Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jungle Reds "forever part of you" and "best writing" books: The lists!

RECAPPING those books...

HALLIE EPHRON: A month ago Deborah Crombie asked, what are THOSE books that you couldn't imagine NOT having read, the ones that have become part of you in some indefinable way.
 And you told us.

Then Susan Elia MacNeal asked for your favorite writing books. And you told us.

So here they all are, two formidable lists. Thank you!  

How many have you read??

The Jungle Reds "forever part of you" books...

Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Nashland
All Alone in the Universe by Lynne Rae Perkins
All Clear by Connie Willis
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson
Beyond Belief by Emlyn Williams
The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
Brothers of Earth by C.J. Cherryh
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher
The Diary of Anne Frank
A Discovery of Witches by Deb Harkness

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The Drifters by James Michener
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Exodus by Leon Uris
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Fire Watch by Connie Willis
Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn
Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Girls by Lori Lansens
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Gone With the Wind by Margaret  Mitchell

The Good German by Joseph Kanon
The House of Stairs by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine
The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Journal of Solitude by May Sarton
Lincoln's Dreams by Connie Willis
Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
The Messiah Stones by Irving Benig
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Orphaned Adult by Alexander Lev

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland
Plainsong by Kent Haruf's
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Possession by A.S. Byatt and Childrens Book
The Powers of Charlotte Jane Lazarre
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Rabbit Run by John Updike
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen
A Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Shadow of Night by Deb Harkness
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Shōgun by James Clavell
Sleeping with Schubert by Bonnie Marson
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Widow for One Year by John Irving
Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
A Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Jungle Reds writing books...

The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
The Art of Character by David Corbett
Bird by Bird by Anne LaMotte
Character & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Don't Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden.
Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
How to Write by Richard Rhodes
Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
On Moral Fiction by John Gardner
On Writing by David Morrell
The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing by Monica Wood
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
Telling Lies for Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block
Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Writing the Historical Mystery by Kathy Lynn Emerson 


  1. I read the posts at the time, but seeing the books listed is quite an eye-opener! So many wonderful books in these lists --- many I have read, several I need to read . . . .

  2. Thanks so much for compiling these, Hallie! It's great to have them all in one easy-to-use list. The Jungle Reds community is such a great resource.

  3. Where can U get those mugs you used in the pictures?

  4. The Matilda mug:
    The mugs: WHERE I FOUND THEM
    Reading is My Superpower on ETSY
    A room without books... from Cafe Press
    Great first lines in lit mug

  5. Thank you, Hallie, you are a star for doing this! What fun! And yes, I counted. I've read 30 of the "Change Your Life" books, and have at least a dozen more on the list somewhere on my TBR shelves. (I figure I had a little head start since I recommended a few of them.) But it was so interesting to see everyone else's suggestions, and now I'm motivated to read those books that have been languishing, as well as those I hadn't considered.

    I got 5 on the writing books, so maybe I need a refresher course:-)

    And LOVE the mugs! Every reader should have them!

  6. I don't know how I missed that posting on Writing Books. Thanks for the lists, and the chance to go back and find the post.

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  8. And here's a fun idea--why don't we all pick a book from the list that we HAVEN'T read to read next. And mine is--

    Sleeping with Schubert by Bonnie Marsan!

  9. Oh, Kaye, I do so love lists, too, and reading lists are the best. Hallie, thank you for compiling these two lists from the previous posts. I will be printing this post and keeping it near. I mean, really, if the writers I respect so much and the participants on this blog that I enjoy so much recommend reading a book, I should sit up and take notice. Linda, I agree with you that this community is a great resource.

    Debs, I'd read quite a few books on the "changing life" list, too (33), but, like you, I had more than a few I had offered up personally. And, I love your idea that we should each pick a book we haven't read from that list as our next read, but I might have to wait until a bit later. Although, I did just purchase one of the writing books, Bird by Bird. Maybe, I could squeeze it in.

    Hank, I think that the reason not many mysteries/thrillers were listed, or at least in my case, is that for many that read mysteries and thrillers, they read series. It becomes difficult to list which of the books in a series impacted you most or to pick a favorite. After all, I love each and every book in a series. For mysteries and thrillers, I would like to see a list of favorite series. How about a post on that, asking us for our favorite series? Also, a list of favorite mystery books, including stand-alones would be interesting.

    Oh, and Hallie, the mugs are indeed wonderful. I may have to order the Matilda one. Oddly enough, my favorite mug isn't a reading mug, but is Hog's Breath Saloon mug from Key West. Lucy, I recommend you check them out over at Hog's Breath (which is better than no breath at all) sometime.

  10. A lot of great books on the lists! Many I've read, and more from my never-ending TBR list...

  11. I'm surprised by how many i HAVEN"T read (I've read 24). And that there are so many by Connie Willis - I've read nothing by her. Connie Willis fans... which one should I start with??

    And I've "read" 8 of the writing books... not cover to cover, but still.

  12. Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors. You should start with The Doomsday Book. It will blow you away.
    And if you want to chuckle, her funny Victorian book To Say Nothing of the Dog.

  13. many more books to add to the TBR list! Thanks.

  14. Hallie, I would start the Willis books with "Lincoln's Dreams." She's great.

    But some of the other novels listed I found unreadable. Just sayin' (one man's meat....)

  15. Can I add one? How about The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck? The first time I read it, I had an epiphany of sorts. And I love Steinbeck's spare language, and his celebration of nobility in the underclass.

  16. Hallie, I was one of the people who loaded the list with Connie Willis. Her historian time travelers books are so fantastic. I wish I could read them all over again for the first time, starting with Doomsday Book, then To Say Nothing of the Dog, then the two separate books that are really one, Blackout and All Clear. I think Debs was interested in reading these, too.

    To quote Rhys, "Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors. You should start with The Doomsday Book. It will blow you away. And if you want to chuckle, her funny Victorian book To Say Nothing of the Dog."

  17. Hallie, these are two great lists! I only read 12 of the life-changing books and two of the writing books. I think I should get to work on that, and these lists will help!

    Debs, I love your idea about picking a next book to read from the list, and I am following suit. I am ready for a little more structure.

    I am going to read one that I started long ago, WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel. I had to return it to the library. There was a long reserve list, and I was so slow in reading it they had to request it back. Now that I'm regaining strength and ability I can hold a regular book open in my hands.

    From the writing list I am going to read THE POCKET MUSE: IDEAS AND INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITING by Monica Wood. It sounds like something I need.

    I would like to up the ante, at least for myself, and add a reading and writing journal. I'd love to get one of those gorgeous handmade ones that—I think—someone has written about here before. They're out of my current reach, so I will journal in one of those plain black ones.

    Thanks for a great blog today, Hallie. The comments were inspiring, too!


  18. I've read 24, too..and I bet they're not the same as Hallie's 24.

    I think that is a terrific idea, debs. What is :Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold? WHo put that on, and why? I have pledged to read it. because of Debs.

    ANd The Doomsday book, I LVE historical time travel! ANd I didn't know about her. Thank you, Reds!

  19. How wonderful for you to put this together for us - thank you!!

  20. I can only count 17 as books I've read. Which makes Hank & Hallie cooler than me. But I knew that.