My Favorite Books


I strive to read deliberately, carefully and with passion.  I believe it’s important to pick and choose what you read — consult your mind, heart and gut — since we only have so much time in this life to consume literature.  It’s also crucial to take something away from every book, whether that be morals, inspiration, or instruction.  You should walk away from every reading experience an altered, better human.  And finally, read with passion.  Stories are the lifeblood our species, and every one should be passionately embraced.


I’ve always had big plans for my reading.  I have a deep-seated desire to be classically educated, either in the vein of a Swiss boarding school or a Cambridge fellowship.  Since neither is an option, I’ve taken on the task of educating myself through literature.  When I read something, I want to learn something.  I want to emerge, after I’ve finished, a better human being.  Therefore, I’m devoted to what scholars might call the “classics.”  These include classical literature and literary classics, which fall across a broad spectrum of time periods and genres.  For some, this means I come across as snobby.  However, I believe a firm grounding in the books scholars and critics consider “important” translates to an easier understanding of modern literature, as well as a greater appreciation of the writing process.

I do, however, listen to the critics and keep an eye on what’s new, fabulous and profound in contemporary literature.  While I tend to ignore trends, I will give a new book a chance once it’s had time to prove itself.  This means I won’t jump on the literary bandwagon right away, but when I finally decide to pick something up, I know it will be worth my time.

I also like to follow national literary awards.  At any given time, I will cross-reference lists of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and the Booker Prize.

I admit my tastes tend to stay in the fiction category, since it’s what I know best.  However, I’m constantly researching and creating reading lists of quality non-fiction (history, memoirs, biography, science writing, essays), all in order to broaden my tastes and my mind.

And finally, my guilty pleasure:  Stephen King.  There’s really nothing I can say other than:  we share a birthday, The Stand is probably my favorite book of all time, I adore his writing style, and I plan to read everything he’s written.  End of story.


  • The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  • The Stand – Stephen King
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
  • All Over But the Shoutin’ – Rick Bragg
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • On Writing – Stephen King
  • Lord of the Rings series – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro


  • Stephen King
  • Jane Austen
  • Zadie Smith
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Donna Tartt
  • Truman Capote
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Jeffrey Eugenides
  • George Eliot
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Don Delillo
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • William Faulkner
  • Bill Bryson

One thought on “My Favorite Books

  1. Pingback: Sunday Salon: September 12, 2010 « Paperback Fool

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