The Mark Blog

50 Books I Want to Read

There’s the World Library’s list of the 100 Best Books of All Time.  There are many inventories of popular books each year.  There are winners of prizes large and small.  There are recommendations from friends and teachers.  There are book reviews.  I am forever feeling that I haven’t read enough, that I want to read more. Yet when it comes time to settle in with a new book, I sometimes can’t find anything I want to read.  So, this is a list for myself, and for you if you’re interested, of book recommendations.  Essentially, this is a list of 50 books that I want to read. 
There are many books on this list that I’ve started and not yet finished, as well as books that I’ve heard mentioned many times but that I’ve never actually held.  Many of these books are literary fiction, including classics that I timidly admit I haven’t read.  Others are popular, genre- or YA-literature that’s piqued my interest.  It’s all mixed together here, in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
In compiling this list—which I know will continue to grow and change—I’ve been delighted to be reminded that there are so many good books in the world.  I—we—will never run out of quality literature to be read.  I hope you enjoy this list.  Happy summer reading!
(in alphabetical order, by author’s last name)
1. Gryphon
Charles Baxter
2. An Invisible Sign of My Own
Aimee Bender
3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Carol Rifka Brunt
4. The Address Book
Sophie Calle
5. Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee
6. One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses
By Lucy Corin
7. White Noise
Don DeLillo
8. Don Quixote
Miguel De Cervantes
9. The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion
10. I Sailed With Magellan
Stuart Dybek
11. Light in August
William Faulkner
12. Rock Springs
Richard Ford
13. A Room With a View
E.M. Forster
14. Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
15. The Corrections 
Jonathan Franzen
16. I See You Everywhere
Julia Glass
17. Lord of Misrule
Jaimy Gordon
18. The Complete Short Stories
Ernest Hemingway
19. Unbroken 
Laura Hillenbrand
20. The Orphan Master’s Son
By Adam Johnson
21. Jesus’ Son
Denis Johnson
22. Eat and Run
Scott Jurek
23. Man Walks Into a Room
Nicole Krauss
24. Imperfect Birds
Anne Lamott
25. The Rainbow 
D.H. Lawrence
26. Let the Great World Spin
Colum McCann
27. The Giant’s House: A Romance
Elizabeth McCracken
28. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain
29.  Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell
30. Self-Help
Lorrie Moore
31. Jazz 
Toni Morrison
32. Bear Down, Bear North
Melinda Moustakis
33. Dear Life
Alice Munro
34. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami
35. The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien
36. The Complete Stories
Flannery O’Connor
37. "Brokeback Mountain" 
Annie Proulx
38. The Cost of Living
Rob Roberge
39. Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
40. Vampires in the Lemon Grove
Karen Russell
41. Tenth of December
George Saunders
42. The End of Your Life Book Club
Will Schwalbe
43. Running and Being
George Sheehan
44. Mary Coin
Marisa Silver
45. My Hollywood
Mona Simpson
46. On Beauty
Zadie Smith
47. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
48. The House of Mirth
Edith Wharton
49. Evidence of Things Unseen
Marianne Wiggins
50. Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf