A Reading List of Possible Interest to Readers of My Books

I got to talking about writing with someone I work with who writes, and I gave her a Flowers on Concrete bookmark.

About a month later, she mentioned reading my book and loving it. (I think she had the idea that hearing that happened to me a tad more often than it does.) Long story short, I presented her later in the day with the following handwritten list of books. They were a combination of books off the top of my head that I either loved or felt somehow particularly influenced me as a writer, in most cases both. Maybe? I hope it wasn’t a list of books I felt like she would be much better off having read than my minor to the nth degree contribution to all of literature, (And that’s not self-deprecating. Any book is minor to the nth degree compared to all of literature) but that might have been part of it. A friend told me she probably found that creepy. Maybe. It didn’t feel creepy, at the time. What else do I have to go on?

Like most spur of the moment lists of this sort it’s recent-heavy but hopefully a somewhat interesting list. Also like most lists of these sorts they’re not meant to actually reveal the best fifteen books ever written because that would be absurd. What did I miss? You tell me. I’ll either agree or check it out. Also they’re not in order, except for number one. ; )

1. The Stranger by Albert Camus

2. The Trial by Franz Kafka

3. Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron and/or Sophie’s Choice

4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

5. Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and/or Jailbird

6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

7. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

8. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and/or Mrs. Dalloway

9. Diary of A Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee and/or Childhood of Jesus

10. Atonement by Ian McEwan and/or On Chesil Beach (The Cement Garden, only if you’re extremely open-minded)

11. Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

12. Animal Farm by George Orwell

13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

14. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

15. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


1. Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

2. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough


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