Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Kids Were All Right Book List

* Amy
* Dan
* Pops
* Haley
* Em
* Sue
* Alex
*Bronwyn (B)

1. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo***
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte**
3. The Killer Angels - Micheal Shaara*
4. The Ender Trilogy - Orson Scott Card*
5. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy*
6. Frankenstein - Mary Shelly**
7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin****
8. A Gift From the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindburgh*
9. Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier*
10. My Name is Asher Lev - Chiam Potok*
11. Catch - 22 - Joseph Heller*
12. The Ninth Wave - Eugene Burdick*
13. The Story of My Life - Helen Keller**
14. Shogun - James Clavell*
15. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte**
16. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole*
17. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee*****
18. 1984 - George Orwell**
19. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens**
20. Survival in Auschwitz - Primo Levi**
21. East of Eden - John Steinbeck**
22. Leap of Faith - Queen Noor (of Jordan)*
23. The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco*
24. Invisible Monsters (&*%$#@!) - Chuck Palahniuk*
25. Roots - Alex Haley**
26. Life of Pi - Yann Martel****
27. anything by Iris Murdock (especially: A Severed Head and Good Apprentice)*
28. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand**
29. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare**
30. His Dark Materials Trilogy - Philip Pullman*
31. Emma - Jane Austin*
32. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe**
33. Candide - Voltaire*
34. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas**
35. The Host - Stephenie Meyer***
36. O Pioneers! - Willa Cather*
37. The Alan Gregory series by Stephen White*
38. Dune - Frank Herbert*
39. The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger**
40. Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom**
41. Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare*
42. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky**
43. anything by David Sedaris*
44. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute*
45. The Stand - Stephen King*
46. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand*
47. The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom*
48. Hamlet - William Shakespeare*
49. The Pearl - John Steinbeck**
50. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley*
51. Jubilee - Margaret Walker*
52. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck**
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austin**
54. The Education of Little Tree - Forest Carter*
55. The Odyssey - Homer*
56. The Great Divorce - CS Lewis*
57. The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe*
58. The Prince of Tides - Pat Conroy*
59. The Killing Floor - Lee Child*
60. The Princess Bride - William Goldman**
61. Animal Farm - George Orwell*
62. Once Upon a Town The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen - Bob Green*
63. John Adams - David McCullough*
64. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey*
65. The Chosen - Chiam Potok***
66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon*
67. Exodus - Leon Uris*
68. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut**
69. My Antonia - Willa Carter*
70. Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follet*
71. South of Broad - Pat Conroy*
72. The Hunt For Red October - Tom Clancy*
73. Wonder Boys - Micheal Chabon*
74. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens*
75. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*
76. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing*
77. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote*
78. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig*
79. The Wind of War - Herman Wouk*
80. Point of Impact - Stephen Hunter*
81. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver*
82. Lydia Cassat Reading the Morning Paper - Harriet Scott Chessmen*
83. Waldon - Henry David Thoreau*
84. Wild Swans - Jung Chang*
85. anything by Dostoevsky*
86. War and Remembrance - Herman Wouk*
87. anything by David Foster Wallace*
88. The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis*
89. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens*
90. Mila 18 - Leon Uris*
91. Refuge - Terry Tempest Williams*
92. anything by Kurt Vonnegut (especially: The Sirens of Titan, Deadeye Dick, Hocus Pocus, Player Piano and Bluebeard)*
93. Pale Horse Coming - Stephen Hunter*
94. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith**
95. Storming Heaven - Jay Stevens*
96. LA Outlaws - T. Jefferson Parker*
97. anything by John Steinbeck*
98. The Source - James A. Michner*
99. The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls**
100. anything by Ray Bradbury*
101. Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach*
102. The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman*
103. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde**
104. anything by JD Salinger*
105. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl*
106. Trinity - Leon Uris*
107. Persuasion - Jane Austin*
108. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd*
109. Fade Away - Harlan Coben*
110. Night - Elie Wiesel*
111. Reflection of a Peacemaker - Mattie Stepanek*
112. Redemption - Leon Uris*
113. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne*
114. The Covenant - James A. Michner*
115. The Anna Pigeon Series by Nevada Barr*
Juvenile Section
116. The Twilight Series - Stephenie Meyer***
117. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak**
118. The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling****
119. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank*
120. Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls**
121. James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl*
122. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White*
123. The Boxcar Children Series - Gertrude Chandler Warner**
124. Holes - Louis Sachar*
125. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett**
126. White Fang - Jack London*
127. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain*
128. Heidi - Johanna Spyri*
129. The Anne of Green Gables Series - L.M. Montgomery***
130. The Giver - Lois Lowry*
131. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery*
132. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott**
133. The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis***
134. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain*
135. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie*
136. Woman in the Wall - Patrice Kindl*
137. The Calvin and Hobbes Series - Bill Watterson*
138. The Alice Series - Phylis Reynolds Naylor*
139. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury*
140. The Encyclopedia Brown Series - Donald J. Sobol*
Religious books Section
141. The Book of Mormon - Various Authors***
142. The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother - Lucy Mack Smith**
143. Go Forward With Faith Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley - Sheri Dew*
144. Glimpses Into the Life and Heart of Margorie P. Hinckley - Margorie P. Hinckley*
145. The Work and the Glory Series - Gerald Lund***
146. Children of the Promise Series - Dean Hughes***
147. The Price We Paid - David D. Olsen*
148. Stages of Faith - James Fowler*
149. Who Wrote the Bible? - Richard Elliot Friedman*
150. Varieties of Religious Experience - William James*
151. Believing Christ - Stephen E. Robinson*
152. Jesus the Christ - James E. Talmage*
153. Speaking of Faith - Krista Tippett*
154. Mere Christianity - CS Lewis**
155. Way to Be - Gordon B. Hinkley*
Non-Fiction Section
156. The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff*
157. A Brief History of Everything - Ken Wilber*
158. Ishmael - Daniel Quinn*
159. Bearing the Cross - David Garrow*
160. Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcolm X with Alex Haley*
161. Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas Kuhn*

