A big reason I started this site again is to keep track of books I want to read. I work at a library now, and I’ve just learned how to order books directly to my desk at work, so this past week I went a little crazy with requesting multiple books and them all showing up on my desk at once. Now, I’m a fairly quick reader, but I’m not so fast that I can read 5 or 6 books in three weeks, plus I don’t want to unduly burden my coworkers who have to find all these books and send them to me and check them out to me. So I’m maintaining this list of books that I’m thinking about reading so that when I finish a book, I’ll just look here to pick a new one.

Another thing I want to do is to review books as I read them, so when I read a book on this list, I’ll linkify it to a blog post about the book itself. Later, I might move the book to another list on this page to make the Unread and Read lists neater or easier to navigate, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, it’ll just be a big list of books with some notes if I grabbed a whole list from a website or something.

One last rule: some of the books from these best-of lists I’ve already read. The rule is as follows: if it’s there, I’ll read it again. I’m an inveterate read-oncer,1 but I really think that should change. Reading books more than once allows them to open up and reveal their deeper meanings.

Reading now

A backward list of books not already on this list, hopefully with links to reviews or whatever. Confusing, right?

My old readlist

So if you peer into the history of this site, you’ll see I had an old readlist too, mostly pulled from my Amazon wishlist. Why? Because Amazon is evil, I said, and I still believe that. I don’t like how much they’ve taken over, and since R worked in publishing, she has front-line horror stories about Amazon. So I’m not going to support them, not even through a wishlist. It’s right here.

Poetry

  • Against Which – Ross Gay
  • Antigonick – Anne Carson & Bianca Stone
  • Broken Hierarchies – Geoffrey Hill
  • Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude – Ross Gay
  • Citizen: An American Lyric – Claudia Rankine
  • Collected Poems – Jack Gilbert
  • Collected Poems – Mark Strand
  • Elegy for a Broken Machine – Patrick Phillips
  • Nox – Anne Carson
  • Selfwolf – Mark Halliday
  • The Book of Nightmares – Galway Kinnell
  • The Dead Girls Speak in Unison – Danielle Pafunda
  • The Golden Apples – Eudora Welty
  • The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems – Tomas Transtromer
  • The Infinitesimals – Laura Kasischke
  • What Work Is – Philip Levine
  • What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison – Camille Dungy
  • Wolf Centos – Simone Muench

Nonfiction

  • Doctor Placebo – Alan Wall
  • Exploding the Phone – Phil Lapsley
  • Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters – Bernie Glassman & Rick Fields
  • Letters to a Young Poet Rainer – Maria Rilke
  • Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
  • Newsfail – Jamie Kilsten & Allison Kilkenny
  • Reality Hunger – David Shields
  • S/Z – Roland Barthes
  • Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks – Keith Houston
  • Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic – Daniel Lawrence O’Keefe
  • The Poetics of Space – Gaston Bachelard, Maria Jolas, & John R. Stilgoe
  • The Sculptor – Scott McCloud
  • The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination – Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Veganomicon – Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

Fiction

  • Alphabetical Africa – Walter Abish
  • Battle Royale – Koushun Takami
  • Beloved Idea – Ann Killough
  • Dark Lord: The Early Years – Jamie Thomson
  • Dhalgren – Samuel R. Delany
  • Edge – Koji Suzuki
  • Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
  • Goliath – Tom Gauld
  • Greasy Lake & other stories – T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • Hopscotch – Julio Cortazar
  • Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  • JR – William Gaddis
  • Johnny Got His Gun – Dalton Trumbo
  • Once Upon an Alphabet – Oliver Jeffers
  • Paprika – Yasutaka Tsutsui
  • Swann’s Way – Marcel Proust
  • The Mote in God’s Eye – Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
  • The Sandman – Neil Gaiman et al.
  • The Story of the Stone, vol. 1: The Golden Days – Cao Xueqin
  • The Tunnel – William H. Gass
  • The Unfortunates – B. S. Johnson
  • The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  • To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love – Raymond Carver
  • You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack – Tom Gauld

Drama

  • Three Tragedies: Blood Wedding, Yerma, Bernarda Alba – Federico Garcia Lorca
  • Bacchae – Euripides

Online stuff

The internet is a crazy place, and there are whole books to read on it. Here’s some of them.

