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What I’m Reading

I’ve loved to read my entire life.¬† What’s better than curling up with a book, a blanket, tea, and Henry and Emerson?¬† No matter what season of my life, I read voraciously…and I’m always looking for new suggestions!

Here’s what I’ve read lately (finally updated 11/11/14):

And The Mountains Echoed  Khaled Hosseini

Life After Life  Kate Atkinson

The Known World  Edward P. Jones

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything  Christopher Hitchens

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism  Naoki Higashida

The Night Circus  Erin Morgenstern

The Buddha in the Attic  Julie Otsuka

A Storm of Swords  George R. R. Martin

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet  Jamie Ford

Ape House  Sara Gruen

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  Deborah Moggach

The Hundred-Foot Journey  Hassan Kadam

Beatrice and Virgil  Yann Martel

The Road  Cormac McCarthy

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War  Max Brooks

Alias Grace  Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale ¬†Margaret Atwood

Summer Lies  Bernhard Schlink

Seating Arrangements  Maggie Shipstead

The Lie  O. H. Bennett

Lulu in the Sky  Loung Ung

Diving Belles  Lucy Wood

Drowned  Therese Bohman

The Toss of a Lemon  Padma Viswanathan

Love Falls  Esther Freud

Crossing Over  Ruth Irene Garret with Rick Farrant

Kitchen Chinese  Ann Mah

Death of a Whaler  Nerida Newton

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  Winifred Watson

25 Months: A Memoir  Linda McK. Stewart

Wrapped in Rain  Charles Martin

Four of a Kind  Valerie Frankel

Skylark Farm  Antonia Arslan

The Provence Cure of the Brokenhearted  Bridget Asher

Gypsy Boy  Mikey Walsh

The Wednesday Sisters  Meg Waite Clayton

Room  Emma Donaghue

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close  Jonathan Safran Foer

I Just Want My Pants Back  David J. Rosen

The Life of Pi  Yann Martel

The Catcher in the Rye  J. D. Salinger

The Final Reckoning  Sam Bourne

Wide Sargasso Sea  Jean Rhys

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret ¬†Judy Blume

We Bought a Zoo  Benjamin Mee

Fahrenheit 451  Ray Bradbury

The American Way of Eating  Tracie McMillan

The Taste of Salt  Martha Southgate

The Oriental Wife  Evelyn Toynton

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie  Muriel Spark

Nights of Rain and Stars  Maeve Binchy

Tell Me Another Morning  Zdena Berger

The Weight of Silence  Heather Gudenkauf

One Thousand White Women  Jim Fergus

The End of the Alphabet  CS Richardson

The Little Bride  Anna Solomon

Without A Backward Glance  Kate Veitch

The Forgotten Garden  Kate Morton

Red Harvest  Dashiell Hammett

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold  John le Carré

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  C. S. Lewis

Brave New World  Aldous Huxley

Mrs. Dalloway  Virginia Woolf

The First Day of the Rest of My Life  Cathy Lamb

Incendiary  Chris Cleave

The Boleyn Inheritance  Philippa Gregory

Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children ¬†Ransom Riggs

Invictus  John Carlin

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater  Kurt Vonnegut

Incendiary  Chris Cleave

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio  Terry Ryan

The Hanging Tree  Bryan Gruley

Growing Up Amish  Ira Wagler

The Shawl  Cynthia Ozick

Brick Lane  Monica Ali

Missing  Lindsay Harrison

The Crying of Lot 49  Thomas Pynchon

Housekeeping  Marilynne Robinson

Atonement Ian McEwan

A Gracious Plenty  Sheri Reynolds

The Giving Tree  Shel Silverstein

The Remains of the Day  Kazuo Ishiguro

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa  Nicholas Drayson

The Worst Thing  Aaron Elkins

The Feast of Love  Charles Baxter

So Long, See You Tomorrow  William Maxwell

Away From Her  Alice Munro

The Song of Names  Norman Lebrecht

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  Dai Sijie

Sideways  Rex Pickett

The Saturday Wife  Naomi Ragen

A Death in the Family  James Agee

The Picture of Dorian Gray  Oscar Wilde

Happily Ever After  Susan May Warran

The Game  Jack London

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland¬† Lewis Carroll

Traitor’s Wife¬† Susan Higginbotham

The Secret Garden  Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reinventing Leona  Lynne Gentry

Ravenous: A Food L0ver’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom¬† Dayna Macy

Mockingjay  Suzanne Collins

A Journey to the Center of the Earth  Jules Verne

Catching Fire  Suzanne Collins

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  Betty Smith

Portugese Irregular Verbs  Alexander McCall Smith

A Handful Of Dust  Evelyn Waugh

Resurrection in May  Lisa Samson

As I Lay Dying  William Faulkner

The Anarchist  John Smolens

Animal Farm  George Orwell

If You Follow Me  Malena Watrous

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind  William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

