Hi loyal readers,

After a few months of being too busy to blog, I’m back! What did I do during that time you ask? Primarily I ran. A lot. And started a new position at work. And read. And enjoyed the great outdoors because… summer!

But I’m back now! Chicago Marathon finisher and all!

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1001 Books

After taking a break from the 1001 Books list to read Hunger Games I’m back to reading from the list! I just finished The War of the Worlds and A Room with a View, and am now moving on to The Jungle.

I’ve been rating the books as I go along, so I thought I’d share what I have so far. It’s been incredibly difficult to rate the books because I feel bad giving any book on the list a bad rating, and want to give every book a 4 or 5! Even books that are rated 1 are worth reading, they just weren’t my favorite. I know books I read recently I tend to remember better, and therefore tend to give higher ratings. I’m trying not to do that, but I know it’s happening a little bit!

As I go along I’m adjusting ratings to make sure there’s fairly even distribution among the ratings. A 1 is the lowest rating and means that, while it deserves to be on the list, it was not something I am likely to read again. 5 is life changing, awesome, probably the type of book I truly enjoy, and/or something I would read over and over again. To be a 5 it has to be one of those books I just couldn’t put down once I started reading. Books that are 5’s (and 4’s and most 3’s) are not all happy reads, but they are all powerful, amazing books for various reasons.


  • Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel)
  • The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
  • The Bluest Eye (Tony Morrison)
  • Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)


  • American Rust (Philipp Meyer)
  • The Plot Against America (Philip Roth)
  • Blonde (Joyce Carol Oates)
  • Schindler’s Ark (Thomas Kneally)
  • Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells)
  • Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)


  • Love Medicine (Louise Erdich)
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge (Flannery O’Connor)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • A Room With A View (E.M. Forster)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)


  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
  • The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
  • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
  • Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)


  • Jazz (Tony Morrison)
  • Slaughter-house Five (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  • Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (Lewis Carroll)
  • Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
  • Candide (Voltaire)
  • Aesop’s Fables (Aesopus)


Note: Books are in age order, with newest first, because that’s the order of the list (and therefore my ratings), so there is no special meaning to being first or last within a rating!