I think I’ll spend the rest of my life feeling overwhelmed by the number of books there are to read and how many of them I’ll never ever get around to finishing. My to-read list is constantly growing.
I remember the first time I went to the library in Round Rock after I finished up my undergrad degree and walking around aimlessly, wondering, “What should I read?”
I . . .never feel that way anymore, and I haven’t in years. And I probably never will again.
Here are the books that are currently high priorities for me.
my to-read list
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. I gave this one to my dad for his birthday, and not only does the storyline sound amazing (working-class boys on a crew team at the University of Washington beat all the Ivy League teams and then go on to compete against Hitler’s team in the Olympics), but it’s narrated by Edward Herrmann who narrated Unbroken, which was one of the most stellar audiobooks I’ve ever listened to (also, he’s the grandfather on Gilmore Girls, which . . . means more to me than it should).
- Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with Ruby Red (it was fine, but not amazing), but for some reason I read the second book anyway. It was SO much better than the first one, and now I’m DYING for the third one to come up at the library for me.
- End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson. When I was in Cincinnati, I listened to Killing Kennedy which was interesting but not . . . particularly impressive. I am a major James Swanson fan, so I’m really looking forward to this one. (I’m kind of in a Kennedy phase right now – I’m very slowly working my way through The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy about Joseph Kennedy’s life and both American Queen: A Life of Jacqueline Kennedy and If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History are on my list)
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcom Gladwell. If Malcolm Gladwell writes it, I will read it. Actually, I’ll listen to it, because he’s such a great narrator.
- Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo. In previous years, I’ve tried to read all the National Book Award finalists. This year they did a longlist (10 books), many of which are totally unappealing to me. And I have to admit that while I like Kate DiCamillo, I don’t have the rabid love for her that so many others seem to. But reading Jessica’s review of this one made me want to read it immediately.
- The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe. This one doesn’t actually come out until January, but I snagged an advance copy. YA boarding school book? Count me in (please, try to live up to Frankie Landau-Banks. As if anything could).
- Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin. After reading Bomb, anything Steve Shinkus writes is automatically on my “to-read” list.
And if you’d like a printable copy of this to-read list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!
What’s on your to-read list? (Or what should I put on my to-read list?)
My to-read list on goodreads is currently 250 books long.
Some winners that I've recently read:
The Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick (nonfiction) about the Whaleship Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a whale in 1820 and the event that gave rise to Moby Dick
I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Palmieri and Loretta Nyhan (historical fiction)- most WWII historical fiction is set in Europe, but this is from the American view, and is about two women who end up as pen pals and grow to be integral to each other. A-ma-zing.
Love On The Line by Deeanne Gist (historical fiction) gist is one of my fave historical fiction writers and this one was adorable! a fast read and totally PG
W is For Wasted by Sue Grafton, the latest Kinsey Millhone. Loved it.
A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy, Binchys last book before she died.
You know, every single time I start commenting on your blog, I lose it and have to start over. I have no idea, it just disappears mid-type.
I don't really have anything on my to-read list, and I'm happy about that for the time being. I need to get myself through the next six weeks with books, but next year I'm taking some time off and re-reading some of my favorites that I never give myself time for.
I bought Flora & Ulysses (very unusual for me) because I love Kate DiCamillo so much, but I haven't read it yet. My boys really want me to read it to them, but I can't decide if it's going to be too difficult for them to understand, so I keep putting it off.
When I heard that Malcolm Gladwell had a new book out, I immediately put it on hold, but of course I probably won't get it for six months since, for some strange, unexplainable reason, everyone else seems to like him too.
Kristin @ Going Country says
I left most of my suggestions in a totally unrelated post, so the only one I would add is "Land Girls" by Angela Huth. The land girls were a group of women who worked the, uh, land in England during WWII when the usual male laborers were away. This particularl book is fiction, but it's a fascinating subject that I intend to read more about.
I will also now get the Frankie book on your recommendation. Please know how much I appreciate posts like these, because I have a hard time figuring out what to request from our library system. My home library is so small I can't just browse the shelves for new things; I have to know exactly what to request be shipped. So this is immensely helpful. Thank you.
I hope you love Frankie! It's one of my all-time favorite books.
I just finished David and Goliath, so I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it. The audio version was really good, per usual.
And I also just finished Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson. SO GOOD. I really think you should read it. I read it in print, and I think some of the time elements would be hard to track in audio. I had to keep flipping back to the table of contents to keep myself on track.
As for my own immediate to-read list, Drama High, by Michael Sokolove, is on my nightstand now, and I Am Malala is waiting for me at the library.
I LOVED David & Goliath. Malcolm Gladwell is so interesting! And yes, my "to-read" spreadsheet is at about 300 books right now.
Allie @ Everyday Adventures says
I have an insanely long list on my phone of things to read. I think it's up in the 90s now. I just started Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and so far I really like it.
I just put the Unbroken audio on my computer (mostly remembering how much you loved it, and also that it was something Lance might like) and I didn't notice Edward Herrmann was the narrator until I was sticking it in the drop box. I got SUPER excited.