The Quickening  Michelle Hoover

True Grit  Charles Portis

The Witches of Eastwick  John Updike

Range of Motion  Elizabeth Berg

Mansfield Park  Jane Austen

The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin  Kate Chopin

For One More Day  Mitch Albom

Inés of My Soul  Isabel Allende

Galore  Michael Crummey

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms  Gail Tsukiyama

Sag Harbor  Colson Whitehead

Cannery Row  John Steinbeck

Amaryllis in Blueberry  Christina Medrum

The Headhunter’s Daughter¬† Tamar Myers

Wench  Dolen Perkins-Valdez

These Things Hidden  Heather Gudenkauf

American Pastoral  Philip Roth

Appointment in Samarra¬† John O’Hara

All the Pretty Horses  Cormac McCarthy

Black Boy  Richard Wright

Prayers for Sale  Sandra Dallas

Love Stories in This Town  Amanda Eyre Ward

Small Island  Andrea Levy

Let the Great World Spin  Colum McCann

Rooftops of Tehran  Mahbod Seraji

The Solace of Leaving Early  Haven Kimmel

Their Eyes Were Watching God  Zora Neale Hurston

The Pillars of the Earth  Ken Follett

The School of Essential Ingredients  Erica Bauermeister

Pope Joan  Donna Woolfolk Cross

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels  Ree Drummond

The Hunger Games  Suzanne Collins

A Thousand Splendid Suns  Khaled Hosseini

The Omnivore’s Dilemma¬† Michael Pollan

The History of Love  Nicole Krauss

Karen  Marie Killilea

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay  Michael Chabon

White on Black  Ruben Gallego

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake  Aimee Bender

Road Map to Holland  Jennifer Graf Groneberg

Look Me in the Eye  John Elder Robinson

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter¬† Kim Edwards

On Beauty  Zadie Smith

Falling Home  Karen White

All the King’s Men¬† Robert Penn Warren

Amy and Isabelle  Elizabeth Strout

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union¬† Michael Chabon

The Swallows of Kabul  Yasmina Khadra

The Hole We’re In¬† Gabrielle Zevin

So Big  Edna Ferber

The Wives of Henry Oades  Johanna Moran

The Painted Veil  W. Somerset Maugham

The English Patient  Michael Ondaatje

The Help  Kathryn Stockett

Northanger Abbey  Jane Austen

Fireflies in December  Jennifer Erin Valent

The Hobbit  J.R.R. Tolkien

Outside the Ordinary World  Dori Ostermiller

The Solitude of Prime Numbers  Paolo Giordano

American Rust  Phillip Meyer

That Old Cape Magic  Richard Russo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo  Stieg Larson

Fruit of the Lemon  Andrea Levy

The Adventures of Augie March  Saul Bellow

Shutter Island  Dennis Lehane

Narcissus and Goldmund  Hermann Hesse

White Noise  Don DeLillo

Tallgrass  Sandra Dallas

For Whom The Bell Tolls  Ernest Hemingway

In Defense of Food  Michael Pollan

Hannah’s Dream Diane Hammond

The Night Trilogy Elie Wiesel

The Kite Runner  Khaled Hosseini

Breath, Eyes, Memory  Edwidge Danticat

Time and Again  Jack Finney

Water for Elephants Sara Gruen

What have you read lately?¬† I’m always looking for a good suggestion!

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  1. acleansurface

    Loved a book called Smiling Bears (non fiction).
    Love the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon–and so did my husband!
    Love the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series by the late great Stieg Larsson.
    Recently read something called Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English, which is new, and I found it to be pretty unique.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ve heard a lot about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo–it’s definitely on my list of must-reads. Thanks for the other tips I’m currently running low on library books!

  2. Cindy Kruse

    I loved The Help and just finished Sarah’s Key – both good reads. Enjoy your long Christmas break!

  3. Nancy MacLachlan

    Hi Lauren. Your mom posted something on facebook that brought me to your blog. Love it! I have to comment on your reading…..
    When I used to drive your bus, every morning I would pull up to your driveway and you and Kristen would be standing, so poised and pretty, at the end of your driveway with books in your faces. I used to comment to everyone about how wonderful it was to see your love of reading – even while waiting for the school bus at 7am in the morning! I love your site. You are a beautiful young lady with such a zest for life. It gives me hope for the next generation!!! Take care! Nancy

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thank you so much! That was the sweetest thing to say and totally made my day! I’m glad you like my blog!!

  4. Kristen

    Hi Lally!
    You should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. Other books by the same author that I also liked: Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks! i’m going to request some of those from the lib right now…im reading the yiddish policemen’s union also by him and i’ll let you know what i think!

