what i read

Every once in awhile, I have enough time to pick up a book & it…changes me. You know the type. You don’t find them very often, but when you do, you have a conflicted desire to horde it forever yet give it to all your friends. Here I’ll post a few of my favorite books, and those I will read along the way. Sometimes I will even throw in my two cents worth, because really…that’s what you’re after, right?

This isn’t just a one way street though. Feel free to join in the conversation & let me know what you think about certain books if you have read them. And, if one of your favorites isn’t listed, let me know! I love, love, LOVE hearing about new books & getting book suggestions. Seriously. My list is forever long but I still add to it. Daily. So…join in the fun!

Happy reading.

Reading Queue:

On Writing, Stephen King (reread)
Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott (reread)
The Last Summer (of you and me), Ann Brashares
She’s Come Undone, Wally Lamb
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Drop City, T.C. Boyle
A Star Called Henry, Roddy Doyle
Oh, Play That Thing, Roddy Doyle
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The Hakawati, Rabith Alameddine
Traveling Mercies, Anne Lammot
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggars
The Wonder Spot, Melissa Bank
Native Son, Richard Wright
The Overachievers, Alexandra Robbins
King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, Brock Clarke
The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
A Cook’s Tour, Anthony Bourdain
The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain
Desperation, Stephen King
All Things Must Fight to Live, Bryan Mealer (reread)
Church 3.0, Neil Cole

What I’m Reading

Bee Season, Myla Goldberg

What I’ve Just Finished

Rite of Passage, Richard Wright
Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres [heartbreaking]
Radical, David Platt

What I’ve Read

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
such a pretty girl, laura wiess
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray
Talk Talk, T.S. Boyle
True Believer, Nicholas Sparks
The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
The Doomsday Key, James Rollins
Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield (BRILLIANT!)
Game on! Diet, Krista Vernoff & Az Ferguson
Joe Jones, Anne Lamott
Soldier’s Heart, Elizabeth D. Samet
Travel Writing, Peter Ferry
The Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Stand, Steven King
Laughing Without an Accent, Firoozeh Dumas
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
Scared, Tom Davis
Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffeneggar
Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Genius Denied, Jan and Bob Davidson
Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
Fluke, Christopher Moore
Picking Dandelions, Sarah Cunningham
Forgotten God, Francis Chan (audio book)
The Last Chinese Chef, Nicole Mones
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,
The Lacuna,
Barbara Kingsolver
The Hole in our Gospel, Richard Stearns
The Help,
Kathryn Stockett
The Slave Across the Street, Teresa Flores
White Tiger, Aravind Adiga
Total Church, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Divine Commodity, Skye Jethani
Altar of Eden, James Rollins
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
South of Broad, Pat Conroy
Say You’re One of Them, Uwem Akpen
I Love You, Beth Cooper, Larry Doyle
Queen of Babble in the Big City, Meg Cabot
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, Meg Cabot
Permission to Speak Freely, Anne Jackson
Little Bee, Chris Cleave
Under the Dome, Stephen King
Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Chris Seay

What EVERYONE should read (in my own, perfectly humble opinion)

East of Eden, John Steinbeck
The Things They Carried,
Tim O’Brien
Jesus for President,
Shane Claiborne
Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne
Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
, Jonathan Safran Foer
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore
Fatherless Generation, John Sowers

16 Responses “what i read” →
  1. A book I read a couple years ago that I will never forget: The Heavenly Man. (Can’t remember name of author.) A true story, which makes the story all the more inspirational. It’s about a man with enormous faith who’s a missionary in China. He’s still living today. Amazing doesn’t seem to be the right word. It’s more than that…

  2. Oh, my. SO many of my favorites on this list! I think we are reading soul-mates. 🙂

    • really?! which ones are your favorites??
      (ps – SO STOKED for your precious family. I’ve been glued to my twitter stream since last night when I found out Aaron and Jamie were on their way to get Amos)

  3. The author of Heavenly Man is Brother Yun.

    You and another couple I look up to think well of the Poisonwood Bible. You recommending it so highly, I’ll have to read it.

