Books

Stuff I've Been Reading

 


I am a fan of Nick Hornby, and many years ago he began a column in The Believer
called “Stuff I’ve Been Reading.” His columns have been collected in several small
volumes, including Shakespeare Wrote For Money and More Baths, Less Talking, as
well as the large volume Ten Years In The Tub. Basically he just writes about what
he’s been reading for the last month, sometimes only a book or two, sometimes
several. It’s amusing.


(This section of my site is not going to be like that, really. I may do some of that, but it
would go in the blog section.)


In 2012, inspired by my wife’s fondness for lists, I started keeping track of what I
read. It’s been great fun to look back at what I read, sometimes remembering exactly

where I was and what was going on in my life when I was reading a certain book.


Now, every year around New Years, my wife and I look forward to publishing our
lists on Facebook, and seeing some of our Facebook friends publish theirs. One of
the perks of being an adult is not having to worry about being a nerd.
As a baseball fan, I really love statistics, so this is actually a lot of fun for me. So here
it is: every book I’ve read since I started keeping track of it, plus, for the heck of it, a
list of my “most read authors” (Goodreads is too much fun). And before you say
anything, I know I need to read fewer white males. I’m part of the problem.


Most authors read:


(Again, this is mostly only since 2012 -as of 6/12/20 -, although at some point I tried
to guess what I read in 2011, so I’m including that, too. For the most part I am not
including all the Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, and Judy Blume books I read when I was
young, or that I’m reading to my children now.)


John Updike, 17
Philip Roth, 16
Nick Hornby, 14
Richard Russo, 14
Michael Chabon, 13
John Cheever, 7
Jonathan Franzen, 7
Ann Patchett, 7
Anne Tyler, 7
Tom Wolfe, 7
John Irving, 6
Jonathan Lethem, 6
Lorrie Moore, 6
Toni Morrison, 6
John Steinbeck, 6
Ernest Hemingway, 5
Stephen King, 5
C.S. Lewis, 5
Paul Auster, 4
Bret Easton Ellis, 4
Thomas Hardy, 4
Ian McEwan, 4
Donald Miller, 4
Marilynne Robinson, 4
JD Salinger, 4
Elizabeth Strout, 4
Kurt Vonnegut, 4


Annual reading lists:

2011


Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, Larry Tye
The Ones Who Hit The Hardest, Chad Millman
The Red Pony, John Steinbeck
The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
The Forest For The Trees, Betsy Lerner
The Great American Novel, Philip Roth
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
Double Play, Robert B Parker
Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
Willie Stargell, An Autobiography, Willie Stargell
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Eighth Day, Thornton Wilder
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
Oh What a Paradise It Seems, John Cheever
Rabbit is Rich, John Updike
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction, JD Salinger


2012


The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
All The Flowers Are Dying, Lawrence Block
Empire Falls, Richard Russo
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
Nobody’s Fool, Richard Russo
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
Hit List, Lawrence Block
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
I Am The Messenger, Markus Zusak
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Rabbit at Rest, John Updike
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth
A Mercy, Toni Morrison
That Old Cape Magic, Richard Russo
A Lost Lady, Willa Cather
All The Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Licks of Love, John Updike
Back Story, Robert B Parker
The Whore’s Child, Richard Russo
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, Lorrie Moore
Charming Billy, Alice McDermott
Manhood for Amateurs, Michael Chabon
The Rules of Attraction, Bret Easton Ellis
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen

Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Norman Mailer
The Great Divorce, CS Lewis
Don’t Make Me Stop Now, Michael Parker
The Moon is Down, John Steinbeck
Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
Straight Man, Richard Russo
The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
The Last Tycoon, F Scott Fitzgerald
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Anne Tyler
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
The Widows of Eastwick, John Updike
Farther Away, Jonathan Franzen
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon
Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
A Pirate For Life, Steve Blass
Close Range, Annie Proulx
The Ox-Bow Incident, Walter Ban Tilburg Clark
Supreme Courtship, Christopher Buckley
The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler
Interventions, Richard Russo
Elsewhere, Richard Russo
Speaking With the Angel, Nick Hornby (edited by)
Back to Blood, Tom Wolfe
Nine Stories, JD Salinger
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Gertrude and Claudius, John Updike
Birds of America, Lorrie Moore
Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare


2013


The Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy
The Discomfort Zone, Jonathan Franzen
The Ghost Writer, Philip Roth
You know Me, Al, Ring Lardner
Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis
State of Wonder, Ann Patchet
Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby
A Model World, Michael Chabon
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Month of Sundays, John Updike

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John le Carre
The Final Solution, Michael Chabon
Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
Mohawk, Richard Russo
Men Without Women, Ernest Hemingway
Celestial Navigation, Anne Tyler
How To Be Good, Nick Hornby
Everyman, Philip Roth
Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis
Rabbit, Run, John Updike
She’s Come Undone, Wally Lamb
Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth
Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
How To Be Alone, Jonathan Franzen
The Razor’s Edge, Somerset Maugham
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The Painted Veil, Somerset Maugham
Zuckerman Unbound, Philip Roth
Out of the Silent Planet, CS Lewis
Hearts in Atlantis, Stephen King
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
Searching for God Knows What, Donald Miller
The Progress of Love, Alice Munro
Hooking Up, Tom Wolfe
The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
1984, George Orwell
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Welcome to the Monkey House, Kurt Vonnegut
Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
About A Boy, Nick Hornby
No Ordinary Men: Dietrick Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Elisabeth Sifton


2014


Out of Sight, Elmore Leonard
The Poorhouse Fair, John Updike
Super America, Anne Panning
Survivor, Chuck Palahniuk
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
The Anatomy Lesson, Philip Roth
The World According to Garp, John Irving
Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis
The Informers, Bret Easton Ellis

On Writing, Stephen King
March, Geraldine Brooks
Gentlemen of the Road, Michael Chabon
Shakespeare: The World as Stage, Bill Bryson
The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving
The Polysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder
Wifey, Judy Blume
Jaws, Peter Benchley
Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler
Bark, Lorrie Moore
East, Shoots & Leaves, Lynn Truss
Saint Maybe, Anne Tyler
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott
The Brigadier and the Golf Widow, John Cheever
Perelandra, CS Lewis
MFA vs NYC, Chad Harbach (edited by)
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Prague Orgy, Philip Roth
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby
In the Moon of Red Ponies, James Lee Burke
Kissing in Manhattan, David Schickler
Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
There is a God, Antony Flew
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
The Unnamed, Joshua Ferris
Like Life, Lorrie Moore
Shakespeare Wrote for Money, Nick Hornby
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
The risk Pool, Richard Russo
Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor
Rosie, Anne Lamott
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
The Blindside, Michael Lewis
Conversation on Writings, Alexander Newbauer (edited by)
The Game We Play, Susan Hope Lanier
The Giver, Lois Lowry

2015


The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
Five Christmas Novels, Charles Dickens
Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
The is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
The Counterlife, Philip Roth
Funny Girl, Nick Hornby
So We Read: How the Great Gatsby Endures, Maureen Corrigan
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Olinger Stories, John Updike
Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel
Nothing, Henry Green
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
The Ministry of Fear, Graham Greene
A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Herzog, Saul Bellow
Frankland, James Whorton
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Toole Kennedy
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer
All You Could Ask For, Mike Greenberg
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
Amsterdam, Ian McEwan
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
The Natural, Bernard Malamud
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem
Bury Me In My Jersey, Tom McAllister
The Other Walk: Essays, Sven Birkerts
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
The Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster
Werewolves in Their Youth, Michael Chabon
Self-consciousness, John Updike
Slam, Nick Hornby
Ten Years in the Tub, Nick Hornby
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily A New Hope, Ian Doescher