  5. saltandserenity

    Just finished “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender. I need to discuss this book with someone else. So much to think and talk about!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ll add it to my library list–then we can discuss!

  6. Jamila

    you have to read the help, a thousand spendind suns and the kite runner. Those were my 3 faves last year.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I read the help and the kite runner this year already–both GREAT books! i’ll add the last one to my list!

  7. Marilyn

    Sing You Home-Jodi Picoult’s newest book

    Ravenous a food lover’s journey from obsession to freedom by Dayna Macy

    The Pioneer Woman Black Heels to tractor
    Wheels-a*true* love story by Lee Drummond.
    Her cookbook is fun though definitely not low fat.

    I also love ANYTHING Gluten Free Girl writes-the cookbook she and her husband wrote together was a lovely read-part love story, part cookbook, and the photography…
    oh la la…

    Anything by Lee Childs-love his Jack Reacher Series on CDs-which I listen to on the way to work sometimes….

    I have a very eclectic reading list I know:)
    I loved the Kite Runner and In Defense of Food!

    Just discovered your blog-love it-can’t wait to make your Mexican Hot Chocolate Spiced Almonds-found the recipe from and later on a similar site….

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks! Like I said, I’m always looking for new titles to add to my lists so I appreciate the recommendations (I also have eclectic taste in reading :))

  8. Carolyn

    There are a few books on your list that look interesting. Since I’m adding them to my must read library list, I thought I’d leave one for you… The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is a lovely, if lonely, tale filled with glints of hope. I would think from the list you have here that The History of Love might be something you would enjoy. Have a lovely day…

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I just requested it from the library! Thanks for the tip

  9. pauseandsmile

    Currently, I am reading “The School of Essential Ingredients”, by Erica Bauermeister. So far (about 3/4 of the way done) I love it. It’s about mastering the ingredients of cooking, life, and relationships. Now when I read it, I think of your wonderful blog. If you wouldn’t mind, I would love to include your blog in my blog roll. I have already shared your site with a friend that LOVES to cook. Happy cooking AND reading! ~Carol~

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I would love that :) Share away! And thanks for the recommendation it sounds like something I’ll love!

  10. Marilyn Dwyer

    I am excited to come upon your reading list. I am going thru books so quickly because of my situation. So neat to see we share some favorite books. I also have my first memory of you reading. Being in church with your dad and not taking your face out of your book the whole time.So cute. I loved The Help. Water for elephants too! Now it is going to be a movie. Have you read Pope Joan by Donna woolfolk Cross ? How about THe Pillars of Earth By ken Follett. Keep up the hard work

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I haven’t read either of those but I will add them to my list very shortly! Since I posted my own reading I have gotten tons of recommendations from people and it has been the richest reading resource ever! So many readers out there! I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you and I hope my booklist can help pass some time for you :)

  11. E. Lynd

    Based on your list, which quite overlaps mine, I am willing to bet you will love a couple of books I’ve read in the past year including When We Were Romans (can’t remember the author just now); This Must Be the Place (same author deal); and I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass. I read a lot as well!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks so much for the suggestions!

  12. Pei-Lin

    Hi, Lauren! Glad I„ÄÄstumbled upon your site! You write very well. You’ve got great photos here, too.

    I love reading, just like you, but am selective about what I read. Unfortunately, most of the people around me, in my region here, don’t have the habit of reading regularly – thanks to the education system, which has turned everyone into fellas who read only for the sake of passing or getting distinction for the exams. (You have heard of Asian education systems, no?)

    Anyhow, will drop by to visit in the future for sure. Lovely site, I must say. =)

  13. Mark Kaplowitz

    White Noise is in my top ten.

  14. Alexandria Jade Blue

    Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Excellent movie too. :)

  15. Susan Sunde

    I’ve two good ones for you: 1) The Help 2) Before I go to sleep. Both of these are great!

  16. Esther Brown

    Yes I agree with the above recommendations for the History of Love by Nicola Krauss, and Everything is Illuminated by Jonothan Safron Foer, and would add Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by the same guy. Krauss and Safron Foer are married and you can see their influence on each other in their writing. Great books. Love your site, and love your taste in books :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks so much–appreciate the tips, and I had no idea that they were married! I love fun facts like that!

  17. Stefanie

    I just read The Shadow if the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and really enjoyed it.

  18. diego

    I lreally liked your blog. It really looks sincere, something you dont see often these days. You should read 100 years of soltitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez,it has the essence of all latin america on it.Congratulations .

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I have read that! Beautiful book :) I also had to pay the library a few dollars in fines ’cause I accidently put it away in MY bookshelf and then couldn’t find it…but it was worth it!

