Reading History

My goal is to read at least 50 books a year. Keeping a book log motivates me to read more. Book choices are often inspired by upcoming trips and the language I’m currently studying. At home I try to alternate serious and light reads, but when traveling I indulge in YA or popular fiction.

Favorites are in bold.


D’une pierre, deux coups: Two birds with one stone. Practicing French while learning the history of France.
A year of travel in France and deepening my writing practice.
  1. The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction – Moore, Dinty W.
  2. Imparfait du futur – Tome 1 – Jules BD – Emile Bravo (French)
  3. Réplique inattendue – Tome 2 – Jules BD – Emile Bravo (French)
  4. Scratching the Surface – Jeff Greenwald
  5. The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred – Phil Cousineau
  6. The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing – Alice LaPlante
  7. Stupeur et tremblements – Amelie Nothomb (French)
  8. A sense of place : great travel writers talk about their craft, lives, and inspiration – Michael Shapiro
  9. Métronome: L’histoire de France au Rythme du Métro Parisien – Lorant Deutsch (French)
  10. Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book – Williams, Allison K
  11. Like Me – Hayley Phelan
  12. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
  13. Odd Thomas – Dean Koontz
  14. Whip Smart – Melissa Febos
  15. Girlhood – Melissa Febos
  16. Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative – Melissa Febos
  17. American Seoul: A Memoir – Helena Rho
  18. Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life – Abigail Thomas
  19. Paris in Love – Eloisa James
  20. In other words – Jhumpa Lahiri
  21. Hidden in Paris – Corine Gantz
  22. My Grape Paris (The Grape Series Book 4) – Laura Bradbury
  23. My Grape Wedding (The Grape Series Book 5) – Laura Bradbury
  24. The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel – Pam Mandel
  25. My (part-time) Paris life : how running away brought me home – Lisa Anselmo
  26. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Dr. Robin DiAngelo
  27. Lost in Paris – Thompson, Elizabeth
  28. Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction – Rae Pagliarulo
  29. Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do – Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  30. Black skies – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 7 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  31. Strange shores : an Inspector Erlendur novel – Arnaldur Indriðason
  32. Four thousand weeks : time management for mortals – Oliver Burkeman
  33. Snowblind : a thriller – Ragnar Jónasson
  34. Into Oblivion – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 11 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  35. The Girl Who Died – Ragnar Jónasson
  36. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  37. Nightblind – Dark Iceland Series, Book 2 – Ragnar Jónasson
  38. Last Rituals – Thora Gudmundsdottir Series, Book 1 – Yrsa Sigurdardottir
  39. The antidote : happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking – Burkeman, Oliver
  40. A moveable feast : the restored edition – Ernest Hemingway
  41. The Paris wife – McLain, Paula
  42. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  43. How to Be Black – Baratunde Thurston
  44. Shakespeare and Company – Sylvia Beach
  45. My Grape Escape: (The Grape Series Book 6) – Laura Bradbury
  46. My Grape Village: (The Grape Series Book 7) – Laura Bradbury
  47. On Love – Alain de Botton
  48. The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein
  49. Hidden Gardens of Paris: A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light – Susan Cahill
  50. Alguien camina sobre tu tumba : mis viajes a cementerios – Mariana Enriquez
  51. The interior circuit : a Mexico City chronicle – Francisco Goldman
  52. Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan (French)
  53. My Grape Cellar: (The Grape Series Book 8) – Laura Bradbury
  54. 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go – Marcia DeSanctis
  55. Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature – Zibby Owens
  56. Le blé en herbe – Collette (French)
  57. Un certain sourire – Françoise Sagan (French)
  58. Déjà Dead: A riveting thriller mystery set in Paris – Susan Kiernan-Lewis
  59. Bruno, Chief of Police Series, Book 1 – Martin Walker
  60. Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. – Jeremy Mercer
  61. Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
  62. The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War – Morris, James McGrath
  63. Full – Julia Spiro
  64. A thousand naked strangers : a paramedic’s wild ride to the edge and back – Kevin Hazzard
  65. Prayers for the Stolen – Jennifer Clement
  66. Verity – Colleen Hoover
  67. Excuse Me While I Disappear: Tales of Midlife Mayhem – Laurie Notaro
  68. La panza del tepozteco – José Agustín (Spanish)
  69. No te dejaremos ir. Ellas narran el Centro Histórico – J. M. Servín (antologador) (Spanish)
  70. Las batallas en el desierto – José Emilio Pacheco (Spanish)
  71. Papeles falsos – Valeria Luiselli (Spanish)
  72. On the plain of snakes : a Mexican journey – Theroux, Paul
  73. Temporada de huracanes – Fernanda Melchor (Spanish)
  74. The Family Upstairs -Lisa Jewell
  75. Hidden in Snow (The Åre Murders Book 1) – Viveca Sten
  76. Short Stories in Italian for Beginners – Olly Richards (Italian)
  77. Ego Is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday
  78. Ikigai : the Japanese secret to a long and happy life – Héctor García and Francesc Miralles
  79. Non puoi essere tu: An Italian story of mystery for Italian A2-B1 level learners – Sonia Ognibene (Italian)
  80. Die With Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life – Bill Perkins
  81. Such a Beautiful Family: A Thriller – T.R. Ragan
  82. Still waters – Viveca Sten
  83. The Family Remains – Lisa Jewell
  84. The Crossing (Detective Louise Blackwell, 1) – Matt Brolly


