Here’s a short list of books that I’ve enjoyed and have recommended to a number of people. Books that I recommend to only one or two people don’t make the list. (Books are in no particular order.)

  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  • Woman by Natalie Angier
  • Working by Dolores French and Linda Lee
  • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  • The Satanic Witch by Anton Szandor LaVey
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
  • How to be Invisible by J. J. Luna
  • Minamata by W. Eugene Smith
  • Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
  • Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare
  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
  • A Bang for a Buck by Catherine Roman
  • Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard
  • anything by the Onion people
  • Karsh (Sixty-Year Retrospective) by Yosuf Karsh
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • anything by Mark Twain
  • anything by O. Henry
  • The Sea Wolf by Jack London (and everything else he wrote)
  • The Sense of Being Stared At by Rupert Sheldrake
  • The Parrot’s Lament by Eugene Linden (recommended to me by a strip-club customer)

Books that I’ve read into literal pieces:

  • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  • Izzy Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt
  • The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  • Empire of the Sun
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
  • Kushiel’s Dart

The top list was easy. I sat down and thought of these books in five minutes. I’m sure I’m missing some favorites, but I know I’ve mentioned these to many people over the years. I stand by these books.

The books-in-pieces list was a little harder. The book literally has to be in pieces on my shelf. They aren’t necessarily recommendations, simply a few books I’ve really liked.

I also have a lot of other personal favorites, depending on my mood. Some days I’m in a Prisoner of Zenda mood. Other days I may feel like perusing The Elements of Style (which is recommended for any aspiring writers). On the other hand, I’m probably the only female you’ll ever meet who hates Little Women (but obviously I don’t hate the author’s other works).

A couple of these books are photo books. Although most people probably don’t think in images, they can certainly feel through them. They are as important as the printed word. I am a visual person and have a good collection of photo books. The ones on this list are books that are accessible to anyone. I hope the photo books resonate as strongly with a reader as any of the other books listed. One favorite, Minamata, has the most moving image I’ve ever seen. I’m not the only one with this reaction. Check it out of a library and see for yourself. (No photo books are in pieces because they’re too expensive to treat that way.)

I hope I can spur new interest in the books I’ve listed. They’ll all good reads, one way or another. Pick one and enjoy!

PS: All the books listed can be found on this Amazon list, except for Little Women.

2 thoughts on “the after hours reading list

  1. I share your enjoyment of Stephen King books (others in the list too). The Talisman co-written with Peter Straub was excellent. The Stand is also one of King’s finest. Thanks for posting that list. There are some on it that I have been considering.

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