There you are: 161 bad boys. Now get reading.

"Amazing look into a very particular brand of Judaism and an artist whose talent can't be contained in just that small world. Even in it's particularity, however, it is one of the books that explores universal themes in an amazing way. I highly recommend all the other Potok books as well."
-Dan on My Name is Asher Lev

"I love how Austen was so ahead of her time. I love how she wrote about strong women at a time where women didn't have much power. I love this story and I think it is easily relate-able, especially growing up with sisters. I think this story is funny and really teaches us to not make judgments of others."
-Haley on Pride and Prejudice

"This book was sooooo different then what I expected and so very much better. If you have never read this, you need to do it. Now."
-Emily on Frankenstein

"Love and Hate this book. I end up not agreeing with Rand in most ways, but I can't ever forget this book."
-Dan on Atlas Shrugged

-Haley on her recommendation of The Twilight Series

"I kind of crush on this author from her radio show/podcast by same name, so perhaps I'm biased to think the world of this book. To me it is an extremely powerful book as it not only takes us through her own faith journey but introduces us to some of the best, most powerful spiritual people with big ideas and committed lives. Inspires me a lot. A few months ago I actually bought a dozen or so copies of this book for about $5 each to give away to friends. I have 5 or 6 left and would be thrilled to send a copy to any of you who want to give this one a try."
-Dan on Speaking of Faith

"A little insight... I read a TON growing up, but it was mostly children's books and sci-fi/fantasy. I really wasn't exposed to much mainstream literature until high school and beyond, when I had friends and other ways to pass the days. So lately, I've been trying to get back into reading, with mixed success. And the difference between what I read when I was younger and what I read now is like the difference between eating Hamburger Helper and eating Amy Phister's cooking. I was still reading, and it was good, but doesn't even compare. So that's why this list is fairly short. A very small percentage of what I've read made this list."
-Bronwyn (sorry, but you had to be Mr. Black for the quotes)

"To put it simply: this book changed my life."
-Emily on To Kill a Mockingbird

"I guess I'm mostly an author person. It's hard for me to pick out books."
-Sue on her book list

"Holocaust survivor turned psychologist with very practical sensibility. Guess what? Life isn't supposed to be free of conflict, and happiness can only be known in striving for purposes that are worth of human beings in the highest sense of what that means."
-Dan on Man's Search for Meaning

"My first read in high school, out of print."
-Pops on The Ninth Wave

"I read this when I was about 13 and stayed up one night to finish it all alone, bawling in my room. A sweet story, definitely a classic. Dan and Little Anne.....tear."
-Haley on Where the Red Fern Grows

