Amy’s A-List Must-Reads

  • Stories
  • Jhumpa Lahiri–Interpreter of Maladies; Unaccustomed Earth
  • Aimee Bender–The Girl in the Flammable Skirt; The Particular Sadness of Lemoncake
  • Belle Boggs–Mattaponi Queen: Stories
  • Patricia Hampl–I Could Tell You Some Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin–In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Eula Biss–The Balloonists
  • Charles D’Ambrosio–The Point and Other Stories
  • Robert Boswell–The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards
  • Anthony Doerr–The Shell Collector; Memory Wall
  • Antonya Nelson–Nothing Right; Female Troubles: Stories
  • Karen Russell–St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
  • Lydia Millett–Love in Infant Monkeys
  • Wells Tower–Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories
  • Bernard Cooper–Guess Again: Short Stories
  • Jean Thompson–Who Do You Love: Stories
  • Barb Johnson–More of This World or Maybe Another
  • Charles Baxter–Believers: A Novella and Other Stories; A Relative Stanger: Stories
  • Lydia Davis–Break It Down: Stories; Almost No Memory: Stories
  • Steve Almond–Do Me: Sex Tales from Tin House
  • Gina Frangello–Slut Lullabies
  • David Eggers–Best American Nonrequired Reading
  • Tatyana Tolstaia–White Walls: Collected Stories
  • Mary Otis–Yes, Yes, Cherries: Stories
  • Lee Montgomery–Whose World is This?
  • Anis Shivani–Anatolia and Other Stories
  • Jane Avrich–The Winter Without Milk: Stories
  • Nadine Gordimer–Loot
  • Shelley Jackson–The Melancholy of Anatomy: Stories
  • Gotham Writers’ Workshop: Fiction Gallery
  • The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Short Stories–Daniel Halpern
  • ZZ Packer–Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
  • Joy Williams–Honored Guest: Stories; Escapes
  • Lorrie Moore–I Know Some Things: Stories about Childhood by Contemporary Writers
  • Randall Jarrell–Randall Jarell’s Book of Stories
  • Thom Jones–The Pugilist at Rest: Stories
  • Alice Munro–Open Secrets: Stories
  • Mary Gaitskill–Bad Behavior: Stories



  • Joan Didion–The White Album; Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays
  • Anne Carson–Plainwater: Essays and Poetry; Eros the Bittersweet
  • Lia Purpura–On Looking: Essays
  • Joy Williams–Ill Nature
  • Mary Paumier Jones–In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal
  • Phillip Lopate–Getting Personal: Selected Essays
  • NYT’s–Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from NYTs 1 & 2
  • Carole Maso–Breaking Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire
  • John D’Agata–Halls of Fame
  • Joseph Epstein–The Norton Book of Personal Essays
  • Joyce Carol Oates–Best American Essays of the Century
  • Virginia Woolf–Moment and Other Essays
  • Bernard Cooper–Maps to Anywhere
  • Milan Kundera–The Curtain: An Essay in 7 Parts
  • Susan Sontag–Against Interpretation: And other Essays
  • Richard Hugo–The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
  • Albert Goldbarth–Dark Waves and Light Matter: Essays
  • James Wood–Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief
  • Brenda Miller–Seasons of the Body
  • Edward Hoagland–The Courage of Turtles: 15 Essays…
  • Eula Biss–Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays
  • David Rakoff–Fraud: Essays
  • Zadie Smith–Changing My Mind: Occassional Essays
  • Charles BAxter–Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction
  • Randall Jarrell–No Other Book: Selected essays
  • Charles D’Ambrosio–Orphans
  • Jenny Boully–The Body: An Essay; The Book of Beginnings and Endings



  • Lisa Shea–Hula
  • Michael Chabon–Gentlemen of the Road
  • Geoff Dyer–But Beautiful
  • Nadine Gordimer–The Pickup
  • Junot Diaz–Drown
  • Michael Cunningham–The Hours
  • Tatjana Soli0–The Lotus Eaters
  • Oscar Hijuelos–The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
  • Carolyn Forche–The country between us
  • Per Petterson–I Curse the River of Time
  • Michele Matheson–Saving Angelfish
  • Lorrie Moore–Self-Help
  • Salman Rushdie–Midnight’s Children
  • Gail Tsukiyama–The Samurai’s Garden
  • Jan vallone–Pieces of Someday
  • Tom Grimes–Mentor: A Memoir
  • Nabokov–Speak, Memory
  • Charles Lamb–The Essays of Elia
  • Ha Jin–Waiting
  • Jo Ann Beard–The Boys of My Youth
  • Zakes Mda–The Madonna of Excelsior
  • Ander Monson–Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir
  • Karen Lee Boren–Girls in Peril: A Novella
  • Richard Hoffman–Half the House
  • William Styron–Darkness Visible; Sophie’s Choice
  • Milan Kundera–The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel
  • Edward P. Jones–The Known  World
  • Graham Robb–Parisians
  • Bernard Malamud–The Fixer
  • Anne Tyler–The Accidental Tourist; Breathing Lessons
  • Tatyana Tolstaia–The Slynx
  • Anne Carson–Nox
  • Neil White–In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
  • Emily Gray Tedrowe–Commuters: A Novel
  • Gayle Bramdies–Delta Girls: A Novel
  • Benjamin Alire Saenz–Carry Me Like Water
  • AS Byatt–Possession: A Romance
  • Charles Johnson–Middle Passage
  • Gina Frangello–My Sister’s Continent
  • Authenticity-Dierdre Madden
  • Hilary Mantel–Wolf Hall
  • William Trevor–Love and Summer: A Novel; Fools of Fortune
  • Manil Suri–The Age of Shiva
  • Ted Hughes–Winter Pollen: Occassional Prose
  • Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters
  • Haruki Murakami–The WindUP Bird Chronicles
  • Adolfo Bioy–The Invention of Morel
  • Lauren Slater–Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir
  • Marlene Van Niekerk–Agaat
  • Christ Cleave–Little Bee
  • Susan Minot–Evening
  • Jane Hamilton–The Book of Ruth
  • Wally Lamb–She’s Come Undone; I know This Much is True
  • Jorge Luis Borges–On Writing; The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memory
  • Christina Schwarz–Drowning Ruth: A Novel
  • Mary McGarry Morris–Songs in Ordinary Time
  • Virginia Woolf–Mrs. Dalloway
  • Tim O’Brien–In the Lake of the Woods
  • Margaret Atwood–Oryx and Crake
  • Alan Watts–The Book
  • Siri Hustvedt–The Blindfold: A Novel
  • Alaa Al Alwany–The Yacoubian Building
  • Per Petterson–Out Stealing Horses
  • Penelope Lively–Moon Tiger
  • Bonnie Jo Campbell–American Salvage



  • D A Powell–Chronic
  • Czeslaw Milosz–A Book of Luminous Things
  • C D Wright–Rising, Falling, Hovering
  • Jane Hirschfield–Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry
  • Mary Jo Bang–Elegy: Poems
  • Randall Jarrell–Complete Poems
  • Robert Hass–Time and Materials: Poems
  • Ander Monson–The Available World
  • John Ashbery–Self Portrait in Convex Mirror
  • Anne Sexton–Complete Poems
  • Plath “”
  • Carolyne Forche–Blue Hour: Poems
  • W S Merwin–Migration: New and Selected Poems
  • Mark Doty–Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
  • Jean Valentine–Break the Glass

2 thoughts on “Amy’s A-List Must-Reads

  1. ashmita–thanks! No I’ve only read some of these–this is my goal–my dream list–to have one day have read most of these. Thanks and i’ll check out your site as well!



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