I read recently that at age 38, Jamie Oliver read his first book. Which got me thinking of a required reading list.

Sure, I could have put a picture of the book cover but I prefer this 🙂

I would start with Gone With The Wind. The fact there exists females over the age of twelve who have not read it boggles my mind. Males should read it too. Just because it is primarily Scarlett’s story as opposed to Rhett’s, it is still a great story. Have a quick listen to a favorite song of mine, based on the story.

In mystery it would be Georges Simenon ’s  Inspector Maigret series. I know other’s would say Agatha Christie but IMHO there is no one like Simenon. I wasn’t able to get my hands on all the books in the series (back before there was an Amazon) so I read some in French, just to read them. And I hate French, so that shows how good these books are.

Of course Harry Potter. Listen kid, if your parents are the type of Christians that think these books are evil because of the Wizards, pretend they are issues of Playboy and hide them and read them on the sly.

I’m not big on biographies but Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers by Joseph P. Lash is a fantastic read and a great love story, affairs aside.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown. If you are going to live in this land stolen from the Indians, you should at least read the story from their perspective.

Pope Patrick by Peter De Rosa. Funny, controversial, brilliant. You will not be able to put it down so be prepared to do it in one sitting. Of course, after reading it, you will hold your breath every time a pope is elected and pray he is not Irish.

200px-The_Butter_Battle_Book_coverThe Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. I don’t care how old you are.

I could add a lot more to this list. But it recently came to my attention, Jamie Oliver aside, that there are people who have never read a book since they left school. My brain can’t grasp such an idea. Really? Oh. My. God. What is shocking, they declare this almost with pride, the amadáns. (Look it up, you’ll know when you have found it.) So for those people, if you get through these, you will have made a good start.

There is a book that should be on the list but I cannot remember the name to save my life. I gave it as a gift to my son but asking him to look for anything in his house is like asking someone to look for a needle in a haystack. If this rings a bell, leave me the title in the comments. There has been some sort of nuclear war. The only place where there is still life is Ireland. No direct hit but they are all dying from the radiation. A little boy is telling the story as he gets sicker, until he is all alone, and finally his last word. I’ve tried every Google search I can think of.



Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle


  1. I’ve never read Gone with the Wind. Hmm . . . I’m going to add it to my summer reading! Thanks for the suggestion!


  2. i remember on the Beach, but it was set in Australia, not Ireland. i’d add Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (not the uncut version) and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.


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