"Freaky. Just go with it..."
-Dan on Slaughterhouse Five

"If you like mystery stories, these are a must read. The heroine is a feisty middle aged park ranger (I picture her to be Kathleen Turner). The settings take place in a different National Park every time, so it is kind of fun to see where the next book will take you: Lake Superior, deep in a cave in New Mexico, Alaska, Natchez Trace parkway, you get the idea. I think they are well written, they are good adventure and I always have fun exploring a different part of the country when I read. Plus, the endings are always very unpredictable, which is an excellent trait when it comes to mysteries."
- Emily on The Anna Pigeon Series

"You'll be in for a LOT of sex and violence in this novel set in feudal Japan, but you will learn so, so much. And the character of Toranaga is one of the most fascinating characters I've ever encountered in my reading---both highly admirable and alienating, but truly a great leader."
-Dan on Shogun

"My mom kind of made a point not to read #1 New York Best Seller books, and this was one of the first non-fiction books that I ever read, and I was blown away. It opened up a whole new, non sci-fi fantasy world to me!!"
-B on Tuesdays with Morrie

"This book is AMAZING. It contains one of the most evil monsters in literary history in the form of a small women named Cathy. Epic story. Tragic and incredibly compelling. This one won't leave you any time soon."
-Emily on East of Eden

"I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this."
-John Steinbeck on East of Eden

"If you're going to read just one Holocaust book..."
-Dan on Night

"Obviously Amy is not going to read just one Holocaust book."
-Emily on Amy's book list


Amy said...

Thanks, Em, for doing this. I could probably add a few more since I submitted my list. Some good books out there!

Pops said...

Nice list, I wish I could add some more. The list reminded me of some other good books. I made a quick count and I believe I have read 73 of the book on the list. One mark for a series except I counted the three of the "cold skin, doggy books" by Meyer. The worst of them all was The name of the Rose by Eco. I didn't get it and it sucked. Sorry, Dan.

Dan W said...

What, don't love medieval tales about hiding documents that the church doesn't want to see come out and possibly undermine certain views it's been pushing?! It's a precursor to the Mark Hofmann saga (except the Eco book adds in some forbidden sex, etc.).

BTW, I'm now a regular host of the Mormon Stories podcast ( and we just posted a long but very interesting interview I did with Richard Dutcher, and on the 15th we'll be releasing one I did on the Mark Hofmann bombings and forgeries (that day is the 25th anniversary exactly of the first bombs). Then, sometime in the coming month, the founder of the podcast is going to be interviewing me about my faith journey, etc. I'll let you know when that one goes up.

Dan W said...

Looking forward to see some of the comments, Em, about why folks chose certain ones. I'm excited to do some reading!

I'll have to go through these thoroughly to see, like George, which ones I already have read (and which of HIS sucked!). I actually am not completely recommending all the ones I listed as totally compelling but simply interesting or landmark for me in some way. So before anyone takes my recommendations on, I'm happy to explain my thinking and give more what to expect if you were to dive in...

Emily said...

"I didn't get it, and it sucked"
-George Wright

Emily said...

I thought I would point out that To Kill a Mockingbird is the single most reccommended book on the list followed by a 3 way tie between: Life Of Pie, Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter.

I think I will do the quotes now, I need something to get the Dexter season finale out of my head.

Emily said...

My number was 74! How is that for random? Better get reading pops, I got one on you. Of course if I was to count all the books in the series recommended, the number would be more like 133.

Emily said...

I think the quotes are a lot of fun! If anyone has a few to add that contributed to the list (especially if you didn't provide any explanations to me)- feel free to email me a few quotes.

Also- Dan sent a nice little insight with all his choices, but I just couldn't put them all on here. If anyone is interested, I could cut and paste them somewhere else.
I know we all expressed interest in having our choices explained (I know I really like hearing why people chose what they did) I believe we came up with the idea of every contributor making a separate post kind of explaining what they want to explain. If anyone was up to doing that, feel free, I think it would be an awesome addition.

(Many of course need no explanation, -they're classics for goodness sakes-, but sometimes they mean more to you then meets the eye.)

Amy said...

