What Books Do You Love? Bestselling Writer Lee Woodruff Shares a Selection of Hers

Lee Woodruff

Lee Woodruff

We all have books that speak to us. Whether a novel, memoir, poetry collection, essay, or compelling narrative nonfiction title, these books change our lives and they are the ones we feel compelled to share with others.

This summer, New York Times bestselling author Lee Woodruff was a guest speaker at Amherst.  She shared with GBSP a list of some of her favorite books. What categories do you use to define your favorite books? What are some of the books you find yourself recommending again and again?

NOVELS I DIDN’T WANT TO END
Crossing To Safety –Wallace Stegner
Angle of Repose-  Wallace Stegner
State of Wonder- Ann Patchett
Prodigal Summer- Barbara Kingsolver
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd- Jim Fergus
Time and Again- Jack  Finney
Snow Falling on Cedars- David Guterson
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
Too Much Happiness- Alice Munro (short stories)
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
The Corrections  – Jonathan Franzen
American Wife – Curtis Sittenfeld
Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
The Good House – Ann Leary
Swamplandia- Karen Russell
Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter
The Signature of All Things- Elizabeth Gilbert

MEMOIRS-
The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller
West With the Night – Beryl Markham
The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
Breaking Night –Liz Murray
Fathermothergod- Lucia Greenhouse
Stories I Only Tell My Friends – Rob Lowe
All works by Nora Ephron (essay genre)
All works by David Sedaris  (essay genre)
Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40 year friendship – Jeffrey Zaslow
Open – Andre Agassi
Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
The Tender Bar – JR Moehringer
Beautiful Boy: A  Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction- David Sheff
By the Iowa Sea – A Memoir of Disaster and Love – Joe Blair

WOMEN-CENTRIC MEMOIR
Happens Every Day – Isabel Gilles
Bossypants – Tina Fey
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress – Rhoda Janzen
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake – Anna Quindlen
The Mighty Queens of Freeville – Amy Dickinson
Dead End Gene Pool – Wendy Burden
Welcome to the Departure Lounge – Meg Federico
You Know When the Men are Gone – Siobhan Fallon
Where is the Mango Princess – Cathy Crimmins
Ali in Wonderland – Ali Wentworth
Operating Instructions – Anne Lamott
An Innocent Abroad – Anne Leary
Come to the Edge – Christina Haag
Perfection – Julie Metz
This is Not the Story You Think It Is – Laura Munson
The Middle Place –Kelly Corrigan
Imperfect Endings – Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Blood, Bones and Butter – Gabrielle Hamilton
The Early Arrival of Dreams – Rosemary Mahoney
The Slippery Year – Melanie Gideon
Saving Graces – Elizabeth Edwards
Truth & Beauty – Ann Patchett
Gift From the Sea- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

MEMORABLE NON-FICTION
At Home – Bill Bryson
The Secret Life of Lobsters – Trevor Corson Jim Sollers
Salt – Mark Kurlansky
The Island at the Center of the World –Russell Shorto
The Adirondacks – Paul Schneider
The Social Animal-David Brooks
The Emperor of All Maladies- Siddhartha Mukherjee
The  Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  – Rebecca Skloot

HISTORICAL FICTION
The Light Between the Oceans –  R L Stedman
The Shoemaker’s Wife – Adriana Trigiani
The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty
Forever – Pete Hamill
Time and Again – Jack Finney
Sarah’s Key – Tatiana De Rosnay
One Thousand White Women – Jim Fergus
Five Quarters of an Orange – Joanne Harris
Stones by the River – Henry F. Flowers
Skeletons at the Feast – Chris Bohjalian
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

LITERARY FICTION – Serious Subject Matter
Deep End of the Ocean- Jacqueline Mitchard
Every Last One – Anna Quindlen
A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley
Map of the World – Jane Hamilton
We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
Saturday – Ian McEwan
Little Bee – Chris Cleave

BEST BOOKS ON WRITING
On Writing – Stephen King
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
The Writing Life- Annie Dillard
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

 

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