  • On a Sunbeam – Tillie Walden [link]
  • Sorcery 101 – Kel McDonald [link]
  • Luminous Airplanes – Paul La Farge [link]
  • Snarlbear – Natalie Riess [link]
  • 17776 – Jon Bols [link]

Recommendations

Many times, I see a recommendation or three online or wherever. Here they are.

C.R.

She’s teaching a “literary bad girls” class. Here’s her reading list.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston
  • The Autobiography of My Mother – Jamaica Kincaid
  • Nightwood – Djuna Barnes
  • Tracks – Louise Erdich
  • Becoming Madame Mao – Anchee Min
  • Foxfire – Joyce Carol Oates
  • My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante

Miyazaki

Here’s his top 50 children’s books, via Open Culture

  1. The Borrowers – Mary Norton
  2. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  3. Children of Noisy Village – Astrid Lindgren
  4. When Marnie Was There – Joan G. Robinson
  5. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  6. The Flying Classroom – Erich Kästner
  7. There Were Five of Us – Karel Poláček
  8. What the Neighbours Did, and Other Stories – Ann Philippa Pearce
  9. Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates – Mary Mapes Dodge
  10. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  11. Eagle of The Ninth – Rosemary Sutcliff
  12. The Treasure of the Nibelungs – Gustav Schalk
  13. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas, père
  14. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin
  15. Les Princes du Vent – Michel-Aime Baudouy
  16. The Flambards Series – K. M. Peyton
  17. Souvenirs entomologiques – Jean Henri Fabre
  18. The Long Winter – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  19. A Norwegian Farm – Marie Hamsun
  20. Heidi – Johanna Spyri
  21. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  22. Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  23. Tistou of the Green Thumbs – Maurice Druon
  24. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg
  26. The Otterbury Incident – Cecil Day-Lewis
  27. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  28. The Little Bookroom – Eleanor Farjeon
  29. The Forest is Alive or Twelve Months – Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak
  30. The Restaurant of Many Orders – Kenji Miyazawa
  31. Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne
  32. Nihon Ryōiki – Kyokai
  33. Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio – Pu Songling
  34. Nine Fairy Tales: And One More Thrown in For Good Measure – Karel Čapek
  35. The Man Who Has Planted Welsh Onions – Kim So-un
  36. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  37. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
  38. Journey to the West – Wu Cheng’en
  39. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
  40. The Adventures of the Little Onion – Gianni Rodari
  41. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  42. The Ship that Flew – Hilda Winifred Lewis
  43. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  44. The Little Humpbacked Horse – Pyotr Pavlovich Yershov (Ershoff)
  45. The Little White Horse – Elizabeth Goudge
  46. The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray
  47. The Radium Woman – Eleanor Doorly
  48. City Neighbor, The Story of Jane Addams – Clara Ingram Judson
  49. Ivan the Fool – Leo Tolstoy
  50. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle – Hugh Lofting

NPR’s 100 Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels

via NPR, though I’m not including all of them becuase they’re elsewhere on this list or I’ve already read _Calvin and Hobbes_ like, a million times, okay?

Graphic novels

  • Nimona – Noelle Stevenson
  • Watchmen – Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
  • Maus: A Survivor’s Tale – Art Spiegelman
  • Daytripper – Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon
  • This One Summer – Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki
  • Sweet Tooth – Jeff Lemire
  • Through the Woods – Emily Carroll
  • Blankets – Craig Thompson
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters – Emil Ferris
  • Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth – Chris Ware
  • Blacksad – Juan Diaz Canales, Juanjo Guarnido
  • Here – Richard McGuire
  • How to Be Happy – Eleanor Davis
  • Megahex – Simon Hanselmann
  • The Color of Earth – Kim Dong Hwa
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth – Isabel Greenberg

