Reading List

Autobiography / Memoir
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Wait Till Next Year. (Pulitzer author about childhood and baseball)
Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Morrie. (Dying teacher and life-long student)
McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes. (Poverty, starvation, and exuberance in depression Ireland)
McCourt, Frank. Tis’ (Continuation of McCourt’s story in NY)
McCourt, Malachy. Swimming with Monks. (Frank’s brother tells his side of the story)
Ashe, Arthur. Days of Grace. (Ashe’s personal struggles with prejudice and AIDS)
Wright, Richard. Black Boy. (Life to age 19 in the deep south)
Griffin, John Howard. Black Like Me. (Eyewitness history by white man who becomes black)
Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. (Social assimilation / education with alienation)
Karr, Mary. The Liar’s Club. (Poetic insight into one of the ugliest places on earth)
Wolff, Tobias. This Boy’s Life. (Somber, dark funny story of growing up in the ‘50’s)
Drakulic, Slavenka. Café Europa. (Idiosyncratic look at westernized ex-communist countries)
Wideman, John Edgar. Brothers and Keepers. (One a professor, the other an inmate)
Cheng, Nien. Life and Death in Shanghai. (Imprisonment, resistance, justice)
Mathabane, Mark. Kaffir Boy. (Civil rights in South Africa)
Orwell, George. Down and Out in Paris and London. (Life as a tramp in Europe)
Hurston, Zora Neale. Dust Tracks on a Road. (Account of her rise from poverty to prominence)
Dawson, George. Life is So Good. (101 year old recounts life in context of 20th century)
Armstrong, Lance. It’s Not About the Bike. (Honest, open, smart autobiography)
Moss, Barbara. Change Me Into Zeus’ Daughter. (Female version of Angela’s Ashes)
Lynch, Thomas. The Undertaking. (Essays by a small town undertaker)
Conover, Ted. Newjack. (Chronicles a year as a prison guard at Sing-Sing)
Gawande, Atul. Complications. (A surgeon writes about his ‘craft’)
Eire, Carlos. Waiting for Snow in Havana. (Yale prof. about his childhood in Cuba before Revolution)
Angelou, Maya I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (African-American writer traces her coming of age)
Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle (story of childhood with eccentric, bordering on abusive, parents)
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (graphic novel--author describes her youth in revolutionary Iran)
Mortenson, Greg and David Oliver Relin. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time. (sheltered and nursed in a remote mountain village, author vows to return to build schools throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan)
Krakauer, John. Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way (Krakauer's investigation revealing the "truth" about Mortenson's story)
Ung, Loung. First They Killed My Father (memoir of a young girl whose life torn apart by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia)
Sheff, David. Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction. (father’s anguished account of his promising son’s meth addiction and its painful impact on the entire family is honest, raw, and full of information about the realities of drug addiction)
Sheff, Nic. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines. (destined for a rich life and career until he is derailed by drugs. This wrenchingly honest account of life as a meth addict is the companion book to Beautiful Boy)
White, Neil. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (man sent to prison set in last leper colony in America)

Sobel, Dava. Galileo’s Daughter. (Father/daughter’s vastly different worlds)
McBride, James. The Color of Water. (A tribute to his remarkable mother)
Gunther, John. Death Be Not Proud. (Father tells of 17 year old’s struggle with brain tumor)
McCullough, David. John Adams. (Palace intrigue, scandal, and political brilliance)
Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage (Classic study of courageous lives)
Walker, Alice. Possessing the Secret of Joy. (story of female circumcision in Africa and traumatic results)
Ellis, Joseph. Founding Brothers. (6 stories about the “gestative” 1790’s)
Maraniss, David. When Pride Still Mattered: The Life of Vince Lombardi. (touchstone for 60’s)
Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. (Insightful bio of his career and relationships)
Leblanc, Adrian Nicole. Random Family. (Four teens grow up in the Bronx)
Krakauer, Jon. Under the Banner of Heaven. (Violent religious extremism in our own country)
Gleick, James. Isaac Newton. (Comprehensive and intimate look at a great scientist)
Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (author struggles to come to terms with his parents' brutal past at Auschwitz in this seminal graphic novel)

