***** = the best, everyone needs to read this book
**** = great book, must read
*** = good book, worth reading
** = usually entertaining but nothing special
* = too many books, too little time to spend on this book

Books read since 2011:

2018 books

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng ***

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood ****

Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mewed by Alan Bradley ***

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens ****

The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve ***

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith ***

Testimony by Scott Turow ***

The Giver by Lois Lowry ***

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward ****

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers ****

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles ****

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2017 books

Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen ***

News of the World by Paulette Jiles ****

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ****

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett ***

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett ***

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf ***

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez *****

Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey ***

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson ***

The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty ****

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan *****

L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais ***

Blessings by Anna Quindlen ****

Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey ***

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley ****

One True Thing by Anna Quindlen *****

Voodoo River by Robert Crais ***

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon *****

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware ***

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry ***

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon *****

Hurricane Punch by Tim Dorsey ***

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara ****

LaRose by Louise Erdrich ***

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr *****

Free Fall by Robert Crais ***

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity ****

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena ***

The Big Bamboo by Tim Dorsey ***

The Trial by Franz Kafka ***

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead ****

Stalking the Angel by Robert Crais ***

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore ***

The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda ****

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen ****

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie ***

Cadillac Beach by Tim Dorsey ***

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell ****

Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon ****

Genuinely Dangerous by Mike McCrary ****

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø ***

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey ***

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward *****

Indigo Slam by Robert Crais ***

Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey ***

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø ****

The Man From St. Petersburg by Ken Follet ***

= = = = = = = 47

2016 books

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ****

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman ***

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman ****

The Infinite by Nicholas Mainieri ***

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny ***

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer ****

Cyclops by Clive Cussler ***

Lullaby Town by Robert Crais ***

Orange Crush by Tim Dorsey ***

Sunset Express by Robert Crais ***

The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais ***

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu ****

The Lighthouse by P. D. James ***

Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children and Other Streets of New Orleans by John Churchill Chase ***

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George ***

Three Junes by Julia Glass *****

Hammerhead Ranch Motel by Tim Dorsey ***

Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey ***

Still Life by Louise Penny ***

Torpedo Juice by Tim Dorsey ***

The Sellout by Paul Beatty ****

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler ****

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay *****

Galore by Michael Crummey *****

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith ****

Kisser by Stuart Woods ***

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown ***

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petersen ****

The Panther by Nelson Demille ***

Little Bee by Chris Cleave ***

H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian ***

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht ***

House Rules by Jodi Picoult ***

The Partner by John Grisham ***

Post Captian by Patrick O'Brian ***

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah ****

= = = = = = = 36

2015 books

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig **

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews ****

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie ****

Euphoria by Lily King ****

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain *****

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell ***

Artic Dreams by Barry Lopez ****

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ***

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides ****

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt *****

The Mother Tongue: English And How I Got That Way by Bill Bryson ****

Plainsong by Kent Haruf *****

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ****

Waxed Exceeding Mighty by Joshua Humphreys **

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ***

Plum Island by Nelson Demille ***

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay ****

No Dominion by Charlie Huston ***

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley *****

Fool by Christopher Moore ****

The Martian by Andy Weir ****

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante ****

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington ****

The Hours by Michael Cunningham *****

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank **

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbarnd ****

The Lion by Nelson Demille ***

Watchers by Dean R. Koontz ***

Big Trouble by Dave Barry ***

Already Dead by Charlie Huston ****

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad ****

Rescue by Anita Shreve ***

Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey ****

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed ***

= = = = = = = 34

2014 books

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie *****

The Midnight House by Alex Berenson ***

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson ****

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett ****

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford ****

Tinkers by Paul Harding *****

John Dies at the End by David Wong ****

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle ***

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly ***

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger *****

Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore ****

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens *****

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón *****

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood ***

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman ***

Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez ***

NW by Zadie Smith ****

What Is The What: A Novel by Dave Eggers ***

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman ***

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen ****

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker ****

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ****

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace *****

= = = = = = = 23

2013 books

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel *****

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut ****

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton ***

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ***

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson **

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell *****

Room by Emma Donoghue ***

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen ****

The Forgotten by David Baldacci **

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel *****

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver ****

The Racketeer by John Grisham ***

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald *****

The Shack by Willaim P. Young ***

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly **

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain ***

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diáz *****

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson *****

The Plagiarist by Hugh Howey ***

The Last Child by John Hart ***

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ****

The Round House by Louise Erdrich ****

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay *****

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diáz *****

Spies of the Balkans: A Novel by Alan Furst ****

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak *****

Replay by Ken Grimwood ****

= = = = = = = 27

2012 books

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens *****

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson ****

The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass ****

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobsen ***

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut ****

The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham *****

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins ****

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez *****

The Silent Sea: The Oregon Files by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul **

Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy *****

Catching Fire (Book 2 in Hunger Games series) by Suzanne Collins ****

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ***

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns *****

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley ****

The Tennis partner by Abraham Verghese ****

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens *****

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ****

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde ****

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø ****

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke ***

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov *****

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ****

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving *****

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag **

= = = = = = = 24

2011 books

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden **

The Girl Who Kicked ther Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson ****

Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker ***

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy *****

Noah's Compass by Anne Taylor ****

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis ****

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore ***

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton ***

Hogdoggin' by Anthony Neil Smith **

The Bayou Trilogy (Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, The Ones You Do) by Daniel Woodrell ****

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini *****

The Athena Project by Brad Thor *

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore ****

The Help by Kathryn Stockett *****

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese *****

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins ****

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy *****

Fluke, or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore ****

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton ***

The Road by Cormac McCarthy *****

Edge by Jeffrey Deaver **

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley ***

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston ***

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ***

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens *****

American Gods by Neil Gaiman *

The Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy *****

Caught by Harlan Coben **

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson ****

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson ****

Like Warm Sun on Nekkid Bottoms br Chuck Austen ****

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson ****

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo *****

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore ****

Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore ****

Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites by Syl Arena ****

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini *****

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore ****

You Suck by Christopher Moore ****

American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics by Roland Merullo *****

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers ****

Saving Rachel (a Donovan Creed Novel) by John Locke  **

A Grave in Gaza by Matt Beynon Rees ***

Wicked by Gregory MacGuire ****

= = = = = = = 44

 Wish List

top of page

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Insane City by Dave Barry
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Stringer by Anjan Sundaram
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Market Wizards, Updated: Interviews With Top Traders
by Jack D. Schwager
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Eyes Were Watching God by Zora N. Hurston
Thinga Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Ubik by Phillip K. Dick
Michael Chabon, Moonglow
Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone
Ann Patchett, Commonwealth
Zadie Smith, Swing Time
Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies
Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth
Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno
Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
Lily King, Euphoria
Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea
Marilynne Robinson, Lila
Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Javier Marías, The Infatuations, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf)
Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Viking)
Laurent Binet, HHhH tr. by Sam Taylor
Lydia Millet, Magnificence
Dana Spiotta, Stone Arabia
Teju Cole, Open City
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child
David Grossman, To The End of the Land (Knopf)
Hans Keilson, Comedy in a Minor Key (Farrar, Straus And Giroux)
Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (Faber & Faber)
Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage (Wayne State University Press)
Marlon James, The Book of Night Women (Riverhead)
Michelle Huneven, Blame (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite (Knopf)
Roberto Bolaño, 2666. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project, (Riverhead)
Marilynne Robinson, Home, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge, (Random House)
M. Glenn Taylor, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, (West Virginia University Press)
Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games (HarperCollins)
Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men (Dial Press)
Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravedigger's Daughter (Ecco)
Marianne Wiggins, The Shadow Catcher (Simon and Schuster)
The Sport of Kings, by C. E. Morgan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Let Me Be Frank With You, by Richard Ford (Ecco)
Lovely, Dark, Deep, by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)
The Moor's Account, by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)
The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
= = = = = = =


The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
—Mark Twain

= = = = = = =

       "[You, Mr. Bumble] are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law;
       for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

       "If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically
       in both hands, "the law is a ass -- a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law
       is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened
       by experience -- by experience."

       CHARLES DICKENS, Oliver Twist, chapter 51, p. 489 (1970). First published serially 1837–1839.

= = = = = = =

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.”
-- Dave Barry

= = = = = = =

“Colds and babies were both caused by germs which loved nothing so much as a mucous membrane."
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos

= = = = = = =

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection,
they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with
food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are God.
-- Christopher Hitchens

= = = = = = =

Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.
-- Christopher Hitchens

= = = = = = =


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

       - -   Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818)