Does This Reading List Confuse You?

(CAUTION: This list will always be under construction…because I’ll always be reading!)

So no one laugh, but I have been keeping track of every book that I have ever read since I was in fifth or sixth grade. Having been a librarian for my entire adult life, I have had the opportunity to read books that wouldn’t cross the average person’s desk, but other times I have read simple brain candy. I read for my own education and pleasure, and I love sharing my favorite books with other people so I hope you find a list here that you can enjoy.

Here are a couple of rules that I have followed for these lists:

  1. I must have read the book myself to include it on a list.
  2. I may have read it at any time, but I try to include it with an age appropriate category.
  3. Parents: I always recommend that you read a book before your child reads it to be sure it is age and content appropriate. I am NOT a parent so I don’t know what you deem appropriate. Check it out for yourself first!
  4. Periodically, I will mark a book as a favorite because I either remember things from it even years later or I actually refer to it frequently in speaking or writing.

Teaching Tales (Children’s Books to Read and Discuss with Your Kids)

  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • No Fighting, No Biting! by Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
  • Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
  • Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Hank Zipzer series) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (The main character has dyslexia to this is a good series for parents to help their kids work through the situation.)
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
  • Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
  • When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins

Totally Written to Be Read Aloud (Children’s Books and Poetry)

  • Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • Poems to Learn by Heart compiled by Caroline Kennedy

 Adventures for My Childhood Imagination (Chapter Books)

  • Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O’Dell
  • Toliver’s Secret by Esther Wood Brady
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Three Terrible Trins by Dick King-Smith
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • HELP! I’m a Prisoner in the Library by Eth Clifford

Get a Clue ! (Juvenile and Tween Mysteries)

  • Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  • When the Phone Rang by Henry Mazer
  • Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus
  • The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Geronimo Stilton Series by Geronimo Stilton (wink!)
  • The Dark and Deadly Pool by Joan Lowery Nixon
  • Mysteries in Our National Parks Series by Gloria Skurzynski & Alane Ferguson

Snorts and Giggles (Fun Chapter Books for Kids)

  • Here Comes Zelda Claus (and Other Holiday Disasters) by Lynn Hall
  • The Show-and-Tell War and Other Stories about Adam Joshua by Janice Lee Smith
  • Wayside School Is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
  • My Mother Got Married (and Other Disasters) by Barbara Park

I Don’t Remember Being a Tween But Here’s What I Have Read

  • The Island by Gary Paulsen
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
  • The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
  • Canyons by Gary Paulsen
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
  • Cold in Summer by Tracy Barrett

Girls Growing Up

  • Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
  • Sarah Bishop by Scott O’Dell
  • My Name Is Not Angelica by Scott O’Dell
  • So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall Series by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Anne of Green Gables Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Prairie Songs by Pam Conrad
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • The Monument by Gary Paulsen
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Night Cry by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggins
  • Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi
  • The Coffin Quilt: The Feud Between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

Because Books Were (or Would Have Been) More Interesting Than Boys When I Was a Teenager

  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Christy by Catherine Marshall
  • Walks in Beauty by Hazel Krantz
  • Letters from the Inside by John Marsden
  • Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • 50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know by Kay West with John Bridges & Bryan Curtis
  • Nevermore Trilogy by Kelly Creagh
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

Libraries, Librarians, and Books Matter!

  • Tell Me Some More by Crosby Newell Bonsall (Children’s picture book)
  • Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis (Children’s picture book)
  • The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter (Children’s picture book)
  • But Excuse Me That Is My Book by Lauren Child (Children’s picture book)
  • Amelia Bedelia, Bookworm by Herman Parish (Children’s picture book)
  • My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs (Children’s picture book)
  • This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson (Adult)
  • I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan (Adult)

Classics Are Totally Worth It! Well, Most of the Time…

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Treasure Island by Roubert Louis Stevenson
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’ve Heard This Somewhere Before…Classics Retold

  • Reason and Romance by Debra White Smith
  • First Impressions by Debra White Smith
  • Central Park by Debra White Smith
  • The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street
  • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin’ Cornbread by Mary Jane Hathaway
  • Jane by April Lindner
  • Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Henry Tilney’s Diary by Amanda Grange
  • Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange

Awe Inspiring (Real) Women

  • Delta Style: Eve Wasn’t a Size 6 and Neither Am I by Delta Burke with Alexis Lipsitz
  • Wake Up, I’m Fat! by Camryn Manheim
  • A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II by Anne Nogle
  • Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness as told to Robert Specht
  • Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  • Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
  • All That Is Bitter and Sweet by Ashley Judd
  • The Girl’s Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope by Todd & Tara Storch
  • The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge
  • Smile at Strangers and Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly by Susan Schorn
  • Laughing in the Dark by Chonda Pierce
  • The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Because Being a Christian Woman Has Always Been Hard

  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge
  • I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody God by Marjorie Holmes
  • Only Angels Can Wing It: The Rest of Us Have to Practice by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • Embrace Grace: Welcome to the Forgiven Life by Liz Curtis Higgs
  • So Much More Than Sexy by Mark Attebury
  • Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge

Because Sometimes My Faith Needs a Pick-Me-Up!

  • Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going by Joyce Meyer
  • In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado
  • The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado
  • Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Meant to Bear by Max Lucado
  • Every Day Deserves a Chance by Max Lucado
  • Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian compilation of C.S. Lewis
  • Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan
  • Landmines in the Path of the Believer: Avoiding the Hidden Dangers by Charles F. Stanley
  • Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim by Philip Yancey
  • Max on Life by Max Lucado
  • Nearing Home by Billy Graham
  • The Lucado Inspirational Reader by Max Lucado
  • 31 Days Toward Passionate Faith by Joni Eareckson Tada
  • When God Winks at You by SQuire Rushnell
  • Grace by Max Lucado
  • Jesus Is ____.:Find a New Way to Be Human by Judah Smith
  • All In by Mark Batterson
  • You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado
  • Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible by Matthew West
  • Godwink Stories: A Devotional by SQuire Rushnell
  • Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick
  • The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
  • Let Hope In: 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever by Pete Wilson
  • Life Is ___.: God’s Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence by Judah Smith
  • How’s Your Faith?: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey by David Gregory
  • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
  • Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker
  • Shaken by Tim Tebow
  • Live Love Lead by Brian Houston
  • If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg

Being Single Stinks So I Need All the Help I Can Get

  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (read when I was in college – some time ago!)
  • Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
  • Not Even a Hint: Guarding Your Heart Against Lust by Joshua Harris
  • Common Mistakes Singles Make (and How to Avoid Them) by Mary S. Whelchel
  • Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman
  • Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together by Mark & Grace Driscoll
  • The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge
  • Undefiled by Harry Schaumburg
  • Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting by Cheryl McKay
  • The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating by Andy Stanley
  • Revelations of a Single Woman by Connally Gilliam
  • Beautiful Uncertainty by Mandy Hale
  • The Thrill of the Chaste by Dawn Eden

Completely Random Reads…Cause That’s Just How My Brain Works

  • Other People’s Dirt: A Housecleaner’s Curious Adventures by Louise Rafkin
  • The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People by Susan Orlean
  • What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World by M.L. Rossi (wish there was an updated edition!)
  • How to Be a Canadian by Will Ferguson & Ian Ferguson
  • The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • Any book written by Georgette Heyer

Digging Deep for Truth

  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  • I Am Potential by Patrick Henry Hughes
  • What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Daniel Walker
  • Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope by Todd & Tara Storch
  • When Will the Heaven Begin?: This Is Ben Breedlove’s Story by Ally Breedlove
  • Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Slave Child by Shyima Hall with Lisa Wysocky
  • The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith
  • Another Man’s War by Sam Childers
  • Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

History Buffs Only (But Please Give at Least One of Them a Try Even if You Aren’t)

  • Denison’s Ice Road by Edith Iglauer
  • The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer
  • The Jew Store by Stella Suberman
  • The Sixteenth Rail by Adam J. Schrager
  • George Washington, Spymaster by Thomas B. Allen (This is actually a juvenile non-fiction book, but I recommend it anyway for its explanation of how the spies communicated at that time.)
  • Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose
  • George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
  • The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
  • 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team
  • Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca

I Need a Laugh About This Crazy World (Humor & Satire Authors)

  • Erma Bombeck
  • Lewis Grizzard
  • Rick Reilly (Sports)
  • Dave Barry

Learning to Love Those Around Me (Books That Taught Me About Others)

  • Squat by Taylor Field
  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood
  • God’s Guest List: Welcoming Those Who Influence Our Lives by Debbie Macomber
  • Jesus Did It Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments for Christians by Kent M. Keith
  • Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit by River Jordan
  • Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street by Robert L. Okin, MD

Mission Minded

  • City on Our Knees by TobyMac
  • The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett & George Barna
  • The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson with John & Elizabeth Sherrill
  • The White Umbrella by Mary Frances Bowley
  • The Autobiography of George Müller by George Müller

My Brain or Heart Just Fell Out of a Whirlwind: Thought-Provoking Fiction

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
  • The Summons by John Grisham
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb
  • Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  • Margot by Jillian Cantor

Romances That Actually Make Me Believe in Love

  • The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel
  • Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge

Shhhhh…I’m Not Sure Some People Are Comfortable with These Topics

(Coming Soon)

Somebody Doesn’t Want You to Read These Books (Banned or Challenged Books)

  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

When You’re Okay with a Touch of Blood, Gore, and Vilence (Mystery & Suspense Authors)

  • Diane Mott Davidson
  • M.C. Beaton
  • Lilian Jackson Braun
  • Sue Henry
  • Mary Higgins Clark
  • Joanne Fluke
  • Sofie Kelly

When You’re Tired of All the Reality Junk (Christian Fiction Authors)

  • Janette Oke
  • Gilbert Morris
  • Grace Livingston Hill
  • Jan Karon
  • Francine Rivers
  • B.J. Hoff
  • Charlene Ann Baumbich
  • Sandra Robbins
  • Debbie Macomber
  • Tessa Afshar
  • Wanda Brunstetter
  • Julie Klassen
  • Lori Wick

When You’re Tired of Blood, Gore, and Violence (Inspirational Mystery & Suspense Authors)

  • Dee Henderson
  • Irene Hannon

Yep! I’m Changing Jobs (Some of These Titles May Appear in Other Lists)

  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood
  • Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
  • What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson
  • Jesus Did It Anyway by Kent M. Keith
  • All That Is Bitter and Sweet by Ashley Judd
  • Praying for Strangers by River Jordan
  • Smile at Strangers by Susan Schorn
  • When God Winks at You by SQuire Rushnell (not a mispelling, by the way)
  • Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016 by Richard Nelson Bolles
  • God Is Always Hiring by Regina Brett
  • Let Hope In by Pete Wilson
  • All the Places to Go, How Will You Know? by John Ortberg
  • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
  • What Keeps You Up at Night by Pete Wilson
  • Shaken by Tim Tebow
  • Plan B by Pete Wilson

 

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