  19. Kristen

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

  20. Tasha Orshoff

    I was hoping that you could help me choose a book to read for enjoyment. I am a stay at home mom with a 7 and 10 year old. I read a lot of self help books. I also do quiet time with my bible study. The last 3 books I have checked out I have returned to the library after reading the first chapter! I want something interesting…a can’t put it down type of book. I was going to look at Oprah’s list. :) Any suggestions? Anyone? Lauren?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I really liked The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender or A Thousand Suns (or The Kite Runner) by Khaled Hosseini, or the Help by Kathryn Stockett or if you want an educational book, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan is a realllly fascinating look at the way we eat here in America! Hope you LOVE your next book!

  21. Bayla

    The book thief by Markus Zusak is the one i’m reading now, the first chapters are a bite weird, but keep on reading because the rest is gorgeous.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ll be sure to check it out!

  22. Quee

    Hi Lally, I didn’t check your list to see if this was on there yet, but I am almost done with Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende and I know that you will absolutely love it. I can’t stop reading it.

  23. Leah at One Vignette

    Hey, Lauren! I love your blog. You have to–have to!–read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Stinson, if you haven’t already. It’s so, so funny and witty and sweet and powerful and smart–and it’s set in Britain, so you can do a little bit of armchair travelling while you’re at it…I swear I’m not being paid by Stinson’s agent (I wish!), but it’s one of those that you buy and keep to read again. So, so good.

    Keep up the great blogging! :) Leah

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I haven’t–just requested it from the library! thanks for the tip!

      1. Leah at One Vignette

        Hope you like it!

  24. Nick Drayson

    I am so glad that you enjoyed my book A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. The sequel will be published in July. It is called A Guide to the Beasts of East Africa.

    Best wishes from India, Nick Drayson.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first and I look forward to the next one! Lovely book.

  25. Jennifer @ Raisin Questions

    Hi Lauren, I just spent my morning going through your books lists! Thank you very much for all the inspiration. I am also constantly requesting and reserving at my library! I also live on Long Island and couldn’t do without the Nassau interlibrary loan system! I just finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s novels The Secret Life of Bees and also The Mermaid Chair, both of which I recommend. I am excited about getting started on reading/re-reading the TIME 100 list also! Thank you again for the inspiration. I will be following your blog along with your reading lists closely!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I loved the Mermaid Chair when I read it a few years ago, I should give it another read since I don’t remember it at all! Having the Time 100 List just gives me a fun way to read outside of my normal box when I feel the need to expand!

  26. Vicky

    I just started reading Omnivore’s Dilemma which naturally is interesting for a food blogger/enthusiast. Right before that I read China Road and Nothing To Envy – both very interesting. China Road is written by an NPR correspondent who travels along route 312 from Shanghai to the Kazakhstan border documenting his interactions with the locals in between and commenting on China’s ability to become the new superpower and it’s history/political situation. Nothing to Envy is written by a female journalist who interviews 6 families of North Korean defectors, adding in aspects of the culture, history and political atmosphere of what life was like for them in North Korea. From this list what were some of your favorites?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Some of my favorite were The Life of Pi; The American Way of Eating; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; Let the Great World Spin; The History of Love; The Kite Runner…I’m really not a picky reader and pretty much enjoy most books I try! Thanks for the suggestions, they both sound awesome and very different from my last few books!

  27. Vicky

    I absolutely loved the Kite Runner as well – couldn’t put it down. I’ll have to check out The Life of Pi – I’ve heard a lot of good things about it!

  28. Michèle Dextras

    Ended up on your blog via Food Gawker and I always check out anything about books. You have an impressive list. I didn’t see any Barbara Kingsolver “The Poisonwood Bible”, or “Prodigal Summer” . How about Jane Urquhart’s “The Stone Carvers”. There are a lot more, so many wonderful books to read and not enough time. Happy Holidays!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I have read the Poisonwood Bible and loved it, but I need to add the others to my list!

  29. Lauren

    You should try ‘A Walk Across the Sun’. Truly – the best book I have read in a few years!

  30. Connie

    Two of my all-time favorites:
    Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
    Cold Sassy Tree – Olive Ann Burns

  31. Savannah

    Hey, have you read any of John Green’s books? I’ve only read two of his: “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska” both of which are now on my “favorite’s” shelf. Green’s writing is pretty amazing.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I don’t think so! I definitely have to check it out!

    2. Zee

      The Fault in our starts was beautiful. I got all teary eyed when I saw the preview to the movie today.

  32. Beth

    Thanks for the great list. I have added a few to my reading wish list. Another great book is The Light Between Ocean by M.L. Stedman!!

  33. Zee

    Give Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. My current all time favorite!