Nature / Adventure / Science
Kinder, Gary. Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea. (Engineer’s scheme to salvage $1 billion)
Junger, Sebastian. The Perfect Storm. (Swordfish boat vs. Mother Nature)
Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air. (Everest climb gone wrong)
Larson, Erik. Isaac’s Storm. (1900 hurricane still deadliest of all time)
Sobel, Dava. Longitude. (Thorniest scientific problem of 18th century is solved)
Werbach, Adam. Act Now, Apologize Later. (former Sierra Club pres. On steps to stop environment loss)
Fromm, Peter. Indian Creek Chronicles. (modern day Walden in Idaho wilderness)
Winchester, Simon. The Map the Changed the World. (obscure historical figure with strong impact on civ.)
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird. (practical advice for aspiring writers and life in general)
Alvarez, Walter. T.Rex and the Crater of Doom(story of impact theory of dinosaur extinction development)
Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers(humorous, touching, and respectful look at how scientists utilize the human body)
Silverstein, Ken. The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor (boy's obsession with nuclear energy creates radioative device with potential to spark environmental disaster in his community)
Menzel, Peter and Faith D'Aluisio. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.(photo-chronicle of families around the world, the food they eat, and how uncontrollable forces like poverty, conflict and globalization affect our most elemental human need – food)
Firlik, Katrina. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. (honest appraisal of work as a doctor)
Melville, Greg. Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future (humorous road trip with the author and his college buddy in a converted 1980’s Mercedes from Vermont to California, and learn a little about how to be more eco-friendly along the way)
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden (spends 26 months alone in the woods to "front the essential facts of life.")
Thompson, Gabriel. Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do (author works in various unskilled labor jobs providing engaging and gruesome details)
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (story of a woman whose cancerous cells were developed in culture without her knowledge and became the HeLa line scientists used in researching some of the most important and astounding medical discoveries of the 20th century)

Remnick, David. King of the World. (Ali as racial and cultural hero in the 1950’s)
Reynolds, Bill. Fall River Dreams. (team searches for glory, town searches for soul)
Gildea, William. Where the Game Still Matters. (Last championship season in Indiana)
Millman, Chad. The Odds. (1 season, 3 gamblers in Las Vegas)
Dent, Jim. The Junction Boys. (10 days in training camp with Bear Bryant)
Lewis, Michael. Moneyball. (how Oakland A’s general manager is changing baseball)
Conroy, Pat. My Losing Season. (famous author on his senior year at The Citadel)
Riley, Rick. Who’s Your Caddie? (Sports Illustrated writer caddies for famous people)
McManus, James. Positively 5th Street. (World series of poker and murder in Vegas)
Shapiro, Michael. The Last Great Season. (Brooklyn Dodgers 1956 pennant race)
Powell, Robert Andrew. We Own This Game. (Pop Warner football in Miami run by race, politics, money)
Asinof, Eliot. Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. (the scandal and damage caused)

History / Politics / War
Lacey, Robert and Danny Danziger. The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millenium
(facts and principles inside and outside Saxon England)
Winchester, Simon. The Professor and The Madman. (tale of compilation of Oxford Dictionary)
Ambrose, Stephen. Undaunted Courage. (Compelling story of Lewis and Clark expedition)
Tuban, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy. (well researched account of Clinton tragedy)
Sontag, Sherry. Blindman’s Bluff. (story of American submarine espionage, for Clancy fans)
Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish Saved Civilization. (just what the title suggests)
Herman, Arthur. How the Scots Invented the Modern World. (just what the title suggests)
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Notes on a Kidnapping. (investigation behind Pablo Escobar’s terror)
Diamond, Jared. Guns, Gems, and Steel. (readable work of 13,000 years of history)
Larson, Erik. The Devil and the White City. (the Chicago World’s Fair and the first serial killer)
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. (behind the scenes at the most popular restaurants)
Fleming, Thomas. Duel. (story of duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton)
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. (explains why changes in society occur suddenly)
Gourevitch, Phillip. We Wish to Inform You Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families. (Rwanda
Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered America. (discovery before Columbus?)
Huggington, Arianna. Pigs at the Trough. (what to do about greedy CEOs and politicians)
Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam. (origins of 9-11 thru history of conflict between Islam and West)
Levitt, Stephen and Stephen Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. (interesting illumination of mysteries of everyday life)
Friedman, Thomas. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (advances in technology)
Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Tuchman, Barbara A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (example of a single feudal lord to trace the history of the 14th century)
Machiavelli, Niccolo The Prince (A treatise giving the absolute ruler practical advice on ways to maintain a strong central government)
Karlsen, Carol The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (The status of women in colonial society affects the Salem witch accusations)
Epstein, Norrie Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard (perspective on Shakespeare's works through these sidelights, interpretations, anecdotes, and historical insights)
Gwynne, S.C. Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, The Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (war with Comanches, story of Cynthia Parker whose son became the last and greatest chief of the Comanche tribe)

True Crime
Berendt, John. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.(entertaining true crime story)
Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. (the first, some say the best, in this category)
Cornwell, Patricia. Portrait of a Killer. (the Jack the Ripper crimes are solved?)
Metress, Christopher. The Lynching of Emmett Till: A Documentary Narrative. (murder in the south)

Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (travel, philosophy and bikes)
Paterniti, Michael. Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain. (yes, it’s true)
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. (cross country bohemian adventure)
Wolfe, Tom. Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. (Wolfe travels with the Merry Pranksters)

*Reading list compiled from American Library Association Young Adult Library Services Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners
Advanced Placement Summer Institutes, Numerous College Summer Reading Lists