I keep track of my reading in a spreadsheet: every book I read gets entered into its own little row. I’m now in my fifth sixth seventh eighth ninth tenth! year of such bookkeeping, so this has become as much of a ritualized habit as alphabetizing my bookshelf and never starting a new book on the same day I finish another. For your benefit (and my own, since I now get to make that satisfying entry twice), I’ll be including that list here as well.

What I’ve read this year…

Stay tuned!

What I read in… 2017

Alexander, Elizabeth. The Light of the World.
Batuman, Elif. The Idiot.
Cahalan, Susannah. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.
Chee, Alexander. The Queen of the Night.
Colt, George Howe. The Big House.
Colwin, Laurie. Another Marvelous Thing.
Erdrich, Louise. LaRose.
Eugenides, Jeffrey. The Marriage Plot.
Fellowes, Julian. Belgravia (audiobook).
Ferrante, Elena. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.
———. The Story of the Lost Child.
Gyasi, Yaa. Homegoing.
Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night (audiobook).
Hobbs, Jeff. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.
Jahren, Hope. Lab Girl.
Lee, Min Jin. Pachinko.
March, Joseph Moncure. The Wild Party.
Mas, Sophie et al. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are.
Mukherjee, Siddhartha. The Gene.
Paul, Pamela. My Life with Bob.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea.
Semple, Maria. Today Will Be Different.
Smith, Zadie. Swing Time.
Strout, Elizabeth. My Name Is Lucy Barton.
———. The Burgess Boys.
Toibin, Colm. Brooklyn (audiobook).
Verghese, Abraham. My Own Country.
Watts, Stephanie Powell. No One Is Coming to Save Us.

What I read in… 2016

Athill, Diana. Instead of a Letter.
Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake.
Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See.
Ferrante, Elena. My Brilliant Friend.
———. The Story of a New Name.
Finnegan, William. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.
Flanagan, Richard. The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Flournoy, Angela. The Turner House.
Garfield, Simon. To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing.
Gilbert, Elizabeth. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face.
Groff, Lauren. Arcadia.
Hanff, Helene. 84, Charing Cross Road.
Hollinghurst, Alan. The Line of Beauty.
Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Mann, Sally. Hold Still.
Ng, Celeste. Everything I Never Told You.
Norman, Howard. The Bird Artist.
Patchett, Ann. Commonwealth.
Russo, Richard. Nobody’s Fool.
Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Shipstead, Maggie. Astonish Me.
Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge.
Trapido, Barbara. The Travelling Hornplayer.
Wallace, David Foster. String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis.

What I read in… 2015

Anthony, Lawrence. The Elephant Whisperer.
Atkinson, Kate. Life After Life.
Blume, Judy. In the Unlikely Event.
Catton, Eleanor. The Luminaries.
Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Clifford, Stephanie. Everybody Rise.
Colwin, Laurie. The Lone Pilgrim.
———. More Home Cooking.
Dundy, Elaine. The Dud Avocado.
Gopnik, Adam. Paris to the Moon.
King, Lily. Euphoria.
Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven.
Miller, Sue. The Arsonist (audiobook).
Mitchell, David. The Bone Clocks.
Patchett, Ann. State of Wonder.
———. Truth & Beauty.
Poehler, Amy. Yes Please.
Sittenfeld, Curtis. Prep.
Verghese, Abraham. The Tennis Partner.
White, Edmund. The Flâneur.
Wilson, Emily Herring (ed.). Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence—A Friendship in Letters.
Wolitzer, Meg. The Uncoupling (audiobook).

What I read in… 2014

Chang, Jung. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China.
Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast.
Hessler, Peter. Oracle Bones.
———. River Town.
Jin, Ha. Waiting.
Johnson, Adam. The Orphan Master’s Son.
Kushner, Rachel. The Flamethrowers.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland.
Moore, Lorrie. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?.
Narayan, R.K. The Guide.
Patchett, Ann. Bel Canto.
Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch.
———. The Secret History.
Ward, Jesmyn. Men We Reaped.
Yanagihara, Hanya. The People in the Trees.

