Traci Macnamara BooklistBooks move me, and one of my favorite questions is: “Hey–what have you been reading?” The answer can tell a lot about a person. When you go into a bookstore, which section do you visit first? Or if you walk up to a shelf crammed with books, which one will you feel compelled to pull out? I realize that I have some literary tendencies–that I’ll pick up nonfiction before I pick up fiction, that I’ll pick up something written within the last five hundred years before I’ll pick up something written in the last five, that I’ll gravitate towards an author I’ve never read (but always wanted to) before I pick up someone whose work I know and love. No subject gets ruled out, and if the reading list is eclectic, then something on it is bound to be good.

The following books and poems are featured on “Down and Out.” Simply click on the links to read more, and please add a comment to the page if you have a response!

Edward Abbey: Abbey’s Road (1979). Desert Solitaire (1968). A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (1990). “Down the River with Thoreau” (1982)…more on Abbey, “Advice from Abbey”

Donna Andrews: The Penguin Who Knew Too Much (2007)

Matthew Arnold: “Dover Beach” (1867)

Brunonia Barry: The Lace Reader (2008)

Laurence Bergreen: Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu (2007)

Augusten Burroughs: A Wolf at the Table (2008)

James M. Cahalan: Edward Abbey: A Life (2001)

Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist (1993); The Devil and Miss Prym (2000); Eleven Minutes (2004); Warrior of the Light (2004)

Christopher Cokinos: The Fallen Sky (2009)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “Kubla Kahn” (1797)

Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems from Complete Poems (1924)

Annie Dillard: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974); The Writing Life (1989)

Kim Edwards: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (2005)

Fergus Fleming: Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps (2000)

Richard Fleming: Walking to Guantánamo (2008)

Tana French: The Likeness (2008)

Laura Furman, ed.: The PEN/O. Henry Prizes 2009 (story collection, 2009)

James Gaitis: The Nation’s Highest Honor (2009)

Rita Golden Gelman: Tales of a Female Nomad (2001)

Elizabeth Gilbert: The Last American Man (2002)

Micheal Greenberg: Hurry Down Sunshine (2008)

Jerome Groopman, ed.: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008 (2008)

John Harlin III: The Eiger Obsession (2007)

Peter Heller: The Whale Warriors (2007)

Nick Hornby: Juliet, Naked (2009)

Samantha Hunt: The Invention of Everything Else (2008)

Elisabeth Hyde: In the Heart of the Canyon (2009)

Michio Kaku: Physics of Impossibility (2008)

John Keats: “Ode to a Nightingale” (1819)

Ted Kerasote: Merle’s Door (2007)

Jack Kerouac: On the Road (1957)

R.M. Kinder: An Absolute Gentleman (2007)

Elizabeth Kolbert, ed: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009

Joseph Wood Krutch: The Voice of the Desert (1954)

Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994); Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (2005)

Madeleine L’Engle: Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (1980)

James A. Levine: The Blue Notebook (2009)

Richard Lingeman, ed.: The Nation Guide to the Nation (2009)

Bree Loewen: Pickets and Dead Men(2009)

Barry Lopez: Arctic Dreams (1986)

David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World (2008)

Peter Matthiessen: The Snow Leopard (1978). End of the Earth (2003)

Burnadette McDonald, ed.: Extreme Landscape: The Lure of Mountain Spaces (essay collection, 2002)

Robert McFarlane: Mountains of the Mind (2003)

David Michaelis: Schulz and Peanuts (2007)

Azar Nafisi: Things I’ve Been Silent About (2008)

Joyce Carol Oates: The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art (2003)

Susan Orlean: My Kind of Place (2005)

George Orwell: Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)

Melissa Holbrook Pierson: The Place You Love is Gone (2006)

Jodi Picoult: Handle With Care (2009)

Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar (1963)

Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food (2008)

Jonathan Raban: Passage to Juneau (1999)

Mary Roach: Stiff (2003)

Mike Roselle: Tree Spiker (2009)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Wind, Sand, Stars (1939)

David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000); When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008)

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)

Spirit in a Strange Land: A Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse (anthology, 2002)

Les Standiford: The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits (2008)

John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley (1962)

Mark T. Sullivan: Triple Cross (2009)

Alfred Lord Tennyson: “In Memoriam, A.H.H.” (1850). “Ulysses” (1842)

Dylan Thomas: “Do not go gentle into that good night” (1951)

Henry David Thoreau: Walden (1854)

Terry Tempest Williams: RED: Passion and Patience in the Desert (2001)

Richard Todd: The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity (2008)

Wells Tower: Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (story collection, 2009)

Mark Twain: A Tramp Abroad (1880)

William Wordsworth: “The World is Too Much With Us” (1806); “Descriptive Sketches” (1793); “The Daffodils” (1807)

6 responses to “BOOKLIST

  1. Hi Traci,
    I like your booklist. I haven’t read all the books you mention but I, too, tend to favor non-fiction. And, we share a couple of favorite authors: Annie Dillard and Anne LaMott. I love everything by Anne LaMott, fiction and non. Given your nature girl propensities, you should read Doug Robinson’s A Night on the Ground, A Day in the Open. Doug is one of my favorite writers. He strings words together so beautifully—to me, even his emails are works of literary art . I adore talking books (that’s talking about books, not books that talk)—we should do more of that.

    Are you still racing your bike?


  2. Pingback: Literature: 2007 Best Reads « DOWN and OUT

  3. Hello admin, nice site ! Good content, beautiful design, thank !,

  4. Wow!! It’s getting better and better. Keep it up man.,

  5. I love the loose genre of “outdoors/camping literature.” I’m deeply shocked you don’t have any Gary Snyder on this list.

  6. Hi, Traci! Looks like post-Hedgebrook life is keeping you busy. Check out Gail Storey’s new book I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool For Love Hikes the Pacific Coast Trail.

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