2001 Reading List

The following is every book I’ve read this year that I can remember. I’m not posting this to brag, but more to look back on my reading accomplishments. If you want to be a writer, you have to read, and it’s good to see a list that proves I’ve been doing that. Thanks to the glory of the used book shop, I own most of these titles. And the most asked question, how do you have time to read that many books? It’s called public transportation, people. Stop driving your car and stressing out in rush hour traffic. Settle down on the bus, let someone else do the driving, and lose yourself in a good book.

So, presented in something close to the order I read them in, my reading list for the year 2001:

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
eye-opening book about inner city life.

African Tears by Catherine Buckle
a painful account of the land wars in Zimbabwe

The Rock and Roll Rebellion by Mark Joseph
an argument for the abolishment of Christian music as a genre

The Virgin of Bennington by Kathleen Norris
part coming of age memoir, part ode to mentor

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester
wonderfully imaginative children’s story

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
interesting story but it wasn’t my favorite of his

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
great story, pisses off a lot of Christians

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
pretty good story, but doesn’t have the grand themes of Poisonwood

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
good book about how to write

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
about the birth of her son and her friend’s battle with cancer

Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott
my first Lamott novel: excellent

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
late elementary/middle school novel, fun read

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
the classic environmental book, I got the point before finishing and quit

River Teeth by David James Duncan
collection of funny and quirky short stories

Praise, Anxiety and Other Symptoms of Grace by Joey Horstman
collection of funny and quirky essays

May There Be A Road by Louis L’Amour
collection of short stories by the master, these must be the rejects

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour
excellent memoir by the master, gives you a great overview of his life

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
you’ll think twice before going to McDonalds, but it’s not as gross as I expected

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
classic and hilarious

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
classic and hilarious

Slaugherhouse V by Kurt Vonnegut
lacks the narrative flow I expected, but still worth the read

Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy
just plain funny

Into the Heart by Niall Stokes
the stories behind every U2 song, interesting, but lacks real depth

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
excellent story and deep themes about modernization

Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
more than you ever wanted to know about the world of competitive Scrabble

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
scary glimpse of the future, especially after Sept. 11

The Gospel According to the Simpsons by Mark Pinsky
a rebuttal to all the parents who wouldn’t let their kids watch the Simpsons

Walk On by Steve Stockman
an exploration of the faith of rock band U2

Rabbit, Run by John Updike
not my favorite story, but man can this guy write

An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
weird, quirky, funky story

Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrium
this is the one book I wish I hadn’t read — waste of time

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
the abridged version of the original, almost as funny as the movie

Surviving Brick Johnson by Laurie Myers
fun mid-elementary book, and one of the characters is named Brick

Final Roar by Bob Briner
follow up to Roaring Lambs, more of the same, but still just as challenging

Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner
meandering memoir about his secrets, most notably his daughter’s eating disorder

Lion Country by Frederick Buechner
well-written story

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
eye-opening account of her 9 year + battle with eating disorders

And right now I’m reading …

Ophelia Speaks
teenage girls write about their experiences, and growing up today is not a fun experience

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