Book List

The best summer is one that is full of books. When I was younger, my mom made a deal with us kids that if we set a goal to read a certain number of books and then reached that goal, we would get slurpees at 7-11. I loved roaming the local library’s shelves and picking up anything that looked interesting.

Here is what I’ve been reading recently, and what I thought of the books:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book literally changed my life more than any other novel I have ever read. I picked up the book without any background knowledge of it, hoping to win an essay contest I had found on a scholarship site. I was prepared to set the book down quickly if I didn’t like it, since it is thick. But I was hooked in by the eloquent flow of the author’s writing, then by the unusual characters and premise. Halfway through the book I realized that I had come across a work that was brilliant and likely very controversial. I decided to wait to learn more about the book and its author until I finished it.

The Unthinkable: who survives when disaster strikes—and why by Amanda Ripley

Quiet by Susan Cain

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Ghost Boy: the miraculous escape of a misdiagnosed boy trapped inside his own body by Martin Pistorius

Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson

The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg

Sarah by Orson Scott Card

Dibs: In Search of Self by Virgina Mae Axline

The Subversive Copyeditor by Carol Saller


Less recent, but favorites:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynn Jones

The Lost Years of Merlin by T. A. Barron

Pet Bugs: a Kid’s Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects by Sally Kneidel

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

The Book of Three by Loyd Alexander

Lord of the Rings by J. R. Tolkien

White Fang by Jack London



Temple Grandin


The King’s Speech

A Beautiful Mind