Preparing for my first international trip in 18 months with Icelandic noir
A year of learning Russian and French, and my first trip to Iceland.
  1. 101 Conversations in Simple Russian – Olly Richards (Russian)
  2. Couchsurfing in Russland: Wie ich fast zum Putin-Versteher wurde – Stephan Orth (German)
  3. Hell Yeah or No – Derek Sivers
  4. How to Speak Any Language Fluently: Fun, stimulating and effective methods to help anyone learn languages faster – Alex Rawlings
  5. Meditations: A New Translation – Marcus Aurelius
  6. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction – Zinsser, William
  7. Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer – Rolf Potts
  8. Vagabonding : an uncommon guide to the art of long-term world travel – Rolf Potts
  9. Travel Writing: See the World. Sell the Story. – L. Peat O’Neil
  10. The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True stories from the world’s best writers – Edited by Don George
  11. Russian Short Stories For Beginners: 20 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Russian & Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way! – Lingo Mastery (Russian)
  12. The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George (Travelers’ Tales) – Don George
  13. Conversational Russian Dialogues: Over 100 Russian Conversations and Short Stories – Lingo Mastery (Russian)
  14. Lonely Planet Unpacked: An Anthology of Lonely Planet Disaster Stories – Lonely Planet Travel
  15. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable – Seth Godin
  16. By the Seat of My Pants (Lonely Planet Travel Literature) – Edited by Don George
  17. Elizabeth Bishop : Life and the Memory of It – Brett C. Millier
  18. The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World – Lavinia Spalding
  19. Short Stories in Russian for Beginners – Olly Richards (Russian)
  20. Why this world : a biography of Clarice Lispector – Benjamin Moser
  21. The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke – Theodore Roethke
  22. The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke – Allan Seager
  23. The Zen of Blogging: Make money with your blog, fire your boss and live the good life – Daniel Welsch
  24. Refuse to Choose! Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams – Barbara Sher
  25. A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out – Sally Franson
  26. Rasskaz-Sensatsiya (The Story Sensation): for learners of the Russian language (and not only for Guadeloupeans!) – Ignaty Dyakov (Russian)
  27. Language Habit Handbook – Kerstin Cable
  28. Fluency Made Achievable – Kerstin Cable
  29. Operation Enough!: How to Retire Remarkably Early – Anita Dhake
  30. Elegy – Larry Levis
  31. French Like Moi: A Midwesterner in Paris – Scott Dominic Carpenter
  32. The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves – Dan Ariely
  33. Russian Short Stories for Beginners Volume 2 – Lingo Mastery (Russian)
  34. Life, Unscheduled – Kristin Rockaway
  35. L’appart : the delights and disasters of making my Paris home – David Lebovitz
  36. WINGS: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France – Erin Byrne
  37. Me talk pretty one day – Sedaris, David
  38. Sixty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong – Nadeau, Jean-Benoît
  39. Wanderlust in the Time of Coronavirus – Don George
  40. Love Your Life – Sophie Kinsella
  41. Shopping for Buddhas – Jeff Greenwald
  42. Russian Short Stories for Beginners – My Daily Russian (Russian)
  43. Your Music and People – Derek Sivers
  44. How to Live – Derek Sivers
  45. Atomic Habits : tiny changes, remarkable results (reread) – James Clear
  46. Jar city : a Reykjavik thriller – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 1 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  47. Silence of the Grave – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 2 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  48. Voices – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 3 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  49. The Draining Lake – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 4 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  50. Arctic Chill – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 5 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  51. Reykjavik Nights – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 0 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  52. Operation Napoleon – Arnaldur Indriðason
  53. Love, Comment, Subscribe (Ponto Beach Reunion Book 1) – Cathy Yardley
  54. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered – Austin Kleon
  55. Vignettes & Postcards From Paris – Edited by Erin Byrne, Anna Pook
  56. 301 expressions pour parler comme les Français: FLE B1-C2 – Johan Tekfak
  57. Steal like an artist : 10 things nobody told you about being creative – Austin Kleon
  58. Scratching the Surface – Jeff Greenwald
  59. Hypothermia – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 6 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  60. Outrage – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 7 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  61. Chéri – Collette (French)
  62. La fin de Chéri – Collette (French)
  63. Gigi – Collette (French)
  64. Là où souffle le vent – Amélie Blanche (French)
  65. Belonging : a German reckons with history and home – Nora Krug
  66. Black skies – Inspector Erlendur Series, Book 7 – Arnaldur Indriðason
  67. Devoted – Dean Koontz
  68. Watchers – Dean Koontz
  69. Candide – Voltaire (French)
  70. The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction – Bossiere, Zoe
  71. The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction – Moore, Dinty W.
  72. Timeless On The Silk Road: An Odyssey From London To Hanoi – Heather Ellis
  73. Réplique inattendue – Tome 2 – Jules BD – Emile Bravo (French)
  74. Read Between the Lines – Rachel Lacey


Reading Clarice Lispector over açaí in Rio de Janeiro, February 2020
A year of celebrating Carnaval in Brazil, relearning French, preparing for trips to France and Russia that never happened, and of diving into writing workshops instead.
  1. Diálogos Impossíveis – Luís Fernando Veríssimo (Portuguese)
  2. Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It – Gabriel Wyner
  3. Portuguese Short Stories for Beginners – Lingo Mastery (Portuguese)
  4. Crônicas para ler em qualquer lugar – Gregorio Duvivier, Maria Ribeiro, Xico Sá (Portuguese)
  5. Mensagem – Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese)
  6. Intermediate Portuguese Short Stories – Lingo Mastery (Portuguese)
  7. A Hora da Estrela – Clarice Lispector (Portuguese)
  8. Portuguese Short Stories for Beginners and Intermediate Learners – Language Guru (Portuguese)
  9. Felicidade Clandestina – Clarice Lispector (Portuguese)
  10. The Submissive – Tara Sue Me
  11. Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde
  12. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day – Knapp, Jake, Zeratsky, John
  13. Poema Piada – Breve Antologia da Poesia Engraçada – Gregorio Duvivier (Portuguese)
  14. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life – Before 8AM – Hal Elrod
  15. The Happiness Project, Tenth Anniversary Edition – Gretchen Rubin
  16. Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book (Books for Writers 1) – Joanna Penn
  17. Portuguese Short Stories: 9 Simple and Captivating Stories for Effective Portuguese Learning for Beginners – Language Learning University (Portuguese)
  18. 101 Conversations in Intermediate French – Olly Richards (French)
  19. Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin
  20. 4 Pilules pour une vie riche et sans stress – Johan Tekfak (French)
  21. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers – Timothy Ferriss
  22. Deep Work – Cal Newport
  23. 101 Conversations in Simple French: Short Natural Dialogues to Boost Your Confidence & Improve Your Spoken French – Olly Richards (French)
  24. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – Cal Newport
  25. The Brightsiders – Jen Wilde
  26. Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World – Timothy Ferriss
  27. How Proust Can Change Your Life – Alain De Botton
  28. Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur – Derek Sivers
  29. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
  30. Histoires à lire le soir – Marc Thil (French)
  31. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples: Third Edition – Hendrix, Harville
  32. Histoires à lire le soir 2 – Marc Thil (French)
  33. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  34. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage – Elizabeth Gilbert
  35. How to think more about sex – Alain de Botton
  36. The architecture of happiness – Alain de Botton
  37. Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris – Sarah Turnbull
  38. Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France – Karen Wheeler
  39. Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France (Tout Sweet Book 2) – Karen Wheeler
  40. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson
  41. The alter ego effect : the power of secret identities to transform your life – Todd Herman
  42. When in French : love in a second language – Lauren Collins
  43. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl (American in Paris) – Vicki Lesage
  44. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love – Amir Levine
  45. A year in Provence – Peter Mayle
  46. Paris to the moon – Adam Gopnik
  47. A week at the airport – Alain de Botton
  48. The Obstacle Is the Way – Ryan Holiday
  49. The unbearable lightness of being – Milan Kundera
  50. La vérité sur l’affaire Harry Quebert – Joel Dicker (French)
  51. On writing : a memoir of the craft – Stephen King
  52. The Elements of style – William Strunk Jr.
  53. The war of art : break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles – Steven Pressfield
  54. The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain De Botton
  55. Writing down the bones : freeing the writer within – Natalie Goldberg
  56. Bird by bird : some instructions on writing and life – Anne Lamott
  57. How to be a Travel Writer (Lonely Planet) – Don George
  58. The Parisian Adventures of Kimberly (Les Aventures Parisiennes de Kimberly): A Franco-American Love Story – Intermediate Level French Reader – Véronique F. Courtois (French)
  59. Still writing : the pleasures and perils of a creative life – Dani Shapiro
  60. Operating instructions : a journal of my son’s first year – Anne Lamott
  61. The pleasures and sorrows of work – Alain de Botton
  62. The Writing Life – Dillard, Annie
  63. Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler – Lavinia Spalding
  64. What to Say When You Talk to Your Self – Shad Helmstetter
  65. 10% Happier – Dan Harris
  66. Sovietistan : travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan – Erika Fatland
  67. Best women’s travel writing, Volume 11 : true stories from around the world – edited by Lavinia Spalding
  68. Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer: A Humorous Parenting Memoir – Vicki Lesage
  69. La Maison – Emma Becker (French)
  70. Confessions of an Expat in Paris: A Humorous Travel Memoir with Sassy Drink Recipes – Vicki Lesage
  71. Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life – Amy Gahran
  72. Snowdrops – A.D. Miller
  73. To the Lake – Yana Vagner
  74. A Terrible Country: A Novel – Keith Gessen
  75. Summer Blonde – Adrian Tomine
  76. Scenes From an Impending Marriage – Adrian Tomine
  77. Shortcomings – Adrian Tomine
  78. Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, No. 1) – Martin Cruz Smith
  79. The Turkish Gambit: A Novel (Erast Fandorin Mysteries) – Boris Akunin


Reading in a park in Lisbon, 2019
A year of studying Portuguese in Brazil and Portugal.
  1. Atomic habits : tiny changes, remarkable results – James Clear
  2. Dragonfly in Amber – Diana Gabaldon
  3. Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence – Chris Mamula
  4. Feijoada de Bacalhau: Relatos e reflexões de um brasileiro em Portugal (Portuguese Edition) – Victor Allenspach (Portuguese)
  5. Portugal de perto – Nuno Ferreira (Portuguese)
  6. Outlander: A Novel – Diana Gabaldon
  7. Because internet : understanding the new rules of language – Gretchen McCulloch
  8. Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career – Scott Young
  9. The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch
  10. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen
  11. Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home – Matthew Kepnes
  12. Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early): How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom? – Scott Rieckens
  13. The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life – JL Collins
  14. Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way – Tanja Hester
  15. The Way of the Linguist: A Language Learning Odyssey – Steve Kaufmann
  16. Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required – Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung, JL Collins
  17. Open Mic Night in Moscow: And Other Stories from My Search for Black Markets, Soviet Architecture, and Emotionally Unavailable Russian Men – Murray, Audrey
  18. West Is San Francisco – Sapala, Lauren
  19. Invisibles – Ed Siegle
  20. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Murphy, Joseph
  21. Put Some Farofa – Gregorio Duvivier (Portuguese)
  22. Onze Minutos – Paulo Coelho (Portuguese)
  23. Sete dias em busca da brasilidade: Sob o olhar de uma estrangeira – Bodrozic-Brnic, Kristina (Portuguese)

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