The Books We’ve Read

This is a list of the books (as far as we can remember) that one or both of us have read since 1998. We don’t necessarily recommend them all, but feel free to ask about any. We’ll be happy to share our thoughts. Just click on “comments” at the end of this post.

Fiction and Literary Nonfiction

Hebrew and Christian scriptures, by various authors. See reviews of:

Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
The Gospel According to Matthew

Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jaber
The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber
Origin, by Diana Abu-Jaber
Minaret, by Leila Aboulela
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, by Douglas Adams
A Border Passage, by Leila Ahmed
The Sands of Oxus, by Sadriddin Aini, trans. John R. Perry and Rachel Lehr
The Turkish Gambit, by Boris Akunin, trans. Andrew Bromfield
The Winter Queen, by Boris Akunin, trans. Andrew Bromfield
Al-Ghazali’s Path to Sufism or The Deliverance from Error, by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali, trans. R.J. McCarthy
The Niche of Lights, by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali, trans. David Buchman
Deadline, by Randy Alcorn
Dominion, by Randy Alcorn
Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende
Undaunted Courage, by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Bridge On the Drina, by Ivo Andric, William McNeill, and Lovett F. Edwards
West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story, by Tamim Ansary
Israel My Beloved, by Kay Arthur
The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
The Robot Novels, by Isaac Asimov
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
Tara Road, by Maeve Binchy
Greenmantle, by John Buchan
The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan
The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, trans. Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, by John Bunyan
Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
Possession, by A.S. Byatt
Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer
Providence of a Sparrow, by Chris Chester
Assorted Father Brown mysteries, by GK Chesterton
The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton
The Man Who Knew Too Much, by G.K. Chesterton
At Bertram’s Hotel, by Agatha Christie
The Cardinal of the Kremlin, by Tom Clancy
Fire Bringer, by David Clement
The Moneyman, by Thomas Costain
The Tontine, by Thomas Costain
Leyla: The Black Tulip, by Alev Lytle Croutier
Prisoners of Hope, by Dayna Curry, Heather Mercer, and Stacy Mattingly
Bud, Not Buddy,
by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Inferno, by Dante, trans. Robert Pinsky
The Upper Hand, by Joel DeHart
Torches of Joy, by John Dekker
The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
Cricket on the Hearth, by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
Hard Times, by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens
Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens
The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens
Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
The Brothers Karamazov, by Feodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment, by Feodor Dostoevsky, trans. Jessie Coulson, Sr.
A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America,
by Firoozeh Dumas
Daniel Deronda, by George Elliot
Middlemarch, by George Elliot
Silas Marner, by George Elliot
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis
Mud City, by Deborah Ellis
Parvana’s Journey, by Deborah Ellis
The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy Emmuska
Thursday Next series, by Jasper Fford
Solitaire Mystery, by Jostein Gaarder, trans. Sarah Jane Hails
Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder, trans. Paulette Moller
Ruth, by Elizabeth Gaskell
Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
In an Antique Land, by Amitov Ghosh
Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol, the Reavey translation
Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov, trans. Ann Dunnigan
The Chamber, by John Grisham
Rescue: The Exodus of the Ethiopian Jews, by Ruth Gruber
64 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff
My Life as an Explorer, by Sven Anders Hedin, trans. Alfhild Huebsch
The Best of James Herriot, by James Herriot
The Great Game, by Peter Hopkirk
In Search of Kim, by Peter Hopkirk
Trespassers on the Roof of the World,
by Peter Hopkirk
Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Retribution, by Randall Scott Ingermanson
Redwall, by Brian Jacques
Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
Kim, by Rudyard Kipling
The Light that Failed, by Rudyard Kipling
The Man Who Would Be King, by Rudyard Kipling
The Carpet Wars, by Christopher Kremmer
The Joke (Definitive Version), by Milan Kundera
Saba: Under the Hyena’s Foot, by Jane Kurtz and Jean-Paul Tibbles
The Year 1000, by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger
Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
Byzantium, by Stephen Lawhead
The Iron Lance, by Stephen Lawhead
The Black Rood, by Stephen Lawhead
The Mystic Rose, by Stephen Lawhead
The Crosswicks Journals, by Madeleine L’Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeleine L’Engle
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art,
by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wind in the Door, by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis
Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
‘Til We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, by C.S. Lewis
Call of the Wild, by Jack London
Valley of the Moon, by Jack London
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry
Messenger, by Lois Lowry
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth, by Naguib Mahfouz
In the Footsteps of Jesus, by Bruce Marchiano
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason
John Adams, by David McCullough
Various stories by Patrick F. McManus
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Caravans, by James Michener
The Source, by James Michener
Texas, by James Michener
Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller
Searching for God Knows What,
by Donald Miller
The Barefoot Legend, by Gena Minnix
Anne of Green Gables series, by LM Montgomery
Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, by Farley Mowat
Born Naked, by Farley Mowat
Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
Prisoner of Tehran, by Marina Nemat
Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
The Last Gentleman, by Walker Percy
Soul, by Andrey Platonov
Everyday Islam, by Sergei P. Poliakov, trans. Anthony Olcott
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
Earth and Ashes, by Atiq Rahimi, trans. Erdag M. Goknar
Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid
God in the Pits, by Mark A. Ritchie
The Last Sin Eater, by Francine Rivers
Gilead, by Marilynn Robinson
Housekeeping, by Marilynn Robinson
Russka, by Edward Rutherford
Sarum, by Edward Rutherford
Persepolis & Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis, by George Sayer
The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers
Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott
The Bookseller of Kabul, by Asne Seierstad
One Hundred Days, by Asne Seierstad
A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Captain from Castile, by Samuel Shellabarger
The King’s Cavalier, by Samuel Shellabarger
Lord Vanity, 
by Samuel Shellabarger
Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
The Russians, by Hedrick Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith
Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith
Longitude, by Dava Sobel
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, trans. Ralph Parker
Stories and Prose Poems (selections), by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, trans. Michael Glenny
In the Shadow of No Towers, by Art Spiegelman
Maus & Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman
Star of Light, by Patricia St. John
Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Fourth Wise Man, by Susan Summers
The Aran Islands, by John M. Synge
Zion Chronicles, by Bodie Thoene
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, trans. Louise Maude and George Gibian
Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss
Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev, trans. Michael R. Katz
A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
Creation, by Gore Vidal
Babycatcher, by Peggy Vincent
Inside Afghanistan, by John Weaver
The Ponder Heart, by Eudora Welty
Tolkien: A Biography, by Michael White
Land Beyond the River, by Monica Whitlock
The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester
In Search of Alexander the Great, by Michael Wood
We, by Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin
A Thousand and One Nights (traditional stories)

Reference books, cookbooks, textbooks, and misc.

The Tassajara Bread Book, by Edward Espe Brown
Well Connected, by Phill Butler
Can This Child Be Saved? Solutions For Adoptive and Foster Families, by Foster W. Cline
Literary Translation: Quest for Artistic Integrity
by Di Jin
On Translation,
by Di Jin
Shamrocks and Chopsticks: James Joyce in China, by Di Jin
The Ultimate Food Allergy Survival Guide: How to Cook with Ease for a Food Allergy Diet and Recover Good Health, by Nicolette Dumke
What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Arlene Eisenberg, and Heidi E. Murkoff
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation, by Pam England, CNM, MA, and Rob Horowitz, PhD
Nourishing Traditions: The Book that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, by Tracy Hogg
The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence, by Judith Lothian and Charlotte DeVries
The No-Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley
Bestfeeding: How to Breastfeed Your Baby, by Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms
The Baby Book, by Willams Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN
The Baby Sleep Book, by Willams Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN
The New Baby Planner, by Willams Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, MD


We’re not big poetry readers, but here are a few volumes I’ve enjoyed:

The Midnight Poet (selections), by Dwight R. Droze
Read-Aloud Poems for Young People, ed. Glorya Hale
The Works of George Herbert, by George Herbert
A Cry Like a Bell, by Madeleine L’Engle
The Weather of the Heart, by Madeleine L’Engle
When the Aardvark Parked on the Ark, by Calvin Miller, ill. Marc Harrison
Poetry for Young People: Robert Louis Stevenson, ed. Frances Schoonmaker, ill. Lucy Corvino
John Donne, ed. John Hayward (The Penguin Poets, 1950)

Favorite Children’s Books

The Bridge is Up, by Babs Bell, ill. Rob Hefferan
A Lot of Otters, by Barbara Helen Berger
When the Sun Rose, by Barbara Helen Berger
Snoozers: Seven Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids, by Sandra Boynton
Pajama Time,
by Sandra Boynton
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
Just the Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, and A River of Words, by Jen Bryant
Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, by John Burningham
Christina Katerina and the Box, by Patricia Lee Gauch, ill. Doris Burn
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle
The Maggie B, by Irene Haas
The Mother-Daughter Book Club series and anything else by Heather Vogel Frederick
Baby Talk, by Judy Hindley, ill. Brita Granstrom
The Big Red Bus, by Judy Hindley, ill. William Benedict
Do Like a Duck Does, by Judy Hindley, ill. Ivan Bates
What’s in Baby’s Morning?, by Judy Hindley, ill. Jo Burroughs
Moompa, Toby, and Bomp, by Anna Grossnickle Hines
Apples to Oregon, Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, and A Boy Called Dickens, by Deborah Hopkinson
Mama Do You Love Me, by Barbara M. Joosse, and Barbara Lavelle
I’m a Dingle, Dangle Scarecrow…, ill. Annie Kubler
Pat the Bunny, by Dorothy Kundhardt
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., and Eric Carle
Adele and Simon, by Barbara McClintock
The Mighty Street Sweeper, by Patrick Moore
Baby Beluga, Raffi Songs to Read
The Wheels on the Bus, Raffi Songs to Read
Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling
Lily series and Sophie series by Nancy Rue
Te Amo, Bebe, Little One, by Lisa Wheeler and Maribel Suarez
Goodnight, My Duckling, by Nancy Tafuri
I Went Walking, by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas









3 Responses to The Books We’ve Read

  1. Lyra

    Is there a site that can have the whole book with its pages, on the computer.. So i can read it from here ?

  2. Ramona

    Hello. I recently returned from Uzbekistan and was in search of some history of the region. I am currently reading The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk and thoroughly enjoying it (such adventure!). Googling books by Hopkirk, I came across your blog!

    Thought I’d leave a recommendation: I think you will enjoy “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Tahir Shah.

    • jamela


      Thanks so much for the recommendation. I’ll check it out.

      Let us know if you run across something else of interest.

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