Is The Patriarch any good? I actually skimmed/read O'Reilly's kid's adaptation of Killing Kennedy last weekend and while I found it questionably lacking source material, I was definitely intrigued by the Kennedy family like I never have been before. I read We Were Liars last week, which I think has something to do with it – I suddenly want to read about rich white people who summer on Nantucket?
I also have the kid's adaptation of the Swanson Kennedy book and the Sheinkin on my Cybil's list. You are on the wrong committee!! 🙂
Hope you enjoy Flora & Ulysses. It's like, 50 pages, so it won't take too much out of you. If you're doing audio, make sure to flip through a real copy at some point – the illustrations are great.
When I say slowly, I mean. . .I've read 15 pages of The Patriarch. Really interesting so far, though.
I'm waiting for my "David and Goliath" to show up! That would be, of course, the only recent pub that I know we would both like (I still am baffled at how different our tastes are!)
I just re-read "The Glass Castle" and loved it so hard all over again. Next up is "Angle of Repose" by Stegner, and then "East of Eden." Swoon!
Megan Marie says
I haven't read End of Days or Killing Kennedy yet, but If Kennedy Lived is a must read! I have always been fascinated by the Kennedy's and I love reading about that time in our history!
Hey there! I have a question for you that's totally unrelated to this post – sorry. So I follow another blog that has the same comment system as you and just realized that she has been responding to my comments, but I haven't been getting any notifications. I know when you comment back to me I get it in an email. Do you do that specifically, or do you comment through your blog and I just get notifications from you? I'm totally bummed to find out that I might be missing responses from multiple blogs that I follow
I reply by email specifically. Sorry!
Gotcha, well I really appreciate that you do that!! I would go back and look at other blogs but I had no idea that I didn't just automatically get a notification. Sigh! Thanks for responding via email though, that's an extra step I'm sure takes up time for you!
I've read Unbroken twice, listening to the audiobook the second time, and I think Edward Hermann made it even better (if that was possible!). It made me want to have a Gilmore Girls marathon. I'll have to add The Boys in the Boat to my to-listen list.
I just finished Tell The Wolves I'm Home and I was caught off guard by how much I liked it. I also just read Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. So NOT what I normally read….but I was blown away by the ending. While I was at the library today, I picked up another of her books. And I normally don't read much fiction. Guess I'm on a fiction roll lately! I'm late to catch the Unbroken train but I added myself back to the Hold list today.
I some times have mild anxiety at all the good books out there that I will probably never read. And sadly, I also feel that way with television shows, hahaha.
Colette Trudeau says
While you are on the Kennedy kick, I would recommend Mrs. Kennedy and Me. It is told by Clint Hill, Jackie's Secret Service agent. I really enjoyed hearing the details from him.
Cammie Smith says
YES to David and Goliath. I've been so excited to read that one!
My problem is that there's so many good books out there to read – and now I live in China. Ha. I have library cards to two different libraries, so if they've got it as an e-book I can get it on my kindle, but it's been depressingly difficult to get the books I want that way. There's no English library or bookstore here, so the only way I can get books is to actually purchase them on my kindle. And then I can't decide which book will be worth spending my precious book money on. *sigh*
But that David and Goliath one looks awesome, that's definitely going on the list – I love Malcolm Gladwell. Other than that, I'm waiting for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere to come in on my kindle, and Dune is waiting for me. And with the weather turning just a tiny bit colder, I'm getting the urge to read a classic – as I always do in winter. 🙂 Do you read seasonally or is that just me?
Oh, snap. Edward Herrmann? Boys in the Boat is definitely going on my to-listen list right this minute!
If you're on a Kennedy kick, I listened to 11-22-63 by Stephen King this fall and really enjoyed it–I've never read anything by King, totally not my genre–but I'm glad I took a chance on this departure for him. I really enjoyed it. A quick question for you (and anyone else who read "the secret keeper"–I loved this book, but I figured out the "twist" really early on–or I don't think I would have enjoyed it at all because I might have been so annoyed I wouldn't have finished. I want to recommend it to my grandma, but am afraid she might not guess the twist, so I'm wondering if she would enjoy it anyway–did everyone else that read this see the end coming–maybe it was as transparent as I thought and she'll see it too. If not, did you like it anyway?? Thanks!
I read 11-23-63 last fall and LOVED it! What a cool book.
And I didn't guess the twist at ALL for Secret Keeper and I still loved it.
I really liked Lincoln's Grave Robbers, but it is definitely not Bomb.
I have David and Goliath on hold (along with everyone else in the county). I've never heard of Nine Boys in a Boat, but it sounds awesome.
I am really excited to get my hands on The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Malcom Gladwell book is also on my list, and I always love yours because you give me good ideas. Looking forward to your reviews, even though those tend to lengthen my lists too. The trouble is finding them in borrowable ebook format from London. It's doable, but sometimes tricksy.
Looking to the Stars says
I have so many books on my shelf that I want to read. I buy books faster than I read them. I want to read Forgotten Garden, The Wicked Series, a few Jane Austen books. That 13 books right there! Too many books! haha! Good luck with your list 🙂 *erica*