When I was a kid, I constantly squirrelled away oh-so-precious AA batteries. Like many bookworms, I just HAD to finish some stories past bedtime, under the covers, with a flashlight. I’ve been planning to compile a list of must-read books since my literary-obsessed childhood, and am finally doing it. List suggestions are welcome!

Classic Fiction

Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard 
Edna O’Brien, The Country Girls
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

Contemporary Fiction

Art Spiegelman, Maus
Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah – freaking amazing, read it
Chimamanda Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Elif Safak, The Forty Rules of Love
Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Teju Cole, Open City


Raj Patel, The Value of Nothing
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-first Century


G. K. Chesterton, In Defence of SanityThe Best Essays of Chesterton
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language
Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays & Speeches


Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains
Frank Delaney, The Celts
Ian Morris, Why the West Rules, For Now
Sarah Rose, For All the Tea in China 
Stephen Marche, How Shakespeare Changed Everything


Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses 
Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress
John Keats, Completed Works
Rainer Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
Robert Burns, Robert Burns Country: The Works
Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
T. S. Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock
T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men
T. S. EliotThe Wasteland

Short Stories

Anton Chekhov, The House with the Mezzanine
Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog
James Joyce, Dubliners

Society + Politics

Clive Thompson, Smarter Thank You Think
Doug Saunders, Arrival City
Hal Abelson, Blown to Bits
Michael McKeon, The Secret History of Domesticity
Nancy Etcoff, Survival of the Prettiest
Pamela Haag, Marriage Confidential
Salman Rushdie, The Jaguar Smile
Tony Judt, Ill Fares The Land


E. Brynjolfsson, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies


Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing




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