Tell Me What To Read

I’m devouring books while I’m away, so am actively soliciting suggestions! I’m trying to achieve a perfect balance of funny books / serious books / trashy mysteries / books about places I’m going / books in other categories that I’ve forgotten to mention.

Here’s where I am so far:

What I’m Reading Now
The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget, Andrew Rice
The Double Comfort Safari Club, Alexander Mccall Smith
The Giant Book of Poetry, William Roetzheim

What’s Waiting on My Kindle
All Men of Genius, Lev Rosen
Brick Lane, Monica Ali
The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande
Fooling Houdini, Alex Stone
The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton
Gods Without Men, Hari Kunzru
Growing Up Amish, Ira Wagler
The Magicians, Lev Grossman
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand

What I’ve Read So Far
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
The Antelope’s Strategy, Jean Hatzfeld
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
A Bad Idea I’m About to Do, Chris Gethard
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, Dinaw Mengestu
A Bend in the River, V.S. Naipaul
Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, Maaza Mengiste
Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander Mccall Smith
Bossypants, Tina Fey
Breakfast with Buddha, Roland Merullo
Compromising Positions, Susan Isaacs
Country of My Skull, Antjie Krog
Curse of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz
The Devil’s Teeth, Susan Casey
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller
The Emperor, Ryszard Kapuscinski
The Full Cupboard of Life, Alexander Mccall Smith
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Alexander Mccall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men, Alexander Mccall Smith
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela
The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Alexander Mccall Smith
Moneyball, Michael Lewis
Morality for Beautiful Girls, Alexander Mccall Smith
My Custom Van, Michael Ian Black
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Open City, Teju Cole
Revenge of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman
The Spellman Files, Lisa Lutz
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, Alexander Mccall Smith
Tears of the Giraffe, Alexander Mccall Smith
The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
Too Big to Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin
The Wave, Susan Casey
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, Philip Gourevitch
What is the What, Dave Eggers
Whatever You Do, Don’t Run, Peter Allison

What I’ve Given Up On
Chuck Klosterman IV, Chuck Klosterman
Happy Hour Is for Amateurs, Philadelphia Lawyer
My Seinfeld Year, Fred Stoller
The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, Richard A. Wilson


11 thoughts on “Tell Me What To Read

  1. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste–historical fiction about a family in Ethiopia during the revolution and under the Derge.

    • Done! Thanks for the recommendation, I really liked it (if “like” is an appropriate word to use for a book that made you cry multiple times).

  2. i just finished The Night Circus and I liked it. or you could read the book version of Ira and Abby. Just kidding…

  3. I just read a book called “the devils teeth” also that was AMAZING. it’s by Susan Casey and it’s about great whites and the Farallone Islands and the woman who wrote it is a bad ass and does cool things- like you. I highly recommend it for you since your traveling. There’s a few shout outs to great white heavy areas around South Africa too. xoxoxo

  4. Hi Elana,
    I’m following along on your blog and loving it. I hope to get there myself before too long. A book I loved that is both funny and about Africa is ” Don’t Let the Dogs Out Tonight: An African Childhood” by Alexandra Fuller. It had me laughing out loud but is also a fascinating look at growing up as the child of English immigrants in Africa as that world was changing. But mainly I found the parts about their family pretty hilarious!
    We missed you at our Easter Brunch this year but we can have a “do over ” once you get home.

    • Thank you so much for the recommendation, I will add it to my list. I am really sad too that I missed out on Easter, I heard it was a lot of fun. I would love a do-over when I’m back — it’s way too long to wait until Christmas Eve!

  5. Just in case you didn’t get my facebook message my next recommendation is The Wave. Also by Susan casey. its really gooood. xoxoxo miss you

  6. Ryszard Kapscinski, a deceased Polish journalist, wrote some amazing books about Africa. The Shadow of the Sun is available for download, and when you get to England, try to find The Emperor, about Haile Selassie, only in paperback. Really enjoying your photos and travelogue, which jonathan shares with me. I SO want to be on the road again!. It’s so great you are doing this. Btw, Ian graduates next weekend, so Jonathan and I are heading up to your beloved Madison, a world away. Love, Peggy

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