Over full bookcase

One of my loves is reading. I have a huge reading list I plan to get through, and am continually finding things to add to it. Any suggestions or recommendations will be gratefully received.

I will keep a reading list here. Firstly, books I have read and secondly, books I intend to read. I won’t repeat books on this list when I re-read them, so you can be fairly sure that in any year there’s also some Tolkien, Austen, Bronte and Rowling which hasn’t gone on the list because it’s my comfort re-reading. Usually in the bath. Often accompanied by chocolate.

This list begins in August 2010.

  • At Home, Bill Bryson: I love all Bill Bryson, and have quite a collection now.
  • The Twelve Caesars, Suetonius: Fascinating. I find it amazing to read a book by someone who was there.
  • The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin: As a story of one person’s attempts to discover the secret of happiness, great. There are also plenty of ideas in there to try for yourself.
  • Momo, Michael Ende: A re-read this. I read it as a child and recently discovered it in a second hand shop and had to buy it. This deserves to be a much better known book.
  • :59 Seconds, Richard Wiseman: Quick fixes which make a difference. There’s some interesting research discussed in this book.
  • Moab is My Washpot, Stephen Fry: Fascinating, Entertaining. A must read.
  • The Story of a Soul, St Therese of Lisieux: This book presents a personal view of an amazing person. I think sometimes doing a great good deed might be much easier than living a continually good life in all the little ways. Inspirational.
  • Empress Orchid, Anchee Min: I enjoyed this one. A great glimpse of what life in the royalty of 19th century China must have been like.
  • Just Get On With It, Ali Campbell: Mainly picked because of the similarity between its title and what I chose to put at the top of this blog. Im sure it’s a great book if you’re after the ‘caring compassionate kick up the ass’ it promises. I found the frequent use of the word ‘cool’ an irritation  – eight times in the first 51 pages, then thankfully a 100 page gap until the next usage.
  • Holy Fools, Joanne Harris: Like all her books, a super read. Great characters and very evocative of 17th century France.
  • The Twits, Roald Dahl: Quintessential Roald Dahl. What more do I need to say?
  • The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco: Brilliant!
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde: A must read, obviously, but I found it incredibly verbose.
  • Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson: A lovely children’s book. I have four more lined up to read.
  • No One Writes to the Colonel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Of Love and Other Demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Mistress of Charlecote, Mary Elizabeth Lucy
  • One Day, David Nicholls
  • Saraswati Park, Anjali Joseph
  • The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry
  • The Dark is Rising Sequence, Susan Cooper
  • Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Holes, Louis Sachar
  • Dune, Frank Herbert


  • Miss Felicity Beedle’s World of Poo, Terry Pratchett
  • Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  • The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
  • The Exploits of Moominpappa, Tove Jansson
  • Comet in Moominland, Tove Jansson
  • Refusal, Soazig Aaron
  • Lyrics Alley, Leila Aboulela
  • Eight White Nights, Andre Aciman
  • The Lambs of London, Peter Ackroyd
  • The Stepmother, Carrie Adams
  • Wives v Girlfriends, Katie Agnew
  • In The Kitchen, Monica Ali
  • Charles Dickens A Life, Claire Tomalin
  • Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius
  • Mort, Terry Pratchett
  • Snuff, Terry Pratchett
  • Full Moon, P G Wodehouse: Disappointed. I’ve heard rave reviews of Wodehouse and was expecting to love it. I won’t be going out to buy the whole lot.
  • The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, Colleen McCullough
  • The Casual Vacancy, J K Rowling
  • Drive, Daniel H Pink
  • No Plot? No Problem, Chris Baty
  • The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett: Why did it take me so long to get round to reading this?
  • Nation, Terry Pratchett
  • The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom
  • Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom
  • Doomed Love, Virgil
  • Forbidden Fruit, From the Letters of Abelard and Heloise
  • The Eaten Heart, Giovanni Boccaccio
  • Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests, Giacomo Casanova
  • Cures for Love, Stendhal
  • The Seducers Diary, Soren Kierkegaard
  • My Booky Wook, Russell Brand
  • Julie and Julia, Julie Powell
  • The Wonderful Weekend Book, Elspeth Thompson
  • Low Cost Living, John Harrison
  • The Deathly Hallows Lectures, John Granger
  • The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky (Isn’t that a lovely surname? Particularly for a happiness researcher.)


  • The Dumas Club, Arturo Perez Reverte: Fantastic!
  • Emma, Jane Austen: True! The only Austen I had never read before.
  • Turning Back the Clock, Umberto Eco
  • The Interior Castle, St Teresa of Avila
  • First Love, Ivan Turgenev
  • The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, Umberto Eco
  • A Mere Interlude, Thomas Hardy
  • The Watsons, Jane Austen and Another
  • How Rude! Modern Manners Defined, Various
  • The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
  • The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy
  • Deviant Love, Sigmund Freud
  • A Russian Affair, Anton Chekhov
  • The Purveyor of Enchantment, Marika Cobbold
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Noah’s Ark, Barbara Trapido
  • The Senator’s Wife, Sue Miller
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson
  • Magnetism, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Something Childish But Very Natural, Katherine Mansfield
  • The Virgin and the Gipsy, D.H. Lawrence
  • You, Joanna Briscoe
  • A Vision of Loveliness, Louise Levene: I loved this! Such a feeling for place and time and language.
  • Strange Pilgrims, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Leaf Storm, Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I don’t know how he does it. One page and you’re transported an ocean away.
  • A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Dawn French
  • Pillow Talk, Freya North
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell
  • A Year in the Merde, Stephen Clarke
  • Baudolino, Umberto Eco
  • Lady Susan, Jane Austen
  • Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  • Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • Bonjour Tristesse, Francoise Sagan

Books I intend to read (mostly because they ranked in the BBC Big Read in 2003, and I’m gradually working my way through the list):

  • Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
  • The Stand, Stephen King
  • Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  • A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
  • Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  • Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman
  • The Magus, John Fowles
  • Good Omens, Terry Pratchett
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • Perfume, Patrick Suskind
  • The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
  • Magician, Raymond E Feist
  • On The Road, Jack Kerouac
  • The Godfather, Mario Puzo
  • The Alchemist, Paul Coelho
  • Katherine, Anya Seton
  • Girls in Love, Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
  • Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

4 Responses to Books

  1. wartimehousewife says:

    ‘A Suitable Boy’ is one of my favourite books of all time – I was bereft when I finished it.
    I also heartily recommend ‘Midnight’s Children’, ‘The God of Small Things’, ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and anything by Terry Pratchett. We have similar eclectic taste!

  2. shelleys says:

    I loved A Suitable Boy, too…. And Pillars of the Earth, and World without End (didn’t want any of these three books to end!) Cold comfort farm is a laugh, too. Ahhhh… Books are fantastic. These days I use an e-reader cos I was starting to run out of space! Great to catch up with you again, Amanda. Good on you for going back to study with small children. Accountancy is a good career move (I am also married to one) – Rachel Shelley (nee McCarty)

    • planetcoops says:

      Hi Rachel! My dream is to have a library at home. I might have to wait until the kids start leaving home so I can commandeer their bedrooms!
      I’m looking forward to getting out to work again – It’ll be once Mr 4 is at school and we’ve moved house, so September at the earliest.

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