Get the List here! 95 Books to read – recommended by the Fellowship of The Kitchen’s Garden Farmy Friends

 Morning darlinks! How do you like your new name? The Fellowship of the Kitchen’s Garden Farmy Friends. Try and say that; at speed, three times in a row,  after a few wines, with a glass in one hand and standing on the opposing  foot.

Here is the list of Books and Authors for you to save. Compiled by the ‘The Fellowship of The Farmy Friends’ -maybe that is easier .

You have given me a wonderful, comprehensive, eclectic pile of books to read.   Just the list itself is a gift of gold for this reader. And I am so grateful that I can present them all on one page for You, as thanks. 

I have just cut and pasted them in the order they were received. And any applicable comments are from the contributer.  I cannot make an easy to print thingy, so may I suggest you copy and paste into your own document and print from there.  I am definitely printing a bunch of these and giving them away as christmas surprises in the christmas cards!

Books we are going to love reading: here at

  1. Hilary Mantel’s “Bring in the Bodies”
  2. Wolf Hall
  3. Hunger Games Trilogy
  4. Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home.
  5. When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison
  6. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier; (Wonderful!!)
  7. Sir Terry Pratchett
  8. The Tiger’s Wife
  9. I am currently listening to (long commute) In the Moon of Red Ponies by James Lee Burke. The writing has my stomach flipping as I listen.
  10. James Less Burke is my husband’s very favorite author of all time. He just finished Creole Belle.
  11. CS Lewis. The secret to good writing is telling the truth. I think that is Lewis’ brilliance.
  12. Flannery O’Connor
  13. The Snow Child: A Novel, by Eowyn Ivy (miss c notes that this was nominated by three readers!!)
  14. George R R Martain’s Dance With Dragons
  15. This is where I leave you” by Jonathan Tropper. Highly recommended–hilarious and poignant.
  16. Bill Jones Jr. Our fellow blogger and camera gifter. His new collection of short stories Juice and Other Stories. Miss c looks forward to reading them soon.
  17. George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series
  18. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.
  19. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.
  20. Barbara Kingsolver  The Lacuna
  21. The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill,
  22. ‘A Fraction of the Whole’ by Steve Toltz,
  23. A Discovery of Witches’ by Deborah Harkness.
  24. ‘The Whole Hog’ by Lyall Watson – some amazing tales and facts about Pigs!
  25. The Poisonwood Bible remains one of my favorite works of fiction of all time.
  26. The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher, if you like urban fantasy (I didn’t know I did until I read this series)
  27. The Dresden Files is a must-read.
  28. The Mists of Avalon
  29. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
  30. “Wait for Me! Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister”, by Deborah Devonshire.
  31. I’m a real fan of Graham Robb. Try “The Parisians” and ” The Discovery of France: a historical geography”.
  32. Most essential, if you haven’t already read them, is the series of “Dance to the Music of Time” by Anthony Powell
  33. Alice Munro
  34. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, by Mark Seal, so interesting and a true story.
  35. City of Thieves by David Benioff.
  36. The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum.
  37. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
  38. Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger. The characters are so rich and I was so sad to get to the last page. I wanted it to continue forever.
  39. A Painted House by John Grisham. It is not his usual legal/thriller fiction. It is about a young Arkansas boy whose family sharecrops in the 1950s.
  40. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  2. Anything by Connie Willis
