Sarah Recommends

A friend of mine is stuck between two epically long books and wants to be able to make progress on her reading goal for the year (this really is about a friend, I’m not trying to disguise my woes!).

I told her I’d make a list of books, she said to categorize them however I wished, so here you go (in no particular order)!


  1. Timeline by Michael Crichton.
  2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  3. C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series (I started with The Magician’s Nephew)
  4. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (beginning with A Game of Thrones)
  5. Anything by James Herriot.
  6. Anything by Jim Kjelgaard.
  7. Anything by Jack London.
  8. Never Cry Wolf  by Farley Mowat.
  9. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
  10. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. (get the one illustrated by Robert Ingpen)

Quick Reads (mostly romances):

  1. Monica McCarthy’s Highland Guard series (you don’t have to read them in order, I didn’t)
  2. Sally MacKenzie’s Naked Nobility series. (Hilarious! Better if you do read them in order)
  3. Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton.
  4. Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead trilogy (definitely read these in order; Gilead, Home, and Lila)
  5. Austenland by Shannon Hale.
  6. Auntie Mame and Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.
  7. Christy and Julie by Catherine Marshall.
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
  9. Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.
  10. Anything by Marion Chesney or Patricia Veryan (fun Regency/Georgian/Edwardian-era romances with some intrigue thrown in)

Mystery/Thriller/Crime/True Crime/Supernatural/Detective:

  1. Anything by Anne Perry. (My favorites are The Whitechapel Conspiracy and A Breach of Promise)
  2. Gone Girl and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
  3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
  4. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)
  5. Anything by Agatha Christie (my favorites are The Crooked House, The Man in the Brown Suit, and And Then There Were None)
  6. The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry.
  7. Dead by Sunset by Anne Rule.
  8. Dan Wells’ John Cleaver series (begins with I Am Really Not A Serial Killer)
  9. The Red Room by Nicci French.
  10. The Green Mile by Stephen King.


  1. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodges Burnett.
  2. The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. (Really, anything by her!)
  3. Mrs. Mike by Nancy and Benedict Freedman.
  4. Let the Hurricane Roar (also titled Young Pioneers) by Rose Wilder Lane.
  5. Tisha as told to Robert Specht.
  6. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.
  7. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.
  8. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.
  9. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.
  10. Anything by Jane Austen.


  1. Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies by Anne LaMott.
  2. Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
  3. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
  4. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.
  5. Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen by Eleanor Herman.
  6. Anything by Michael Farquhar. (Hilarious perspectives on historical events and figures)
  7. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.
  8. The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer.
  9. Bathsheba’s Breast: Women, Cancer, and History by James S. Olson.
  10. The Lady in Red by Hallie Rubenhold.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash’s Annie Spratt


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