In the aftermath of Thanksgiving there was a lot of couch time. In the cozy winter months I try to keep that as ‘time with book’ over ‘time with Netflix’ lest my brain atrophy in hibernation. I spent last Thursday trying on the first chapter of Steve Jobs [Dad, I’ll be borrowing that when you finish all 656 pages] and a portion at a time of A Moveable Feast.


It reminded me that when I first got my kindle for touring, I sent out a twitter inquiry to find out people’s favorite books. Not just recommendations; favorites. I was happy to discover people LOVE talking about their favorite books. I even promised a few of them I’d sent out a compiled list, which I thought was a lovely idea. One [book-filled] year later, here it is. Sharing the wealth, and coercing folks to be as cozy and lethargic as I am – book in hand.

In the no order, the books submitted – a beautiful, dynamic, wide-swinging list:
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Adverbs by Daniel Handler
Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Light in August by William Faulkner
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
Heart Songs and Other Stories by Annie Proulx
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Plague by Albert Camus
Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson
Raise High the Roof Beam by J.D. Salinger
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Gilead by Marilynn Robinson
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
The Death of a President by William Manchester
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

And my favorite books, the ones I implore you to read, excluding any that might be referenced above?
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Lord of the Barnyard by Tristan Egolf
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

Last but not least: in honor of the post, I’ve made a playlist with either OVERT literary references, and/or just some songs so laden with emphasis on lyrical content that to listen to them feels like you’re reading.

“So, you like to read books?”

Didn’t see your favorite above? Please leave it in the comments below. I’ll build list 2.0