2016


Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Purity, Jonathan Franzen
Scary Close, Donald Miller

Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse, Faith Sullivan
Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee
What’s Bred in the Bone, Robertson Davies
The Faith of Fifty Million, Christopher Hodge Evans (edited by)
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
American Pastoral, Philip Roth
Short Cuts, Raymond Carver
Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris
The Night of the Gun, David Carr
The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
Problems, John Updike
Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis
Tortilla Flat, John Steainbeck
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, Thad Carhart
The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
Losing Nelson, Barry Unsworth
The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, Don Robertson
Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, Charles Leerhsen
William Shakesepeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, Ian Doescher
The Magician’s Assistant, Ann Patchett
I Married a Communist, Philip Roth
Charlotte’s Web, EB White
Atonement, Ian McEwan
Truth & Beauty, Ann Patchett
Emma, Jane Austen
A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
Summerland, Michael Chabon
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe


2017


A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Trouble Is My Business, Raymond Chandler
The Kingdom of Speech, Tom Wolfe
Calico Joe, John Grisham
Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
Anne of Green Gable, LM Montgomery
A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James
The Human Stain, Philip Roth
The World of Apples, John Cheever
Party Going, Henry Green
Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo

Beloved, Toni Morrison
All The King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
Exit Ghost, Philip Roth
Blindness, Jose Saramago
Moonglow, Michael Chabon
The Sea Wolf, Jack London
American War, Omar El Akkab
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
That Hideous Strength, CS Lewis
Rabbit Redux, John Updike
Bech: A Book, John Updike
Falconer, John Cheever
The Cider House Rules, John Irving
The Love of a Good Woman, Alice Munro
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Enduring Love, Ian McEwan
Home, Marilynne Robinson
Home, Toni Morrison
Lila, Marilynne Robinson


2018


Calvin, Martine Leavitt
Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem
4 3 2 1, Paul Auster
The Underground Railroad, Colton Whitehead
The Stories of Bernard Malamud, Bernard Malamud
William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back, Ian Doerscher
Sabbath’s Theater, Philip Roth
Post Office, Charles Bukowski
Angry Conversations With God, Susan E Isaacs
The Afterlife, John Updike
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Thirteen Ways of Looking, Colum McCann
From Bauhaus to Our House, Tom Wolfe
Self-Help, Lorrie Moore
Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth
My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, Ron Hansen
You Think It, I’ll Say It, Curtis Sittenfeld
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
The Round House, Louise Erdrich

Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Norman Mailer
We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo
Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson
Songbook, Nick Hornby
This Gun For Hire, Graham Greene
A Farewell To Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld
Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
Silence, Shusaku Endo
Abide With Me, Elizabeth Strout
Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective, Tom Shone
The 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith
Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
2019
The Post-Church Christian, Paul Nyquist
Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday
Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
The Destiny Thief, Richard Russo
The Dinner Party and Other Stories, Joshua Ferris
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
Tender is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald
Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
White Fang, Jack London
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
The Wife, Meg Wolitzer
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
A Son of the Circus, John Irving
The Marsh King’s Daughter, Karen Dionne
Roman Fever, Edith Wharton
Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald
Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo
The House on the Strand, Daphne du Maurier
The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster
Sula, Toni Morrison
The Horse and His Boy, CS Lewis
The Ghost Writer, Philip Roth
Zuckerman Unbound, Philip Roth
The Anatomy Lesson, Philip Roth
The Prague Orgy, Philip Roth
The Sportswriter, Richard Ford
Trajectory, Richard Russo
American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

The Trial, Franz Kafka
Transatlantic, Colum McCann
Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby
Rabbit is Rich, John Updike
Red Flag and Other Poems, Tim Heerdink
The End of the End of the Earth, Jonathan Franzen
The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes
Midnight Special, Anthology
The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald
Somewheres in the Middle, Frank Gordon
Swamplandia!, Karen Russell