    I’m way more into nonfiction than fiction. I want to read the more popular classics though. I recommend Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster, Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, the Irrisistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne, and The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus.

    • James, I’ve read Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. In fact, both of his books (including Jesus for President) probably should be on my books everyone should read list. They changed my life and how I view other people. I’m really excited about his new one out, but I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more books until I finish the ones I have, so unless I get it for a gift I’m going to have to wait for awhile! 🙂 Thanks for the other suggestions. Many of those are on my “want to” list as well.

  4. You need to try “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It’s the story of Hosea and Gomer set in California gold rush times. Beautifully done and one of my favorites.

    • oh Laurie. Redeeming Love is BY FAR on of my favorite books. ever. definitely reveals the love of our Father, no?

  5. responses to your book lists:
    didn’t care for she’s come undone or joe jonas (regarding JJ i loved the actual read, but felt it was too unfinished or hanging or something)
    i wll read anything by dave eggers. even if it’s on toilet paper. (and, if you haven’t seen his ted talks video, you need to do that as well!)
    i recently reread the satanic verses, and while i remembered in my first reading this earth shattering love for it and beautiful imagery, upon 2nd read it was still a great book but not monumental. did i get jaded? (however, there is a great line that i’d love to have as a tattoo: what kind of idea are you?)
    re: js foer, man do ppl love him or hate him. i’m not sure if i can read him just yet, but i’m intrigued to say for sure.
    i had my sis read never let me go and she raved. i read it and was kind of “eh” but liked the read. just got done w/ KI book called the unconsoled. HATED it. one of the 5 worst books i’ve read.
    books not listed, so i have no idea if you’ve read them or not but that i highly recommend:
    til we have faces – cs lewis
    a prayer for owen meaney – john irving (these two books are my top two book faves of all time. 3rd is the little prince in case you wanted to know. everything after that is kind of flexible)
    if you haven’t read balzac and the little chinese seamstress, it’s very interesting.
    reading lolita in tehran.
    unless by carol shields.
    i think i mentioned in todays blog comments that i adored the elegance of the hedgehog.
    a severe mercy is also quite good
    oh, and the perks of being a wallflower has stayed w/ me even tho i wouldn’t say i was in love w/ it

    ok that’s enough rambling on this page!!! i love love love books.

    • I would agree Joe Jonas seemed a bit unfinished – I just love Lamott’s writing, though so it was still a good read for me in that sense. I have seen Eggers’ TED talk, in fact, I’m so in love with it I want to do something similar here in east Austin. A storytelling mentoring center of sorts.
      I CANNOT wait to read Satanic Verses. At the same time, I’m so apprehensive about it. I think because in my mind, all these people have built it to this incredible literary masterpiece. Definitely scared it will fail my expectations. It’s been in my “to read” pile for over a year.
      JS Foer: read him. Seriously. I’m one of those who LOVE him. His Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is the ONE book ALL of my students devour. They love it. They get it. And the discussions we have once they read it? Oh man. Fabulous. (I’m such a fan – I’m getting sweaty just thinking about the plot)
      Never Let Me Go had some good moments, but I can’t say I’m sold on KI. Thanks for the heads up on his other works; I’ll probably stay away from them for now. 🙂
      As for your other suggestions: totally wrote them down. Elegance of the Hedgehog has been on my “to purchase” list for quite awhile. As you can see, though – I have quite the list to finish before I can buy any more books!

      Oh and no worries on the rambling – I LOVE books so I welcome any dialogue!

  6. We have many books in common! I would also encourage you to read A Prayer for Owen Meany- it is my favorite book hands down.

    • Hey Leigh! A Prayer for Owen Meany is definitely on my list…in fact…I’ve started it a few times but then because of my schedule never got past the first page. 🙂

  7. Love Same Kind of Different As Me!

  8. It seems too complicated and very broad for me to comprehend.

  9. Oh my god, Flo! Im so glad youre OK! How scary but on the other hand (since it ended well), it makes for a great, memorable running story.


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