that if a first page doesn’t grab the reader, the manuscript goes in the trash. ZKS is one to learn from. There’s a reason she’s still popular, won so many awards and written a book a year for the past 42 or so years—a book a year).
  • The Egypt Game, Zilpha Keatley Snyder (not only does she get right down to business, but she is uber-sensitive to her own storytelling–details, mindful explanations, descriptions both simple and complex. Look: She gets down to business in a manner that doesn’t gyp her readers.
  • The City Of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau (if I was 11, I’d be writing her fan letters…Hm…)
  • Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a character passing out so many times in one novel)
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson (FINALLY I read it, loved it, spooky, creepy dystopian drama so well presented, believable characters, intelligent writing)
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan (the only book of his I’ve read and it’s fast-paced, interesting, clever)
  • The Cuckoo Tree, Joan Aiken
  • The Tail Of Emily Windsnap, Liz Kessler (our stories are NOT alike)
  • A Wind In The Door, Madeleine L’Engle (have you read it—again—lately?)


  • The Traps, Louise Mathias (get this book)
  • The Glimmering Room, Cynthia Cruz (get this book)
  • Small Porcelain Head, Alison Benis White (get this book)
  • Stag’s Leap, Sharon Olds
  • Randall Jarrell, The Woman At The Washington Zoo
  • Above All Else, The Trembling Resembles A Forest, Louise Mathias (look–if you love poetry, you must read Louise’s chapbook–case closed)
  • Twin Cities, Carol Muske-Dukes (a generous mentor)
  • Black Hope, Marsha de la O
  • Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, Dianne Seuss (title poem a mindblower)
  • The Sleep Hotel, Amy Newlove Schroeder (a luminous debut)
  • Dearest Creature, Amy Gerstler (I hope I meet her some day)
  • Glass Town, Lisa Russ Spaar (I always return to it)
  • Always returning to Sarah Hannah’s books. They haunt me.


  • Florence And The Machine (what took me so long?)
  • Courtyard Hounds (so beautiful I cry—but then, I cry at Curious George…)
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Bent (try the Bent station on Pandora–great for writing/revising)
  • Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
  • Elbow
  • Lord Huron
  • Fleet Foxes (ahhhhhhh…………)
  • God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise, Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
  • Jesca Hoop
  • Cold War Kids

Feel free to recommend a read in the comments section of this page. Thank you!

3 Responses to The Library

  1. Chris says:

    I love this page! It’s great to learn what others have read/are reading.

    Personally, I find my home is incomplete without an easily accessible shelf of Jane Austen.

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