I don't think I submitted any comments on the books I chose. I will have to get on that. Not this week--I have company and am speaking in Sacrament Meeting. And, yes, I do love holocaust books. Sounds like I need to add "Night" to my "to read" list. By the way, I don't know if any of you have seen "Good Reads" on Facebook. I have done it and have added lots of comments on there. It might be a good way for us to share this information with each other. It's pretty easy to do.

Dan W said...

Still haven't had time to figure my number. Before then, let me say thanks for posting the reasons you have posted. Fun to hear about the "whys" of certain selections.

From your suggestion, Em, I am definitely going to make Frankenstein my next read. I have heard from many others in the past two years about how totally awesome and interesting it is and now you've pushed me over the top. I'm doing it!

Other random notes:

Fun to hear the most recommended. Let me simply say for those who have yet to try Life of Pi that it, along with The Book Thief, are the two biggest surprises in the past few years for me. Out of the box books that still capture my imagination and crop in my consciousness regularly.

Still happy to send anyone who asks a free copy of the Speaking of Faith book.

Dan W said...

Oh yeah. I'm happy to do a separate post with my reasons soon. Maybe tonight.

Matt, I think you especially will enjoy the interview I did with Richard Dutcher at Mormon Stories. There is a lot on his faith journey that likely won't resonate, but there is a TON on his journey as a filmmaker and extensive looks at each of his films and what he was thinking, what he loved, what mistakes he thinks he made, etc. The whole interview is about 6.5 hours long, so just take it one chunk at a time.

Finally a fun tweak to Em: I love a great "heroine" but I am not so keen on "heroin." (See your note on the Anna Pigeon series... Tee hee. Posting late at night when tired always bites me too)

Emily said...

Oops! Thanks Dan, I'll get on that. I subscribed to your podcast last night and listened to most of the first chunk of interview with Dutcher (I've never seen his stuff- I have stayed entirely away from Mormon cinema. The interview is interesting anyways.) Also- what a great month to read Frankenstein! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The monster is a far cry from the green faced hulk that can't even form a word. Why did Hollywood do that?

Oh and Life of Pi- fun read that makes you think whole time while reading and much to ponder after wards. LOVED the chapter about that island...... I always love survival stories, this one was a most excellent one combined with interesting views on religion. I just loved Pi with his, "I just love God".

Amy- who's staying with you this week?

Dan W said...

Yikes, only 58 for me! (Quite familiar with many, many more, but I can't remember actually reading the books in full.) Wow, I am behind! If you add the various series books (3 in Ender series, 7 in Potter, 7 in Narnia, etc., it's 22 more). Also, the book club that Lorri and I belong to is reading Endurance (about Shakeleton's polar adventures) right now, so I'll soon have that one done--then it will be 59, woo hoo!

Yes, Em, on Pi and "love God" beyond any religions or categories. So much in that book that is just terrific and thought provoking...

Glad you're enjoying the Dutcher interview, Em! I loved doing it and also think it's quite compelling even if someone doesn't know his movies well. Creative people talking is always fascinating.

Finally a shout out for the Tao of Pooh that B put on the list. Loved it! Great, fun intro to Taoist thought and simply a healthier way of living (in harmony with life rather than trying to run it). I know it's one of Alex's favs, too.

Amy said...

83 for me plus the series books(Twilight, Harry Potter, Narnia, Children of the Promise and Work & Glory). I'm excited to read more. I loved "Endurance" I've read it twice and love it so much. I, too, like survival stories and it's an incredible one. Also loved Life of Pi and The Book Thief. I agree with all your comments regarding those. Frankenstein, also, is awesome!
Haley and Allison stayed for the week. I'll drive them back to Rexburg on Monday. And, Cody (Sarah's boyfriend) couldn't come last weekend, so he and Sarah are coming Friday.

Matt said...

Cool Dan- I will give it a listen.

"eh... Books..."
-Matt on Matt's book list

B said...

Thanks for adding my books Em!

Dan, Em was the one who recommended the Tao of Pooh. I have read parts of that book, but not enough to recommend.

Umm... I've read 18. There are 4 series in there, and I've started a massive amount, but I just need to get in gear and finish them!!!

Dan W said...

Must adjust my monitor's color values! Sorry, B, it looked like a yellow asterisk next to Tao of Pooh. Can't believe Em and I have some of the same tastes in books when her musical choices are generally too weird for me.