What I read in… 2013

Brooks, Geraldine. People of the Book (audiobook).
Chabon, Michael. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.
de Waal, Edmund. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance.
Deraniyagala, Sonali. Wave.
Didion, Joan. Blue Nights.
———. The White Album.
———. The Year of Magical Thinking.
Dunlop, Fuchsia. Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China.
Foer, Joshua. Moonwalking with Einstein.
Grossman, David. To the End of the Land.
Harding, Paul. Tinkers.
Kawabata, Yasunari. Palm-of-the-Hand Stories.
Krauss, Nicole. Great House.
Obreht, Téa. The Tiger’s Wife (audiobook).
Pasternak, Boris (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky). Doctor Zhivago.
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair.
Verghese, Abraham. Cutting for Stone.

What I read in… 2012

Alter, Stephen. Elephas Maximus^.
Anam, Tahmima. The Golden Age.
Batuman, Elif. The Possessed.
Bechdel, Alison. Are You My Mother?
Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Colwin, Laurie. Happy All the Time.
DeWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers.
Didion, Joan. Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Hanif, Mohammed. A Case of Exploding Mangoes.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Remains of the Day.
Jones, Edward P. The Known World.
Mitchell, David. Cloud Atlas.
———. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
Murakami, Haruki. 1Q84.
———. Norwegian Wood (audiobook).
Ondaatje, Michael. The Cat’s Table.
Sahni, Bhisham. Tamas.
Tolstoy, Leo (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky). War and Peace.
Vladislavic, Ivan. Portrait with Keys.

What I read in… 2011

Dewitt, Helen. Lightning Rods.
Dostoevsky, Fyodor (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky). Crime and Punishment.
Ghosh, Amitav. River of Smoke.
Kumar, Amitava. Nobody Does the Right Thing.
Murray, Paul. Skippy Dies.
Ondaatje, Michael. Divisadero.
Rushdie, Salman. Luka and the Fire of Life.
Tolstoy, Leo (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky). Anna Karenina.
Vālmīki (trans. Arshia Sattar). The Rāmāyaṇa.
Yashpal. This Is Not that Dawn (Jhootha Sach).

What I read in… 2010 

Bolano, Robert. 2666^.
Bhagat, Chetan. one night @ the call center.
Chatterjee, Upamanyu. English, August.
Dalrymple, William. City of Djinns.
DeWitt, Helen. The Last Samurai.
Dyer, Geoff. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi.
Ghosh, Amitav. In an Antique Land.
———. Sea of Poppies.
———. The Shadow Lines.
Hosain, Attia. Sunlight on a Broken Column.
Kawabata, Yasunari. Snow Country.
Larsson, Steig. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Lethem, Jonathan. Motherless Brooklyn.
Mehta, Suketu. Maximum City: Bombay Lost & Found.
Mishra, Pankaj. Butter Chicken in Ludhiana.
Moore, Loorie. A Gate at the Stairs.
Nagarkar, Kiran. Cuckold.
Ondaatje, Michael. The English Patient.
———. Coming Through Slaughter^.
Pynchon, Thomas. Inherent Vice.
Rushdie, Salman. Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
———. Midnight’s Children.
Seth, Vikram. A Suitable Boy.
———. An Equal Music.
———. From Heaven Lake.
Tejpal, Tarun. Story of My Assassins.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

What I read in… 2009

Adiga, Aravind. The White Tiger.
Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
Buford, Bill. Among the Thugs.
Calvino, Italo. The Baron in the Trees.
Coetzee, J.M. Waiting for the Barbarians.
———. Disgrace.
DeLillo, Don. White Noise.
Diaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Kostova, Elizabeth. The Historian.
Murakami, Haruki. A Wild Sheep Chase.
———. Dance Dance Dance.
———. Kafka on the Shore.
———. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion.
———. Running in the Family.
Proulx, Annie. The Shipping News.
Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping*.
See, Lisa. Peony in Love.
Seth, Vikram. The Golden Gate.
Sullivan, J. Courtney. Commencement.
Thompson, Hunter S. Hell’s Angels.


* Reread
^ Partially read

Disclaimer: The above list is comprehensive, not implicitly complementary. Proceed at your own discretion.




  • Eliza Sawyer on May 25, 2013 Reply

    I would be very interested in a few brief comments on these books since I have not even heard of most of them. No lengthy review necessary but if I were to select one or two to read, how would I do it? Which would you recommend?

    • Janna on May 25, 2013 Reply

      There are so many great choices! I will think about how to “tackle” the list… maybe fodder for a future post :)

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