The Ultimate Book List

The Ultimate Book List

If you want to read more this year, please keep reading.

This is the Ultimate Book List for the year. Great writers love to read, so I reached out to some of my writer friends to see what they are reading right now. It was a real challenge for them to choose just one book for each category. The Ultimate Book list includes:

113 reading recommendations and then some

  • 27 awesome blogs
  • 26 books that writers are reading right now
  • 26 of their all time favorites
  • 20 books they’ve written
  • 10 great book lists
  • 4 books I’ve written
  • 10 books I am excited to read in 2013

Let the reading recommendations begin …

The Ultimate List of What Writers Read

I asked my writer friends to provide: 1. the name of the book they are reading right now, or what they read most recently and 2. one of their all time favorite books.

Dusti Arab from and author of The Minimalist Mom

  1. A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan
  2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Leo Babauta from Zen Habits and author of 52 Changes 

  1. Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist and author of Living With Less

  1. More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity Jeff Shinabarger
  2. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne

Dave Bruno from Guy Named Dave and author of  The 100 Thing Challenge

  1. America: A Narrative History by George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi
  2. Godric by Frederick Buechner.

Satya Colombo from and author of Flow

  1. Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson
  2. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Arvind Devalia from Make it Happen and author of Get the Life You Love and Live It

  1. Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Ali Edwards from and author of Life Artist

  1. Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser
  2.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Diane Elkins from Positive Workspace

  1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Matt Frazier from No Meat Athlete and author of Marathon Roadmap

  1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
  2. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter

Karol Gajda from and author of Luxury of Less

  1. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
  1. Moranthology by Caitlan Moran
  2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Heidi Larsen from Foodiecrush and author of Foodiecrush Magazine

  1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  2. Love in the Time of Choleraby Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jonathan Mead from Paid to Exist and author of Reclaim Your Dreams

  1. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  2. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Joshua Fields Millburn from The Minimalists and author of As a Decade Fades

  1. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  2. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

Amanda Schoonover from A Thrifty Hippie

  1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  2. The Shack William P. Young

Victoria Smith from Corbae Cafe 

  1. The Writing Diet by Julia Cameron,
  2. This Time I Dance! by Tama Kieves

Mohamed Tohami from Midway Simplicity and author of Midway Simplicity

  1. The 52-Week Life Passion Project by Barrie Davenport
  2. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Leslie Webster from A Simple Life Afloat

  1. A Wanted Man by Lee Child
  2. The Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin

Beverly Army Williams from Pomo Golightly

  1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  2. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Nina Yau from and author of Truth

  1. Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
  2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

The Ultimate List of Book Lists

  1. 100 Notable Books by the New York Times
  2. Huff Post Editor’s Best Book Choices
  3. The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge
  4. If you want to lead, read these 10 books
  5. Perfect Books by Leo Babauta
  6. The Best Books of 2012 by Oprah Winfrey
  7. Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2012
  8. Books that will inspire you by Tammy Strobel
  9. Best Books of 2012 by npr
  10. Best Kindle Books to Inspire Simplicity

10 Books I Want to Read in 2013

A List of Books I Wrote

  1. Simple Ways to Be More with Less
  2. Living in the Land of Enough
  3. Clutterfree
  4. Mini-missions for Simplicity

For other books I recommend, you can visit Courtney’s Reading List.

I hope this list will help you get lost in a good novel, discover a new author, find a new blog you love and perhaps improve your writing or encourage you to write your own book.

Please comment with what you are reading now and your all time favorite book to continue the Ultimate Book List.


  1. says

    One book that I didn’t see on any of the list that I would highly recommend it “The Icarus Deception” by Seth Godin. Just finished it and it is great. Same theme of ‘Be unique, be true, and give us the best of who you are’ but very inspiring.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  2. says

    I’m currently reading The happiness project by Gretchen Rubin and Achieve success and happiness by Arthur P Pereira. All time favourite books are: fiction-Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen non-fiction- Who will cry when you die by Robin Sharma

  3. says

    Hi, Courtney. Thanks for including me in your list! One book about books I also love is Book Lust by Nancy Pearl. She’s a former librarian in Seattle, and she writes about why she loves the books on her list. It’s like porn for people who love to read.

  4. says

    I’m currently reading Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I don’t know what my all time favorite book would be…I read a lot (50+ books a year).

  5. says

    What a great idea, Courtney! I enjoyed this post. It’s tough to pick an all-time favorite, but I think I’d have to say Jane Eyre. In addition, pretty much any title by Madeleine L’Engle, Anne Lamott, and Sue Monk Kidd would also top my list.

    But what I’m reading and savoring now? Clutterfree! :)

  6. says

    I would be delighted if you could please add me to your mailing list. For the past 7 years I have produced & presented a weekly community radio program I call The Good Life, in which I review books and interview numerous authors, preview films and at exhibitions etc.

    A faithful American listener has emailed me your newsletter, hence my interest!

    Best regards,

    Ann Creber
    Producer/Presenter of The Good Life on 3MDDR
    41-45 Barbers Road
    Kalorama 3766
    Victoria Australia