Below are lists of books I have “crossed off” my bucket lists. The book bucket lists below are not exhaustive and are continually being updated. While the books encompass an eclectic mix of  inspirational, deep, raunchy, and juvenile, they are all books I would recommend. I thought I would share my completed lists in case others want to add some of these to their book bucket lists. I would also love to hear readers’ recommendations.

“If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2am clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable.” – Rosemarie Urquico 

Summer 2014 Reads

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (Travel memoir)

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson (Travel memoir)

Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska (Memoir)

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Memoir)

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan: Essays and Stories

Half a Life: A Memoir by Darin Strauss (Memoir)

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (Travel memoir)




Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Recently Published & Pleasure Reads:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah 

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Night Road by Kristin Hannah 

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James 

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

One Day by David Nicholls 

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Man of my Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld 


The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. By Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Blog, Inc. Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

Pro-Blogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Chris Garrett and Darren Rowse

My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Assholes Finish First by Tucker Max

Daring to Trust: Opening Ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy by David Richo

When Love Meets Fear: Becoming Defense-Less and Resource-Full by David Richo

When the Past is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships by David Richo

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach

Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope by Todd Storch and Tara Storch

The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer’s by Jeanne Murray Walker







119 Responses to Books

  1. The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged? 🙂

  2. Julie Israel says:

    I love a good reading list 🙂 Any reading plans for this summer??

    • Same here 🙂 So far I’ve read Mrs. Kennedy and Me and Taylor’s Gift, which I’d both recommend! And now I’m working on a book called “Beautiful Ruins,” which I really like so far. How about you?!

      • Julie Israel says:

        I’m finally reading my first novel by Neil Gaiman (author of Stardust and Coraline)– this one is called American Gods and it’s awesome! If you fancy a bit of literary I recommend Dickens– just finished A Tale of Two Cities and it is one of my new all-time favorites! 🙂

        I looked up Beautiful Ruins and am definitely intrigued. Adding that one to the reading list now!

      • Ohh I’ve always wanted to read Coraline so I’ll definitely check out Neil Gaiman! And ahh yes, I loved a Tale of Two Cities as well, but you’ve reminded me I should read more Dickens 🙂 But yes, I’mm really enjoying Beautiful Ruins so far; thank you for the suggestions!

  3. It’s always good to see Jodi Picoult on anyone’s list! Not so sure about Suzanne Collins though.

  4. Leah Senona says:

    I’m very slowly working my way through The Sound and the Fury. I love it, but I need to take my time with it or I get lost. I second the suggestion for Neil Gaiman. I just finished Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and I can’t say enough good things about it.

    • Yes, The Sound and the Fury is definitely one you have to go through slowly. I read it a couple years ago for an assignment, but I think I would’ve been completely lost if I didn’t have Sparknotes next to me while reading it & my teacher’s explanations! I’ll definitely have to look into Neil Gaiman, along with Good Omens 🙂

  5. YES! Someone else who has a love of books and a creative writing major! 🙂 I think we should get to know each other 🙂

    Also, I saw you didn’t have My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult on your list. The book was wayy better than the movie 🙂

    • Haha, I completely agree! Always great to find a fellow creative writing major 🙂 And ahh, I actually did read that book (it was the first Jodi Picoult book I ever read) and absolutely LOVED it! I agree that it’s soo much better than the movie and I feel like the ending was so much more unexpected than in the movie!

      • Do you have a good support system for wanting to be a writer? It is! I don’t know of many really. Haha.
        I think it was my first book of hers, too. I just remember staying up obscene hours to finish it! (I love first person novels, so if you have any suggestions..:)) how long did it take you to get into Picture Perfect, by the way? I tried, but it didn’t hook me.

      • I agree! I feel like it’s difficult because there are not many creative writing majors/people interested out there, so it’s nice to find someone else who is 🙂 & I think I remember that reading further into Picture Perfect, I got into it, but I really hated the woman character’s husband & remember being angry at him the whole book lol. I like first person books too! It’s not in the first person, but I just finished Beautiful Ruins & I thought it was soo good, if you want to check that out. I did have to read a little into it first though. Do you have any book suggestions?

      • I feel that a lot of people want/feel you need to go for the major that makes the big bucks. (I’ve been told that I should, too) But, the thing that is really hard to get across is that writing is almost like an internal struggle to get what’s inside, out. I feel like if I went up to people and said, yes I want to be a poet, I’d get a lot of stares. Lol! Oh, beautiful ruins, I’ll definitely check that out! I’m reading a book on my kindle right now called The Heart of Haiku which is actually really good so far (tells you a lot about the creative type of people) and I’m also looking to start Unknown (True Identity) by Chris Martin soon 🙂

      • Yes, I completely agree! So often I hear “Oh, you’re an English major. What do you plan on doing with THAT?” *insert tone of disgust* Lol. But The Heart of Haiku sounds great; I’m definitely going to check that out now. Thanks for the suggestion :)! And I’ll have to look into the other book as well!

      • Oh my gosh, me too!! I think we should show them this if we are asked again:
        What writing are you planning to do with yours? Lol. I know this is going to sound completely crazy, but I think we should write something together-like a collab! Something for the bucket list, lol. You’re welcome! 🙂

      • Wow, that article is so true! Thank you for sharing it and I’m glad you did! And haha it doesn’t sound crazy, I would totally be up to that 🙂 If you want send me an email at & we can try & figure something out!

      • Okay! 🙂 and you’re welcome!!

  6. Great books I really loved: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; Illuminations by Mary Sharratt. Both fantastic.

  7. dfrantz1953 says:

    May I suggest “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” My son said it changed his life. Pretty powerful recommendation.

  8. Ahaha, it certainly was interesting! :p

  9. thexenophilediaries says:

    Have you read Nineteen minutes?

  10. 90vinitablog says:

    What about Shantaram by George David Roberts…..IT’s a nice big fat book…excellent one though

  11. Personally, I loved that book! It changed my perspective on a lot of things and she backed it up with tons of great research. I even wound up doing a presentation on it in my public speaking class. Although people might want to avoid what seems like it could be a “researchy” type book, I felt like she kept it interesting throughout the entire read 🙂

  12. Ruth Amick says:

    My favorite book is Travels with Charley, an autobiographical account of a special journey taken by John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley. It inspired me, and touched me in many ways. You might like to check it out some time! 🙂

  13. hollymarie0407 says:

    Try too for creating “To Read” and “Read” lists. Maybe you’ve already heard of it?

  14. I read mostly Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Native American literature. My all time favorite book is “Storyteller” by Leslie Marmon Silko, from Laguna Pueblo. I think you might enjoy it because it combines photos, short stories, poems, vignettes, etc. And thank you for taking an interest in and following my blog!!

  15. Thanks for finding I like the book list idea; I’ve read most of the classics in college. Not keen on contemporary fiction authors. I “read” recorded books (preferring nonfiction) as I drive which is better that listening to the radio. I will make a list of recommendations, recorded books that I’ve totally enjoyed while on long trips or driving around town.

  16. elizapeters says:

    I finished reading The Great Gatsby a few weeks ago, have a read if you like because its a very good novel!

  17. loveandcreate says:

    Nice! 🙂 What do you think about ‘The Mortal Instruments’ books? I mostly enjoy fantasy books and really thought this was a well written serie.
    (sorry, I’m Dutch.. so dunno if everything is good grammar :P)

  18. lljostes says:

    Thanks for the follows! It’s always nice to “meet” another book lover and get some new ideas. If you haven’t read anything by Charles Martin, please check out his books–“The Mountain Between Us” would be a great intro to his works. Blessings on your journey!

  19. Isnavys Perez says:

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a great book! I totally recommend it. 🙂

  20. I love a good reading list! The first couple (by the Bronte sisters) are two of my favourite books. I feel inspired to write a list myself!

  21. Oh dear. The professor does hope that a Twain appears soon… 😉

  22. Akshita says:

    Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper is also a good book!

  23. threekats says:

    Have you read Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer? It’s really good! Also, thanks for following my blog! I hope some of the books I review make it to your list 🙂

  24. djtoasterbiscuit says:

    I’m really enjoying the list, aside from the Fifty Shades books. Can’t wait to see what other books you read! May I suggest Taming The Beast by Emily Maguire or Trash by Dorothy Allison? Both intense and thought provoking. (Trash is a collection of short stories, FYI.)

  25. Opalla says:

    Quiet is an empowering read!

  26. I could recommend thousands of books for you but they’d be a bit different from the ones here.

    Where are you located? I’d be interested to meet you.

    • Haha, yes, I see your blog is full of classics – love it 🙂 And I’m from NJ!

      • Ahhh, I have lots of family in NJ, my grandfather was born/raised there! I like it, but for the snow 😉

        I don’t know how many of the classics you’ve read, but I see some areas that you might like to look at–satires, Greek mythology, non-Shakespearian plays come to mind (and also nonfiction!). I teach classes for small groups by Google Hangouts. If you and a group of people you know had a distinct interest I’d be happy to create one for you…

      • Ohh that’s awesome! Where are you from? And yes, satires are great, along with the other two you just mentioned 🙂 That’s awesome you do that though – thank you!

  27. Hi!
    Great idea for the list!
    I will definitely check out Quite, I’m intrigued. 🙂

    What about The alchemist by P. Coelho, Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery? I read them all a long time ago, but they are so powerful in their simplicity. I often think we need simplicity in this complicated world so it reminds us of the most important things. 🙂

  28. Small town on the West Coast called Los Angeles haha (and which I’d like to leave badly). I would say my favorite satires are Pascal, Cervantes, Twain (especially Connecticut Yankee), and Fielding. Never connected with Rabelais or Sterne. But my all-time favorite book–and this one should be on everyone’s bucket list–is Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Without a doubt the most magnificent achievement in human history.