  3. I just re-read juvenile/adult fiction “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” If you read it years ago, I recommend it now as an adult. There are so many more historical implications.
  4. I love the Milly Reynolds mysteries…the Mike Malone series. They’re delightful. They are quick reads, fully of British humor and understatement.
  5. The Secret Life of Bees
  6. The Game of Thrones
  7. A Country Year by Sue Hubbell.
  8. Sylvia’s Farm – the journal of an improbable shepherd. Fun and very well written.
  9. Someone Know My Name by Lawrence Hill.
  10. Runaway by Alice Munro.
  11. Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, whose protagonist has Tourette’s syndrome.
  12. Kate Moses’  -Wintering, a novel about the last three months of the life of Sylvia Plath.
  13. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood — most anything by Atwood is good.
  14. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (an old favourite & perfect for travelling because it’s long),
  15. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  16. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
  17. Also the free E-book classics via Kindle etc are fantastic.
  18. New authors via Smashwords,
  19. Cristian Mihai, Dianne F. Gray, Maggie Myklebust’s (Fly Away Home) and Lori Di Nardi who are WordPress bloggers with published e-books.
  20. The Shoemakers Wife a true story and delightfully written.
  21. “Madame Tussaud -a novel of the French Revolution” (she had a wax museum during that time period – you see all levels of society and how they were affected) by Michelle Moran
  22. “The Last Place on Earth.”
  23. Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy.
  24. There’s also a series by Patrick Taylor that starts with “An Irish Country Doctor” .
  25. I liked “Domina” – it’s about one of the first women in medical school.
  26. Green City in the Sun” by  Goldsmith.
  27. The Zoo Keepers Wife.
  28. Pillars of the Earth.
  29. World Without End and Fallen Giants .
  30. The Shadow of the Wind.
  31. The Kitchen Garden.
  32. Kim (R. Kipling).
  33. Thorn Birds.
  34. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach; (Some parts are laugh-aloud and read-aloud funny…)
  35. In the Woods, by Tana French; (very good murder mystery set in Scotland.)
  36. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt; (Fascinating!)
  37. Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety, by Ben Hewitt.
  38.  The Town That Food Saved, by Ben. We met him at a conference and he’s an interesting young man. He has a good blog, too.)
  39. The Bloodletter’s Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) by Linda Lafferty. (I had never read anything about this region’s history, interesting.)
  40. Wolf Hall
  1. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
  2. Garden Meditation – Cultivating Peace’ by Timothy McKibben (a monk I have studied with)
  3. The Outlander by Gil Adamson
  4. ‘Into the Land of Snows’ by Ellis Nelson, another blogger..
  5. The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye.
  6. The Grass Harp by.Truman Capote, gentle funny, poignant.
  7. The Holy Man by Susan Trott
  8. . I thought of World Made By Hand when reading your NaNo excerpt, so thought that deserved a mention.
  9. Irish writer – Kevin Barry at the moment. We’re reading his short story collection Dark Lies the Island.
  10. I also highly recommend David Mitchell’s first book, Ghostwritten which I have read several times.
  11. For characters that are hard to part with, Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats is hard to beat.
  12.  Wilfred Thesiger’s wonderful travel book, Arabian Sand -a good old fashioned explorer’s tale with some really moving writing in it.
  13. The Tiger by John Vaillant
  14. The sound of a wild snail eating – Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  15. Plainsong by Kent Haruf – set in the midwest – raw and brilliant. Cecilia loved this so much she begged the library lady to let her steal it.

Gutenberg Project ( It’s a website where you can download, for free, books for which the copyrights have expired.

Good morning. I packed and ordered and cleaned yesterday. But finished nothing.  I will lug my bag out to the barn this morning and weigh it. Get a fright, panic a bit, then resign myself to overweight. It is the presents. And I will not leave them behind. They are finds that I have collected over the last year or so, I would rather leave my clothes behind, but I need them to pack around the fragile gifts!!

Tonight we meet with the builders for a final consultation and I will give my little camera to the Kiwi Builder who is heading up that team. John will not be working while I am away so he is joining the team of minders of the Farmy and they have decided to do the whole day by themselves today.  Then John and I will do the weekend.  Then I am gone.

The Tall Teenager (Triple T as ChgJohn calls him) was given a camera for his birthday so I shall bribe him into taking a few shots of the animals for you and I, once in a while. Teenagers work for pizza!

Three more sleeps until I fly out to California for the first stop. Six nights before I climb aboard the plane for New Zealand.  We will not be back until Christmas day. Are your virtual bags packed yet? Ready to  come along as the Farm Weblog morphs into a Daily (mostly)Travel Blog with Food? Such fun we will have.


Soon I will stop being the headmistress and I will be the Mama again. Such a joyous sound.

Have a lovely day.


91 Comments on “Get the List here! 95 Books to read – recommended by the Fellowship of The Kitchen’s Garden Farmy Friends

  1. Road trip! Errrrrrrrr Air trip! I look forward to seeing New Zealand. Will have to ask my MIL what town a clan of relatives lives there. Have safe flights and await the awesome shots. t

    • Seven flights in all to get to NZ with a few days in california, John said he would come with me if we could drive! What are they like! c

  2. Morning Celi! That list will keep you in reading material for quite a while. I just finished Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans. I pre-read before I let my girls have them. It’s more a teen-age to young adult book. There is also a sequel which I don’t have. I also have a couple of boxes of old books that were left here by the previous owners of the farm that I’ll start reading as we get into winter. They’re from the 40’s to the 60’s. 😦 My Mother in law always packs presents and mails them a couple of weeks before she comes to visit with orders not to open until she gets here. We’ll miss your farm photography while your gone but I’m looking forward to those NZ pics. Food and travel is a wonderful combo. Have a great day.

    • Great that your girls are readers too and i fully agree with the pre reading. there is a whole genre of teen books out now that are heavily into violence and sex and the kids just lose that joy of using their imaginations so fast.. Having said this my father had a library of hundreds of books and we just read everything, that was 40 years ago though..different world. I SHOULD have sent a few of these pressies on.. that is an excellent idea.. ah well! c

  3. Oh I just adore the pic of the kitty looking down on the list of books – brilliant!
    This is the easiest trip I have ever had to pack for – first time ever I won’t be over packed!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. 8 nights and 7 days without phone or internet …. 8 days of no Farmy, and nearly missed the flight to California – noooooooooooo. My all time favourite, Lord of the Rings J R R Tolkien – the unabridged version. Looking forward to our adventures with you. Laura

    • I am fascinated by the genre Urban Fantasy, having never heard of it before, I need to mix in more bookish circles I think! Thank you for the clarification. c

  5. Thank you for the book list, Miss C. You must be so excited to go home to New Zealand and see everyone you can see. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  6. Celi, this adventure is going to be such fun! I love traveling vicariously! And what a treasure trove of reading. I simply must carve out some time to get started on that list. Thank you for sharing it! ~Lynda

  7. Can’t wait to see the photos from NZ, and I checked you don’t have to worry the Boks won’t be playing the All Blacks whilst you there so you wont have to go through the humiliation of us beating you…

  8. 3 nights away? How time flew! I hope the opposite is true once your jet lands in NZ.
    Thanks for taking the time to compile the list of books. Your commenters sure did come through for you. What a list!
    Have a great day, Celi!

    • I just cutted and pasted I hope it makes sense, I am going to tuck a copy of the list in with my kindle, so I never have to think about what to read for a few years.. I had better take two as my daughter will nick that list as quick as look at ya! morning john.. hey, we are going to have a warm weekend! Ain’t life grand.. c

      • Celi, they are saying it is to be 64 degrees for us on Monday! Wow…Spring is just around the corner..I hope. If I don’t see you before you leave have a safe trip and a wonderful time with your family. Did I miss you on the day you wanted boxes? So sorry if I did…
        Can’t wait to see NZ. I’m with Our John..if we could drive there I would be traveling with you!

        • he is looking into Boats, maybe you can stowaway!!! In the end i used bubble wrap and tucked them in with the clothes.. I was hoping to catch up but it seems the days are chasing me!! c

  9. Great list! Thanks so much for sharing it, jolly good idea! I have cut and pasted it and will be referring to it often. I am so looking forward to the trip, I would never get to NZ any other way! Hope you have a grand time too!

  10. I saw the link to this post in my email, and the subject line was shortened, so I thought it was going to say “Fellowship of the Kupa”! Sounds like a cult, doesn’t it? But a good healthy one!

  11. I’m off for England today and taking my Terry Pratchett Night watch with me. I’m half way thru and my notes on the first page date this as the third reread, (01,06, 04,09), what am I like? I’m so happy for you that you have the whole world of Pratchett’s madness to discover. Have the best, best holiday! 🙂 I love getting away from having to be the decision making mom, writer, photographer, artist, cat owner, house and garden keeper, money maker, bill payer and just be plain old V without any responsibilities…just for a while.

    • Absolutely, in fact already in feel all those responsibilities sloughing off.. I must order a few of these books before I go in case i wash up somewhere without wifi.. and oh I do know about rereading books, what a wonderful idea to make notations of when you read them.. some books I know so well I just open a page at random and read for the love of the words.. Have a fabulous time in england.. keep in touch.. c

  12. It’s rainy in California! I don’t know where you’re stopping, but most of the state is being rained on. I love rain, but I do so want your visit to be sunny.

