Reading Recs

In 2011, I started keeping a list of every book I read. From there, I narrowed it to the best 7 books of the year.

This is that list.

(With a few honorable mentions, because you can never love too many books.)


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian McLaren
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
All About Love by bell hooks
The Essential ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ by Alison Bechdel
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Honorable Mentions
The March Trilogy by John Lewis
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Fun HomeAre You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue
I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin
Thrall by Natasha Trethewey



A Mercy by Toni Morrison
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Revelation of Love by Julian of Norwich

Honorable Mentions
Domestic Work by Natasha Trethewey
Caucasia by Danzy Senna
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein


The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
The Day on Fire by James Ramsey Ullman
July, July by Tim O’Brien
The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle
Good Woman by Lucille Clifton
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Honorable Mentions
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg
Fic by Anne Jamison
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
She Who Is by Elizabeth A. Johnson


The Terrible Stories by Lucille Clifton
Quiet by Susan Cain
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
The Handmaid’s Tale by Magaret Atwood
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Honorable Mentions
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L’Engle
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Home by Julie Andrews
Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Honorable Mentions
Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card


And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle
Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Freedom Writer’s Diary by Erin Gruwell

Honorable Mentions
Growing Up in Moscow by Cathy Young
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Quilting by Lucille Clifton

Honorable Mentions
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain