Paul's Nifty Fifty (Fifty Books I'd always rather be reading)

Blog Book Author: 

These are some of my favorite books.  I’ve read them all, at least twice, many in connection with my amazing book group who put up with my choices from my list of favorites once a month over the last few years. These are books, few of which are mentioned in most GREAT BOOKS lists, that have sustained me over decades of glorious reading. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith I read when I was 14. Observatory Mansions by Ed Carey I read in my 50s.  Almost all of these books remain in print today and have lost little of their sustaining power.  I consider most of these books to be better in quality than most of the novels New York publishers are putting on the market these days. Prairie Lights usually has most of them or can get them within a week.

Bless you all, and may literature sustain us all.

  • Paul’s Nifty Fifty
    (fifty books I’d always rather be reading)

    Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum 
    Robertson Davies, The Deptford Trilogy 
    Russell Hoban,  Riddley Walker 
    G. B.  Edwards, Book of Ebeneezer LePage 
    William Maxwell, Time Will Darken it 
    William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow 
    Willa Cather, My Antonia 
    Julie Hecht, Do the Windows Open
    Harriet Doerr, Stones for Ibarra 
    Rilla Askew, The Mercy Seat 
    Sebastian Barry,  Long Long Way 
    William Trevor, The Story of Lucy Gault 
    Charles Portis, Masters of Atlantis 
    Charles Portis, True Grit 
    Eudora Welty, Collected Stories 
    Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 
    Walker Percy, The Moviegoer 
    Vilhelm Moberg, The Emigrants 
    Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 
    Jim Crace, A Gift of Stones 
    Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping 
    Marilynne Robinson, Home 
    Joseph Skibell, Blessing on the Moon 
    Ed Carey,  Observatory Mansions 
    Jane Hamilton,  When Madeline Was Young 
    Herman Melville, Moby Dick 
    Charles Dickens,  Pickwick Papers 
    James Agee, A Death in the Family 
    George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle 
    Kent Haruf, The Tie That Binds 
    William Faulkner, The Unvanquished 
    William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom 
    Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale 
    Annie Dillard, The Living 
    Barbara Gowdy, White Bone 
    Wayne Johnston, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams 
    Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm 
    George Orwell, 1984 
    Redmond O'Hanlon, Into the Heart of Borneo 
    Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist 
    Rose Tremain, Music and Silence 
    Michelle de Kretser, The Hamilton Case 
    John Steffler, The Afterlife of George Cartwright 
    Anne Michaels,  Fugitive Pieces 
    Jane Gardam, Old Filth Richard 
    B. Wright,  Clara Callan  
    Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary 
    Aryeh Lev Stollman, The Far Euphrates 
    Colm Toibin, The Blackwater Lightship 
    W. Somerset Maugham,  Of Human Bondage