Series comics

  • Love and Rockets – Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez
  • Eightball – Daniel Clowes
  • Monstress – Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
  • The Wicked + The Divine – Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie
  • Bitch Planet – Kelly Sue Deconnick, Valentine De Landro
  • Locke & Key – Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Transmetropolitan – Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson
  • Planetary – Warren Ellis, John Cassaday
  • The Walking Dead – Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Grasscutter – Stan Sakai
  • Doom Patrol – Grant Morrison, Richard Case
  • Mouse Guard – David Peterson
  • The MAD Archives – Harvey Kurtzman
  • Whiteout – Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber
  • Finder – Carla Speed McNeil

Manga

  • Lone Wolf And Cub – Goseki Kojima, Kazua Koike
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – Hayao Miyazaki
  • Akira – Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Pluto – Naoki Urasawa
  • One Piece – Eiichiro Oda
  • Full Metal Alchemist – Hiromu Arakawa
  • Goodnight Punpun – Inio Asano

Graphic nonfiction

  • Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  • Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
  • March – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
  • Your Black Friend – Ben Passmore
  • Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud
  • Hip Hop Family Tree – Ed Piskor

Fantasy and science fiction

  • Saga – Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
  • Shade, the Changing Man – Peter Milligan, Chris Bachalo
  • The Incal – Alexandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
  • Elfquest – Wendy Pini, Richard Pini
  • The Sandman – Neil Gaiman et al.

Superheroes

  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, Lynn Varley
  • Black Panther – Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze
  • Ms. Marvel – Adrian Alphona, G. Willow Wilson
  • The Vision – Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta
  • Wonder Woman – Gail Simone, Amanda Deibert
  • Astro City – Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson
  • Saga of the Swamp Thing – Alan Moore, Steve R. Bissette, John Totleben
  • Gotham Central – Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills – Chris Claremont, Brent Anderson
  • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. – Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen
  • DC: The New Frontier – Dave Stewart, Darwyn Cooke
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Ryan North, Erica Henderson
  • Hellboy – Mike Mignola
  • All Star Superman – Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely
  • Hawkeye – Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido

Newspaper Strips

  • Krazy Kat: Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut – George Herriman
  • Pogo – Walt Kelly
  • Dykes to Watch Out For – Alison Bechdel
  • Bloom County – Berke Breathed
  • Mary Perkins on Stage – Leonard Starr
  • Little Lulu – John Stanley
  • Earnie Pook’s Comeek – Lynda Barry
  • Thimble Theater – E. C. Segar

Web comics

  • Bad Machinery/Scary Go Round – John Allison [online]
  • Wondermark – David Maliki ! [online]
  • Homestuck – Andrew Hussie [online
  • As the Crow Flies – Melanie Gillman [online]
  • Stand Still Stay Silent – Minna Sundberg [online]
  • Check, Please! – Ngozi Ukazu [online]
  • Gunnerkrigg Court – Thomas Siddell [online]
  • Kill Six Billion Demons – Tom Parkinson-Morgan [online]
  • O Human Star – Blue Delliquanti [online]
  • The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal – ??? [online]
  • Vattu – Evan Dahm [online]

All ages

  • Ghosts – Raina Telgemeier
  • Castle Waiting – Linda Medley
  • American Born Chinese – Gene Luen Yang
  • Carl Barks’ Disney Ducks – Carl Barks
  • Zita the Space Girl – Ben Hatke
  • Amulet – Kazu Kibuishi
  • El Deafo – Cece Bell, David Lasky
  • Bone – Jeff Smith

Others

I wrote a script to automatically add books I think of to this list here.

  • Hunger – Roxanne Gay
  • Post Scarcity Anarchism – Murray Bookchin
  • People’s Capitalism – J. S. Albus
  • The Second Machine Age – Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
  • Amatka - Karin Tidbeck
  • The Core of the Sun – Johanna Sinisalo
  • The Raw and the Cooked – Claude Levi-Strauss
  • Neuromancer – William Gibson
  • Verbal Behavior – B. F. Skinner
  • Astro Boy Omnibus – Osamu Tezuka
  • A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories – Will Eisner
  • Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  • Starship Troopers – Robert Heinlein
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Ringworld – Larry Niven
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle
  • Consider Phlebas – Iain M. Banks
  • The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea – Bandi (seen here)
  1. Is this the correct usage of inveterate? The world may never know.