One of my goals for 2011 was to read 50 books throughout the year, with about 10 of them having a spiritual theme. It’s been a delight to actually finish books again. I try not to finish books I don’t like unless forced (ahem, Life of Pi, stuck on an airplane, anything is better than Sky Mall), so you can take this list as a full enthusiastic recommendation, unless noted.

Here’s my regularly updated list:

1. Speak, Memory V. Nabokov

2. Practicing the Presence of God Brother Andrew

3. Franny and Zooey J.D. Salinger

4. Home by Choice: Raising Emotionally Secure Children in an Insecure World Brenda Hunter

5. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide  Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn 

6. Human Smoke: The Beginnings of WWII, the End of Civilization Nicholson Baker

7. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance Atul Gawande

8. The Anthologist Nicholson Baker

9. Vox Nicholson Baker

10. Solo Rana Dasgupta

11. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year Anne Lamott

12. Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table Ruth Reichl

13. Tinkers Paul Harding {Unexpected Pulitzer Prize winner, a story built around clocks, epilepsy, the refuge of nature, and the occasional cruelty of family.}

14. Cheerful Money Tad Friend

15. Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage Madeleine L’Engle

16. My Korean Deli Ben Ryder Howe

17. Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart: a Midwife’s Saga Carol Leonard

18. The Imperfectionists Tom Rachman

19. Just Kids Patti Smith

20. Spiritual Midwifery Ina Mae Gaskin

21. The Red Tent Anita Diamant

22. Breathing Lessons Anne Tyler

23. The Blessing of a Skinned Knee Wendy Mogul {an amazing parenting book! Of course, I’m a sucker for anything that riffs on Jewish practices.}

24. Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: short stories Lydia Peelle

25. The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing Melissa Bank

26. Getting a Life Helen Simpson

27. Slouching Towards Bethlehem  Joan Didion  

28. Life Among the Savages Shirley Jackson

29. Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses Claire Dederer

30. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

31. Catching Fire Suzanne Collins

32. Mockingjay Suzanne Collins

33. Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother Beth Ann Fennelly

34. Bossypants Tina Fey

35. Loving Frank Nancy Horan

36. A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan

37. A Movable Feast Ernest Hemingway

38. Pulphead John Jeremiah Sullivan

39. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot

40. Cooking for Mr. Latte Amanda Hesser

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