    • I am wishing for sun too, but oh this area needs your rain, we are still dry. I don’t mind the rain. I will be in the central valley i believe they call it. Thank you for the heads up though, I shall have a brolly handy!

  13. I am holding my breath in anticipation of your family greeting their “Momma” as she disembarks from her plane trip to Cali and New Zealand! I should have added to your list of reads, but perhaps you could have predicted an onslaught of Herriot titles. What a wonderful varied list!

    I smiled to myself , as I views the photo drinking from the pail of water…I too use my canner for chores and all around farm use (mostly for distributing grain) 🙂

  14. I should have added to the reading list, too; but I see so many authors here I love and some that are new to me (and will go exploring!). I love Alice Munro’s stories; I consider her the master of the form. Highly recommend Kent Haruf’s Plainsong; I think you’d love that. Love Ian McEwan’s Atonement, an all-time favorite. Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto is a must. I want you to read some William Faulkner at some point (don’t let people scare you away from Faulkner; he’s really wonderful, just takes patience sometimes). And Eudora Welty’s stories are masterpieces (start with The Golden Apples). Plugging the Southern authors along with Flannery. See? I just couldn’t help myself! Can’t wait to follow you to New Zealand.

    • I love Kent Haruf and Ian McEwen. i have always meant to read Faulkner, I am a patient reader. I am glad you could not help yourself! Have a fab day. c

  15. Oh Celi, I’m SO happy for you! I can’t wait to read about your travels……
    And I’m honoured to be part of the Fellowship!
    Relax! and have a great day.

  16. Thanks for the list…its fun to go to and read excerpts (sp?!HA) from
    books that seem interesting….before purchase and putting them on my kindle.
    We have a lovely used bookstore and as everyone seems to agree, holding a
    book in hand is a must.

    Just plain excited for you Miss C…. N

  17. I’ve thrown all the clothes out of my virtual valise and now it’s filled with books. I’ve plundered the shelves for this length journey. It will be happy traveling Celi. V.

  18. I´m so excited for you. I went to NZ as part of my 40th birthday Round the World and then a couple of years later found I have a long lost cousin in Nelson – we haven´t met yet though 😦 Hope the last few days go quickly (but not too quickly) and thanks for the fabulous book list…

  19. Too many books-not enough time! Thank-you so much for this amazing list!! I was en-route to Kauai and could not contribute but would like to also suggest The Outlander series by Diane Galbaldon. Cutting for Stone-great read!! I’m currently reading Crow Planet-you’ll never look at crows the same! I can not wait to depart with you to NZ!
    So excited for you Mama!! 🙂

  20. What a fantastic line up of reads and thank you so much for sharing it with us. I just picked up Barbara Kingsolver’s Lacuna at a used book store last week, so am looking forward to reading it next! Definitely cutting and pasting THE LIST. Sounds like all is just about ready for you to depart on your trip. I know you must be tingling with excitement! 🙂

  21. The book I recommended didn’t make the list! Ahhh well. There’s enough holiday reading here for everyone, anyway. Good luck with all you have to do between now and your departure xx

  22. Have a great trip. When was the last time you visited NZ? Thanks for the book list, must find time to do some reading. Looking forward to reading about your trip.

  23. I’m beyond excited by your trip as I plan to tag along virtually to NZ just like I tag along with you on the farmy.

  24. Thrilled over the list. (nice to see CS Lewis – he would have been 114 yesterday)
    Chuckled over the bag weigh-in. (I thought of you when unpacking the manger scene yesterday- have a wooly lamb my parents brought back from NZ that fits right in)
    Rest up and try to sleep – (Ha! like that’s possible)
    For some reason the image of Dorothy linking arms with the Scarecrow, Lion, and Tinman – followed by Toto comes to mind – like we are all off to see the wizard…
    Have a magical time!

  25. I have a readling list that I keep adding too – too many books not enough time. Love the last photo – ha! Have a Great One on the Farmy:) Happy Reading too!

  26. A bit late for your list,but Ifind the books below an interesting and off beat insite to parts of theUSA. May be little dated at times. They are by an American writer- William Least Heat-Moon.

    River Horse (aboat a boat jounery across America)
    Blue Highways (a jorney around America on the “blue roads on Road Maps)
    Roads to Quoz (a American Mosey )

    Enjoy yor visit home, but watch out for Hobbits and their assocites.
    Trollag ( relationsif ‘H.s’ usualy silver miners from the Isle of Man )

  27. Thanks for the reading list – lots for me to have a go at there.
    I think I will leave Mum (VivinFrance) to look at the list when she has WiFi again (hopefully in a few days time) as it is far to long a list to read out over the phone. I have trouble enough keeping up with all her blogging friends good wishes!
    Enjoy your trip to NZ, I shall be eagerly awaiting your travel blog. I have friends in Dunedin who we visited 6 years ago and had a ball. Tried and failed to get a sabbatical out there a couple of winters ago.

    • I am so glad viv is getting better, what a worry, and yes absolutely don’t even think about reading it to her over the phone, it was a lot of fun, she may enjoy it later on and when she is well tell her i want her input.. you are being so wonderful.. give her our love.. c

  28. The list looks most intriguing. New Zealand is getting warmer and more summery. It knows you are coming! Hobbits are everywhere.

  29. Some great titles there, and so many to check out – thanks to you and your readers for their input.
    It’s the first day of summer today here in Oz, I guess NZ are on the same seasonal zone, so you are headed for some very hot weather Celi; shorts and T-shirts a-plenty! It’s 33c here today.
    Have safe trips on all your flights, and I can’t wait to hear about your NZ. We are going there in February (Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula) to a family wedding.

    • Oh Coromandel is gorgeous, you will love it up there and in february, beaches with no school kids – perfect timing.. c

  30. The list, the list, I have a most important list!! In all seriousness: feel secure when you leave, enjoy the journey, be enriched to meet those face-to-face, find the Shaky Isles better than before and DO tell us about it!!

  31. O my goodness – what a wonderful listing of books and authors to look for. Being Canadian, i was very pleased to see Margaret Atwood listed. Here’s another Canadian author who writes the most wonderful (a little scary, slight bloodthirsty, Tolkienesque) fantasy – Guy Gavriel Kay. Look especially for “The Fionavar Tapestry”, a trilogy that has, of course, Canadian content and connections. They are such beautiful stories even with the scary parts, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn about yourself. Have a wonderful trip, can’t wait for you to share your travels with us.

    • Thank you, good suggestion, I don’t mind scary at all! My husband won’t read anything with scary bits.. ! and welcome to the lounge of comments, we are going to have a great few weeks, .. c

  32. You could also pop in some Joan Didion essays to break it up a bit :). She’s a Californian.

  33. I love the book list! Thank you for compiling it…not small task! It’s raining in her SoCal, but a warm rain. We even have the french doors open. And in three days it will have blown out and you’ll have some nice weather to jumpstart your grand adventure. Yes, my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…good lyrics from a sweet song. oxo

  34. Have a wonderful, safe trip. Being a young adult librarian I didn’t add any books to the list, but I always have suggestions! The Book Thief by M. Zusak being one of the best that has come out in the past few years.

    I am looking forward to hearing all about NZ as it is one place I have not gotten to and would love to get there. It’s #1 on my future travel list! But farming kind of keeps us here! Maybe some year…

  35. I can’t believe how quickly your trip has snuck up on us! YES, YES I’m ready. I’ll leave behind a couple of pairs of shoes and you may use some if my luggage weight, the presents are important.
    I’m sure farmy will do fine, the animals will keep the baby sitters in line,

  36. You get a big vote from me for James Less Burke – I’m reading “The Glass Rainbow” at the moment 😉

  37. I am reading (in amongst all the baking and cookbooks) The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkman – a seriously good discussion of the happiness industry. Lots of good stuff in there.

    Love you lots Celi, have a great and wonderful trip !

  38. Hmmm, I’m very late with catching up on the blog, but what a wonderful list of books1
    It has everything, from a favourite of mine to a I-would-not-touch-that-with-a-ten-foot-pole (no, I won’t name it, everybody may read whatever they enjoy).

  39. Celi, you are a star. I have printed the list for me and saved a copy for my next book club meeting… so many goodies to choose from 🙂

  40. Pingback: the flipside and a lesson in quityabitchin | elladee_words

  41. Pingback: So: What are you reading? | thekitchensgarden

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