Favorite Reads

This list is only partial and will grow as I remember old favorites and acquire new ones. Suggestions are welcome!


  • Anything by Jane Austen, especially Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion, and Emma
  • Bleak House, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, etc. by Charles Dickens
  • The Barsetshire novels and lots more by Anthony Trollope
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis
  • All Creatures Great & Small, etc. by James Herriot
  • Anna Karenina and War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Crime & Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Children’s Classics

  • Winnie the Pooh & A House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
  • The Anne of Green Gables series and the Emily series by L. M. Montgomery
  • The Secret Garden and The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  • The Nutshell Library, Where the Wild Things Are, and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • The Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
  • The Curious George books by H. A. Rey
  • A Wrinkle in Time and many more by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
  • Five Children and It and The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
  • Half Magic, etc. by Edward Eager
  • The Frances books by Russell Hoban
  • The George and Martha books by James Marshall
  • The Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

Contemporary Fiction

  • Peace Like a River by Lief Enger (listen to my podcast review) One of the best books of the 20th century.
  • So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Lief Enger
  • Housekeeping, Gilead, and Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • Winter’s Tale, Refiner’s Fire, and A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin
  • The Church of England series (Glittering Images, etc.) by Susan Howatch
  • Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen
  • The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Lots of books by Elizabeth Berg, especially Durable Goods
  • A Song I Knew by Heart and Jewel by Bret Lott

Mysteries by Dead Englishwomen (and a few others)–Author listing

  • Dorothy Sayers
  • Margery Allingham
  • Josephine Tey
  • Ngaio Marsh
  • Patricia Wentworth
  • Ellis Peters
  • Martha Grimes
  • Margaret Frazer
  • Tony Hillerman
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith

Contemporary Children’s Books

  • The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
  • Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tiger Rising, and The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Howl’s Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne-Jones
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, etc. by Katherine Paterson
  • The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Jim Lamarche
  • Thistle by Walter Wangerin
  • The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber, illusrated by Nicola Bayley
  • Anything by Jane Yolen

Christian Books (mostly Orthodox)

(to come)

Books on Writing

  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor
  • On Becoming a Novelist, The Art of Fiction, and On Moral Fiction by John Gardner
  • Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
  • The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell
  • A Writer’s Space by Eric Maisel
  • Before We Get Started by Bret Lott
  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler
  • Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen

3 comments on “Favorite Reads

  1. Just a heads up—under classics, I believe you meant “lots more by Anthony Trollope, not “lost more by Anthony Trollope.” Nice start, though. I notice you neglected to mention the Francis books under Children’s Classics, whether by oversight or design I know not. If by oversight, (mild ) shame on you, especially since you’re doing a needlework design on her at the moment! If by design . . . (grumble, grumble) . . . Hmph. I suppose you know best what your favorites are, though I must admit myself surprised.
    You need not put this up if you don’t wish it. But, in case it does appear, let me notify any other readers that she means what she says about Jane Austen. I’ve seen Pride and Prejudice so many times, talk (and type) like one of her characters!

    • Errors corrected and omissions rectified. Of course I didn’t mean to leave out Frances–I thought of Frances and something else at the same time, and by the time I’d added the other, Frances had skipped away. But I lured her back with bread and jam. 🙂

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