Fave Books

“So many books, so little time.”

Extraordinarily Meaningful Reads

In the last decade or so…

  • The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage, Paul Elie
  • The Reasons of Love, Harry G. Frankfurt
  • The Peabody Sisters, Megan Marshall
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Odyssey, Homer
  • Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists, Kay Larson
  • The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction, Michel Foucault
  • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  • East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  • The Waves, Virginia Woolf
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, Padmasambhava
  • Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Big Books

Some of the super-important books that leap to mind just now… Favorites for one reason or another

  • Long Life: Essays and Other Writings, Mary Oliver
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Women of the Left Bank, Shari Benstock
  • Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives, Carolyn Steedman
  • In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, Bhikkhu Bodhi
  • Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Jane Hirshfield
  • Fierce Attachments: A Memoir Vivian Gornick
  • Figuring, Maria Popova
  • A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
  • A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
  • William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, Robert D. Richardson, Jr.
  • Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, Louise W. Knight
  • Daybook: The Journal of an Artist, Anne Truitt
  • Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, Jane Hirshfield
  • Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, Padmasambhava
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being, Daniel J. Siegel
  • Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism, Yongey Mingyur
  • All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk
  • Rumi: The Big Red Book, Rumi
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, a Biography, Blanche Wiesen Cook
  • My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer, Christian Wiman
  • Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, Megan Marshall
  • Breach, Annie Holmes
  • Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  • The Gift, Lewis Hyde
  • The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf
  • Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative, Paul John Eakin
  • Upstream: Select Essays, Mary Oliver
  • The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, Lauren Markham
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories, Katherine Mansfield
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
  • The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Snow Hunters,  Paul Yoon
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches,  Audre Lorde
  • Virginia Woolf, a Biography, Hermione Lee
  • Bridge of Quiescence: Experiencing Tibetan Buddhist Meditation, Tsongkhapa
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • American Heritage Dictionary, Volumes 1 & II,  Thank you Mom
  • The Letters of Virginia Woolf,  Virginia Woolf
  • The Genius of Birds, Jennifer Ackerman
  • Vanessa Bell, a Biography, Frances Spalding
  • Foundations of Christian Faith, Karl Rahner
  • Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, Robert K. Barnhart (ed)
  • The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Varela, Thompson, Rosch
  • Hindsight: The Promise and Peril of Looking Backward, Mark Freeman
  • Cutting for Stone,  Abraham Verghese
  • The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Birth of Pleasure, Carol Gilligan

Some Really Good Reads

A bit of a hodgepodge — delightful or powerful or disruptive — all to be commended

  • Twenty Years at Hull House, Jane Addams
  • Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Stephen Batchelor
  • Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  • Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
  • Half Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls
  • Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  • The Solitude of Self: Thinking About Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Vivian Gornick
  • A Life of One’s Own, Marion Milner
  • Feminist Practice and Postructuralist Theory, Chris Weedon
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Erik Larson
  • Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain, Nancy Louise Frey
  • A Mind of Her Own: The Life of Karen Horney, Susan Quinn
  • The Moosewood Cookbook, Molly Katzen
  • Literary Theory, Terry Eagleton
  • The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness, Karen Armstrong
  • Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Judith Butler
  • The Passion, Jeanette Winterson
  • Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, Stephen Batchelor
  • Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist, D.T. Suzuki
  • A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
  • Anil’s Ghost, Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrative and Consciousness: Literature, Psychology and the Brain, Gary D. Fireman
  • The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen
  • Lytton Strachey: The New Biography, Michael Holroyd
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Cherríe L. Moraga
  • Women S Livesthe View from the, Carolyn G. Heilbrun
  • Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography, Richard Rodríguez
  • He Held Radical Light: The Art of Faith, the Faith of Art, Christian Wiman
  • Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life, Jerome S. Bruner
  • Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art, Nancy Princenthal
  • Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, Erik Larson
  • The World Is Made of Stories, David R. Loy
  • Lytton Strachey, a Biography, Michael Holroyd
  • Paris Was a Woman: Portraits from the Left Bank, Andrea Weiss
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice, Terry Tempest Williams
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, Alexandra Fuller
  • The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown
  • On Knowing: Essays for the Left Hand, Jerome S. Bruner
  • Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky
  • Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
  • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  • Narrative Threads: Accounting and Recounting in Andean Khipu, Jeffry Quilter & Gary Urton
  • Tassajara Bread Book, Edward Espe Brown
  • A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  • The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography, Deborah Levy
  • In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje
  • Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  • Hot Milk, Deborah Levy
  • A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
  • The Road from Coorain, Jill Ker Conway
  • Coming Home to Tibet: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit
  • The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • The Awakening and Selected Stories, Kate Chopin
  • News of the World Paulette Jiles
  • Agnes Martin, Frances Morris
  • Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything, Barbara Ehrenreich