Life is too short to read bad books.
So, I pick and choose literature with the utmost care. This I do largely based on the recommendation of literary friends whose taste has proven impeccable. Sometimes I add books mentioned as favorites by a writer I respect. Or I chase down additional titles from an author whose work has captivated me.
All of these I add to a running “list of candidates”. I learned this practice in Steve Leveen’s tiny treasure of a book, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life. When I finish a book, I peruse the list to find a selection just right for just this moment. It is a marvelous resource.
Here are the books that are currently crowding to the front of my list. Please, PLEASE, let me know which books I MUST add. Last year was one of my favorite reading years ever, largely because of the great books you told me about. I am counting on you.
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor *
A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography by Egon Wellesz
Mother Gavrilia: The Ascetic of Love by Nun Gavrilia*
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway *
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron*
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky*
Waiting for God by Simone Weil
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson*
The Trembling of the Veil by W.B. Yeats
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh *
Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
The Poetry of John Keats
Story by Robert McKee
Wild Iris by Louise Gluck *
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
*List items read thus far. For a full listing of all this year’s reads (as well as past years, and favorites), click on the Bookshelf tab above.