Good Reads


All-time Favorites:

On the Black Hill

Bruce Chatwin
A simple story of twins who live their lives in a small town in Wales. Chatwin is best known for his travel writing (In Patagonia and The Songlines), but this is a wonderful novel.



William Kennedy
A subtle account of coming to terms with a life-changing event during the course of the mundane events of the day. Considerably more hopeful than the movie.


Light in August

William Faulkner
Truly great writing.



George Eliot
I've read this book more times than any other. Almost every sentence is quotable. Well, actually, just for the first 100 pages. But by that point, you might as well finish it.



Jim Harrison
Some of his books are too macho for me, but this is a novel by a poet.


Memories of Rain

Sunetra Gupta
Stream of consciousness perfected. This is how Virginia Woolf wanted to write.


Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston
My girlfriend nearly split up with me when I recommended this to her, but all others will like it.


Everyday Zen (nonfiction)

Charlotte Joko Beck
A book about understanding your emotions, understanding and overcoming disappointment, and about being self-conscious and honest with yourself.


Guns, Germs, and Steel (nonfiction)

Jared Diamond
A superbly original and well-argued analysis of how people spread over the globe, from the Ice Ages to the present.




Good Reads:

The Sheltering Sky

Paul Bowles
Read the book and then see the movie. You won't be able to understand the movie otherwise. And it is one of those rare cases where the movie is authentic, accurate to the book, and vividly presented.


Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf
A classic of stream of consciousness, with a memorable description of a dinner party.


In a Different Voice (nonfiction)

Carol Gilligan
An examination of the fundamentally different approaches used by men and women in making decisions about morality.


We Were The Mulvaneys

Joyce Carol Oates
A thoughtful account of how an unjust event affects the lives of everyone even indirectly related to it.


Independence Day

Richard Ford
A modern-day divorced father coming to grips with his life.


Last Orders

Graham Swift
Long-term friendship between people who have wronged each other. And a poignant description of failing in intimacy.


The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen
Fine contemporary writing.



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