  29. nirbhayasindia says:

    Another list like mine!!!!!!! Hello twinnie!!!!!!

  30. Jane Taylor Starwood says:

    Thanks for following me at I like the idea of a bucket list for books. I’ve read a good many of these already. Excellent blog.

  31. Thank you for dropping by and visiting my blog 🙂 I love the idea of your project. I hadn’t thought of describing it that way, but a ‘bucket list’ for books is just how I choose what to read these days – books I’ve always wondered about, or which are part of a shared cultural experience, which are classics in their field, or something different. FWIW, here are my recommendations for your to-read shelf: 1) The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico – it is so short it’s really a novella, and if you are like me you will bawl your eyes out – about a girl in war-time England who befriends an angry and antisocial man when she comes to seek his help for an injured bird. 2) The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupery – another novella, an uplifting fairytale, whimsical but profound. 3) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – if you only ever read one scifi book in your life, read this one. In a near-future America, corporations form nations, and someone is spreading a computer virus in the virtual reality internet which can crash not only a computer, but your mind. Hiro is a hacker by day and delivers pizza for the mafia by night. Witty and action-packed, it takes about a chapter to figure out what the hell’s going on, but then you do and it gets more and more awesome. 4) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – on the long side but very readable, about a missionary family that moves to Africa, and how it changes the lives of the four girls who grow up there – looking at your list I think you’d like it. 5) The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – looking at the other books in your list I can’t help but think you will LOVE it, and a bucket list really ought to have a fantasy title. It’s about a shy, overweight princess who is sent to a far away land to marry a Prince, only to find herself in the middle of political turmoil, with magical forces of evil arrayed against her. Oh my, I could go on but I think I should stop at 5! Maybe I should blog my open bucket list?

    • WOW! Thank you for such an awesome comment and so many great suggestions; I love them 🙂 I’ve heard The Little Prince is a great book and love Barbara Kingsolver, so will have to check that one out too. Actually, from your descriptions, I’ll have to give them all a try, lol. Thank you again for a great list!

  32. donzwebb says:

    How was ‘A Stolen Life’? I’ve been meaning to pick it up. I definitely think you should add ‘Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness’ by Susannah Cahalan and ‘Orange is the New Black’ by Piper Kerman to your list!

  33. itiskatrina says:

    Love the list….I have read eight books on here. Might read some of the others you have suggested…Thanks for sharing

  34. Can’t wait to see your future reading list; good job reading all of these books 🙂

  35. djtoasterbiscuit says:

    Please read “Taming The Beast” by Emily Maguire and “Pages For You” by Sylvia Brownrigg. Two important books for any female college student. Promise.

  36. dbwolfe says:

    Check out “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut… Couldn’t put it down. Razor sharp humour and intelligence. Thanks for the follow.

  37. silentzephyr says:

    This is a really good list! If you haven’t yet read it, I would also suggest ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

    Having gone over some of your posts, I think you might enjoy it!

  38. silentzephyr says:

    Hmm, I drafted a comment that disappeared, but here it goes:

    First of all, that’s a really good list you’ve compiled! I will be sure to visit it next time I am looking for a new book to read.

    Also, if you haven’t already, you should check out ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Having gone over some of your blog posts, I think you might enjoy it!

  39. I’d love to see a comment such as “liked” “loved” “hated” etc next to these just to see how you felt about them…probably just my own curiosity since I’m a HUGE bookworm *lol*

  40. Betty_Zee says:

    Awesome reading list! I loved “One Day”, how about you? Also, can I suggest an amazing book? “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan. It’s a page turner, for sure.

    Keep up the great posts 🙂

  41. paulwhitberg says:

    I love the idea of a bucket reading list! During the worst times of my life, I have often joked that friends need not worry about me falling apart because there are still many books I want to read.

  42. annaj says:

    how about this one:

    The ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ –

    It’s a life-changer 🙂

  43. paulwhitberg says:

    Nice choice! Another life-changing one is Thich Nhat Hahn’s *The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching*.

  44. Stephanie says:

    Corelli’s Mandolin… Love the book (and refuse to watch the movie as I’ve heard it’s terrible and I don’t want anything to taint the amazing story) 🙂

  45. Love the list – very similar to my own. Thanks for follow and all the best with your goals!

  46. Barbie Beaton says:

    I read the reading list after reading the bucket list. Sending someone an anonymous letter captured my attention. I highly recommend The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Pie Society, an endearing book in which a relationship is started by…an anonymous letter. 🙂

  47. Shery Alexander Heinis says:

    Hello! It’s a pleasure to meet you here. Thank you for following my blog. I’m happy I cam across this eclectic list which include quite a few of some of my favourite books (To Kill a Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre, etc.). One classic I notice is not on the list is Maya Angelou’s “I know why the Caged Bird Sings”. My only problem now is finding time to read my own bucket list of books! Wonderful project and keep at it!

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