Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Reading Envy 100: 100 Reasons Why

To my great amazement, this is the 100th episode of the Reading Envy Podcast! It has been such a journey to host and produce this podcast. I invited other readers to weigh in on the best ten books they read in the last ten years - just like a normal Reading Envy episode, they do not need to have been published in the last ten years. Some readers have connections to the podcast, others are people on my guest wishlist that I haven't been able to convince to be on the show. Some lists are recorded by the contributors while I have recorded lists submitted by others. I made my own list, and also include a list of the top ten things you might not know about Reading Envy. All in all, the lists add up to 100.  All books are mentioned below, as well as links to previous episodes by guests (if appropriate) and their various online presences.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for making Reading Envy what it is. And if you are feeling left out, I will be asking for contributions for the best books of the year episode very soon.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 100: 100 Reasons Why.

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Reader 1: Jason Roland appears on Reading Envy about twice a year, and I continue to be influenced by his deep knowledge of southern writers.

The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins
My Struggle by Karl Ove Knaussgard
Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
All the Living by C.E. Morgan
Serena by Ron Rash
Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down by William Gay

Related Episodes: 014, 025, 042, 054, 073, 080

Reader 2: Claire Tristram, known as poingu in Goodreads. Claire and I co-moderate the Newest Literary Fiction Group in Goodreads, and I have long admired her ability to read deeply and thoughtfully.

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
Of a Fire on the Moon by Norman Mailer
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
Oreo by Fran Ross
Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski
Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin
The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson
The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane

Reader 3: Sara Moore is a newer reading friend in Litsy with similar tastes to my own!

The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Bunt
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Related Episode: 088

At this point, I talk about the ten things you might not know about Reading Envy, but you have to listen to the episode to find them out.

Reader 4: Scott Danielson, co-founder and original co-host of the Reading Envy Podcast!

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Pavane by Keith Roberts
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Brother Astronomer by Br. Guy Consolmagno
Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould
The Odyssey by Homer

Related Episodes: 001-026, off and on, plus 052, 058, 071, 082

Reader 5: Robyn Andrews is a colleague I've been trying to get onto the podcast since I started. In lieu of that ever happening, at least I get to talk to her about books in person. And she agreed to share her list of ten books.

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Room by Emma Donaghue
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
American Rust by Phillip Meyer
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Homer and Langley by EL Doctorow

Reader 6: Shawn Mooney. I first encountered Shawn in Litsy but we have become close reading friends. Since we are on opposite time zones I am never surprised to wake up to a book related message. Shawn recently started his own BookTube channel, Shawn the Book Maniac, so check it out.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
The One-in-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Related Episodes: 077, 086

Reader 7: Joni Tevis, writer and professor extraordinaire, is someone I am lucky to see around campus. I once audited her Writing Non-Fiction class and can only classify it as life-changing. She also loves to read, and I asked her for her list.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Beautiful Zero by Jennifer Willoughby
Dangerous Goods by Sean Hill
Swallow the Ocean by Laura Flynn
The Truant Lover by Juliet Patterson
Borrowed Wave by Rachel Moritz
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
Believers by Charles Baxter
The Book of Wanderings: A Mother-Daughter Pilgrimage by Kimberly Meyer

Related Episode: 029

Reader 8: Karen Acosta, a friend first in a virtual world before becoming friends in real life, we have been reading books together since we were only pixels. She is also the only friend I've ever had reading dates with. The last ten years have been the only years Karen read for pleasure in English, so this is a fun list!

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom
Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesay

Related Episodes: 004, 015, 051, 066

Reader 9: Me, Myself and I! This was such a hard list to make.

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Justine by Lawrence Durrell
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
Stoner by John Williams
Ark by Ed Madden
Black Wave by Michelle Tea

Stalk me online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy


  1. Best episode ever!!! Thank you, Robyn Andrews, for Homer and Langley..I listened to the audiobook and spent ages on Google. What a story! I wonder why the author changed the characters around?
    Regards from Gail in Washington State

  2. Hi Jenny
    I loved this episode so much. It's blown my TBR up by another 24 books though! Eeeek.... Thanks so much for all you do in creating this podcast and congratulations on reaching this milestone!(Centique from Litsy)


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