Good Reads for Summer 2021:

Upstairs at the White House by JB West
Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen
The Premonition by Michael Lewis
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Giver of Starts by Jojo Moyes

White Ivy by Susie Yang
When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan
Olive Kitteridge & Olive Again, both by Elizabeth Stout

The Stand by Stephen King
Magic Hour, The Four Winds & Firefly Lane, all 3 by Kristin Hannah
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Nazi Wives by James Wyllie
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

The Burglary by Betty Medsger
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Good Reads for 2020:
From Jane B:  
Of Irish Blood 
Where the Crawdads Sing.
 Cooking for Picasso.

Good Reads to End the Summer 2019:

from Bill, who has been challenged by his men's group to be "present" in their lives:
The Isis (Yssis) Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (Isis refers to the Egyptian goddess)  A powerful collection of essays that presents "The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation & Racism."
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
New Visions for Black Men by Na'Im Akbar
The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson

Good Reads for Spring 2019:

Educated by Tara Westover
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The Virago Book of Women Gardeners by Deborah Kellaway
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone
From Micki C:
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran ( a Bay Area author)
The Dreamers by Karen Walker
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngman
Samurai's Garden by Gail Sukiyama
From Joan:
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
From Marcia:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
House of Gold by Natasha Solomon
From Linda D:
They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine
Just After Midnight or any of the other 36 novels by Catherine Ryan Hyde who wrote Pay It Forward
Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
Still Waters by Viveca Sten
Any book by Anne Perry, a mystery writer
From Jan H:
When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph
Sideways Rain by Nancy Elliott Sydney, M.D.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
From Mary:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

2019 a good year to read:

Lost Words by Robert McFarlane & Jackie Morris
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas by Rebecca Solnit
Sweeping Up Glass by Caroline Wall

JoanS:  Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Peter Souza
Jane B:  The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
JoanneK:  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Teresa C:  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Sara L:  Promise Me Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose by Joe Biden
The Old Ways by Robert McFarlane
Endurance by Scott Kelly
PatK:  Circe by Madeline Miller
The Soul of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery
Sunlight on a Broken Column by Attia Hasain
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
MaryM:  The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russel
The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Dressmaker's Dowry by Meredith Jaeger
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Karolina's Twins by Ronald Balson
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Rose Owens list of 30"
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Carry This Book by Abbi Jacobsen
Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
Suck Less: Where There's a Willam, There's A Way by Willam Belli
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
What Becomes Us by Micah Perks
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
The Girls by Emma Cline
As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as Told by Amy Heckerling and The Cast and The Crew by Jen Chaney
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron
Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women by Nora Ephron
Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media by Nora Ephron
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
I Feel Bad about My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
Why Drag? by Magnus Hastings
The Sunlight Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Lucky by Alice Sebold
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Mad Hatters and March Hares edited by Ellen Datlow
Cruddy by Lynda Barry
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn (#30)

Several readers recommended A Man Called Ove by Frederick Brackman and Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance

Mary M.
All the Stars in Heaven by Adriana Trigiani
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shutterly & Robin Miles

Karen H.
Drinking, a Love Story by Caroline Knapp
Small Great Things by Jody Picoult
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Brown Girl Dreaming

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A Man Called Ove by Frederick Brackman
Red Notice by Bill Browder
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Elizabeth Fishel
Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Pages for Her by Sylvia Brownrigg
The New Old Me by Meredith Maran
The Kite and the String by Alice Mattison
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant

( I highly recommend Elizabeth's book, Getting to 30: a Parents' Guide to the 20-Something Years, written with co-author Jeffrey J. Arnett)

Marcia S.
Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes

Holly S
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbott
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
11/22/63 by Stephen King
American Culture: the Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
American Slavery: the Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kid
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
It's What I Do: a Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

Kathie H.
Any Margaret Atwood book
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
Any book about fly fishing

Bill Slavin
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
A Legacy of Spies by John LeCarre
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen & Amie Pames
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
What Happened by Hillary Clinton
Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump & the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green
A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes
Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White Americans by Michael Eric Dyson
Between the World and Me & We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Hehisi Coates
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Beyond the Messy Truth by Van Jones
White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America by Joan C. Williams
Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur
Thanks, Obama: a Speechwriter's Memoir by David Litt
One Nation Under Trump by EJ Dionne, Ornstein, & Mann
Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis


  1. Thanks for a reader's goldmine. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Martha!
    Love the book list idea! I'm always looking for something new. I'm on this happiness kick right now. I am reading Maria Shriver's newest, "I've Been Thinking" and "The Book of Joy" with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

    Your art work is phenomenal!

    1. Good choices, Francie, in this time of turmoil! And thanks for your comments about my artwork too.

  3. Add Circe to you must read list. By Madeline Miller it is a novel that intertwines Greek mythology with the search for identity by Circe, daughter of Helios the sun Titan. The book is ntersting to read, but also a joy to read because of the poetic beauty of her language.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Pat. I will put Circe by Madeline Miller on my list.


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from readers. I answer each one.

I do not post Anonymous comments because of problems with spammers.