January 7, 2017

What books made you love which genres—or reading in general?

I’m always looking for great books to add to my increasingly long To-Read (and To-Teach) list, so I’d love to know what books made you fall in love with reading. Here are some of mine, roughly in order of when I encountered them. I’m more interested in finding out your picks, so don’t feel like you need to read my list before adding your own in the comments.

Children’s Books: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

Fantasy: Dungeons & Dragons, which is not a book but nonetheless made me love the genre defined by Tolkein.

Science Fiction: Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, and Jack the Bodiless by Julian May.

Historical Fiction: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

American Literature: The Bear by William Faulkner and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Graphic Novels: Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman.

Fiction for Young Readers: Watership Down by Richard Adams (though you could call this book “Popular Fiction” I guess) and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Contemporary Literature: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Popular Fiction: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon and The Shining by Stephen King.

Plays: Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare and Angels in America by Tony Kushner.

History (Non-fiction): The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Biography: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

European Literature: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and Blindness by Jose Saramago.

Explanatory Non-fiction: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

Mystery: The #1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, and the Three Pines (Inspector Gamache) series by Louise Penny.