Hello everyone!

Several years ago, I went to see an ophthalmologist on account of some recurring trouble with eye strain and general blurriness. During the exam, the doctor asked me, "Do you spend much time reading or writing?" I replied, "Only when I'm awake…"

Glasses followed, needless to say.

Reading has been the foremost activity of my life, ever since I was four years old and used to sit with an upside-down magazine in my lap, pretending that I could understand the words. Recently some of you have been asking me for book recommendations, so yesterday I pored through my shelves and I came up with this very random list of old and new favorites, both fiction and non-fiction. It is by no means COMPLETE, but it is a start. Here goes!


London Fields, Marin Amis
The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker
Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry
Birds Without Wings, Louis de Bernieres
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (THANKS, recent co-readers!!!)
The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt
Percival's Planet, Michael Byers
Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
Dairy Queen, Catherine Gilbert Murdock (my sister!)
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
In Our Time, Hemingway
Ursula Under, Ingrid Hill
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
All Aunt Hager's Children, Edward P. Jones
Emporium, Adam Johnson
Timothy, Verlyn Klinkenborg
The Typist, Michael Knight
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
The People's Act of Love, James Meeks
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage…Alice Munro
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Special Topics in Calamity Physic, Marisha Pessi
The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
Chang and Eng, Darin Strauss
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
The Master, Colm Toibin
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Dylan Thomas
Brother of the More Famous Jack, Barbara Trapido
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
A Man in Full, Tom Wolfe


Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
The Possessed, Elif Batuman
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Start Where you Are, Pema Chodron
A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius, Dave Eggers
Harley Loco, Rayya Elias
Poser, Claire Dederer
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman
Bossypants, Tina Fey
Your Voice in My Head, Emma Forrest
Angels and Ages, Adam Gopnik
After Visiting Friends, Michael Hainey
The Areas of My Expertise, John Hodgman
Unreliable Memoirs, Clive James
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen
Mixing Minds, Pilar Jennings
Principles of Uncertainty, Maira Kalman
Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov
The Telling Room, Michael Paterniti
Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett
The Paper Garden, Molly Peacock
Julie and Julia, Julie Powell
My Heart is an Idiot, Davy Rothbart
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, Oliver Sacks
The Rings of Saturn, Sebald (fiction? non-fiction? beautiful)
When You are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris
Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon
Just Kids, Patti Smith
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Easter Everywhere, Darcey Steinke
Meadowlands, Robert Sullivan
When Wanderers Cease to Roam, Vivian Swift
Heads in Beds, Jacob Tomsky
Three Dog Life, Abigail Thomas
Here is New York, E.B. White

And in poetry: Jack Gilbert, Sharon Olds, Rumi, Walt Whitman…

I'm sure I have forgotten many, so jog my memory everyone…tell me YOUR favorites!



via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall