Life Reading List

Every year the staff and faculty at my school put together a list of books we recommend to the graduating seniors. Our librarian curates the list. She just sent out the annual update email, inviting us to revise our lists from last year. The list is a lovely tradition and it was really fun to put together my list last year (the first time I submitted). I didn’t make many changes this year.

In case anyone’s interested, here’s my list:


  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  • Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • Imperfect Birds, Anne Lamott
  • Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear
  • The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker
  • The Things a Brother Knows, Dana Reinhardt
  • Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • The Wind-Up Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Ursula K. Le Guin’s Powers and EarthSea series
  • Also, anything by: John Green, Madeline L’Engle, Tom Robbins


  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson
  • Listening Is an Act of Love (StoryCorps Project), Dave Isay
  • The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
  • Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs, Smith & Fershleiser, eds.
  • Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg

I also like our librarian’s “professional librarian advice”:

Don’t read any books you don’t want to unless you have to.

What books are on your “life list”?


4 thoughts on “Life Reading List

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Replay (Ken Grimwood). A Door Into Ocean. Of Water and the Spirit (Some). The Continuum Concept. (There are lots of others I love, but these are some I’m guessing have wide appeal.)

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