Jacquelin Cangro

Recommended Reading List

Many of my workshop students ask for my recommendations about authors and books. I always give them this list as a place to start.

Here, in no particular order, is my recommended reading list for writers.

Short Stories

A&P, by John Updike
A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor
The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe
Why I Live at the P.O., by Eudora Welty
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri (collection)
Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson (collection)
A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner
The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson
Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka



The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by Dave Wroblewski
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The Accidental Tourist, by Ann Tyler


Memoirs/ Narrative Nonfiction

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
Little Chapel on the River, by Gwendolyn Bounds
A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
American Places, by Wallace Stegner
Back to Basics, Further Reading 1
A Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
The Art of Eating, by M.F.K. Fisher
Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Seders
The Thurber Carnival, by James Thurber
Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt


Writing Reference

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
On Writing, by Stephen King
Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
The Getaway Car, by Ann Patchett
Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron


What would you add to the list?


If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ~Stephen King