Johanna Fulghum

My Reading List

Thank you to Susan Fowler and Patrick Collision who have inspired me to devote more time to reading and to create this list.

I only list books I’ve finished — books I chucked aren’t listed.

★★ is Not Great. The ending didn't redeem it and can't recommend.
★★1/2 Okay, didn't do it for me.
★★★ Enjoyable & overall yes recommendation.
★★★1/2 Very Good, strong recommendation.
★★★★ In Love.

I'm better these days about chucking books I am not feeling. To quote Tyler Cowen,
"People feel compelled to finish books they started. That's just a tax on your reading. Why would you do that to yourself?"


1. Dear Life, by Alice Munro ★★★1/2

2. The Burnout Society, by Byung-Chul Han ★★1/2

3. My Brillant Friend, by Elena Ferrante ★★★★

4. Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro ★★★★

5. Saving Beauty, by Byung-Chul Han ★★

6. Authentically Black, by John McWhorter ★★★1/2

7. The Birth (and Death) of the Cool, by Ted Gioia ★★★

8. Getting Things Done, by David Allen ★★★★

9. Grokking Deep Learning, by Andrew W. Trask ★★★★

10. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris ★★★★

11. Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham ★★★★

12. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, by John McWhorter ★★★

13. Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World, by Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross ★★★★

14. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass ★★★★

15. A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O'Connor ★★★★

16. The Practicing Mind, by Thomas Sterner ★★★★

17. Runaway, by Alice Monroe ★★★★

18. Letters to a Young Contrarian, by Christopher Hitchens ★★★1/2

19. Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday ★★★★

20. Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon ★★★

21. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon ★★★


1. Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, by Anne Applebaum ★★★1/2

2. 10% Less Democracy, by Garett Jones ★★★

3. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, by Chelsea Handler ★★★

4. My Horizontal Life, by Chelsea Handler ★★★1/2

5. The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane ★★★

6. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris ★★★1/2

7. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut ★★★

8. My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell ★★★★

9. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov ★★★1/2

10. Is This Anything? By Jerry Seinfeld ★★★

11. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, by Aubrey Gordon ★★★1/2

12. Influence, by Robert Cialdini ★★★

13. China in Ten Words, by Yu Hua ★★★★

14. Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph, by Chad Sanders ★★★1/2

15. Ultralearning, by Scott Young ★★★

16. Anagrams, by Lorrie Morre ★★★1/2

17. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson ★★★1/2

18. Birds of America, by Lorrie Morre ★★★1/2

19. Thick: And Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cottom ★★★

20. Lords of the North, by Bernard Cornwell ★★★★

21. The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change, by Camille Fournier ★★★1/2

22. How to Train Your Mind: Exploring the Productivity Benefits of Meditation, by Chris Bailey ★★★

23. Effortless, by Greg McKeown ★★★

24. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O'Neil ★★★1/2

25. Jesus and John Wayne: How Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, by Kristin Kobes Du Mez ★★★1/2

26. Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever, by John McWhorter ★★★★

27. Talking Back, Talking Black, by John McWhorter ★★★

28. Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer's Life, by Dana Gioia ★★★

29. Self-Help, by Lorrie Moore ★★★

30. On Directing Film, by David Mamet ★★★

31. In Order To Live, by Park Yeon-mi with Maryanne Vollers ★★★1/2

32. This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan ★★★

33. Fluent Forever, by Gabriel Wyner ★★★★

34. Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner ★★★

35. The Stuff of Thought, by Steven Pinker ★★1/2

36. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, by Alice Munro ★★★★

37. Life Itself, by Roger Ebert ★★★1/2

38. Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, by Edward Glaeser, David Cutler ★★★1/2

39. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera ★★★★

40. Frientimacy, by Shasta Nelson ★★★★


1. Milkman, by Anna Burns ★★★

2. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang ★★1/2

3. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen ★★★

4. Heart of a Dog, by Mikhail Bulgakov ★★1/2

5. Tonight I'm Someone Else, by Chelsea Hodson ★★★1/2

6. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath ★★★1/2

7. Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriett Beecher Stowe ★★★1/2

8. Whistleblower, by Susan Fowler ★★★

9. Atomic Habits, by James Still ★★★

10. Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe ★★★1/2

11. Uncanny Valley, by Anna Wiener ★★

12. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel ★★

13. Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, by Patricia Highsmith ★★★

14. Calypso, by David Sedaris ★★★1/2

15. The First Bad Man, By Miranda July ★★★★

16. Severance, by Ling Ma ★★

17. Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff ★★★★

18. White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo ★★★1/2

19. The Toyota Way, by Jeffrey Liker ★★★

20. Circe, by Madeline Miller ★★★★

21. Florida, by Lauren Groff ★★★★

22. The Obstacle is the Way, by Ryan Holiday ★★★

23. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, by Scott Adams ★★★1/2

24. Girl, Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology, by Rana el Kaliouby ★★★1/2

25. The Enchiridion, by Epictetus ★★★★

26. Are you there, Vodka? It's me, Chelsea, by Chelsea Handler ★★★★

27. The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey ★★★★

28. It Chooses You, by Miranda July ★★★★

29. Loserthink, by Scott Adams ★★★1/2

30. Win Bigly, by Scott Adams ★★★

31. Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens ★★★

32. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett ★★1/2

33. 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West, by Roger Crowley ★★★

34. The Pale Horseman, by Bernard Cornwell ★★★★

35. Thinking of Answers: Questions in the Philosophy of Everyday Life, by A.C. Grayling ★★★

36. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver ★★★★

37. Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, by Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith ★★★★

38. Free Will, by Sam Harris ★★★★

39. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado-Perez ★★★

40. Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 - 2002), by David Sedaris ★★★1/2

41. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier ★★★★

42. The Life Changing Manga of Tidying up, by Marie Kondo ★★★1/2

43. Solutions and Other Problems, by Allie Brosh ★★★★

44. How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, by Slavenka Drakulic ★★★★ (I didn't laugh once reading this)

45. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris, ★★★1/2

46. The Refugees, by Viet Thanh Nguyen ★★★

47. Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson ★★★★

48. The Global Citizen, by Donella H. Meadows ★★★★

49. The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown ★★★1/2

50. Three Uses of The Knife, by David Mamet ★★★1/2

51. The Wife's Tale: A Personal History, by Aida Edemariam ★★1/2

52. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius ★★★

53. The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz ★★★

54. Heartburn, by Nora Ephron ★★★

55. The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel, by Paulo Coelho and Derek Ruiz ★★1/2

56. Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think, by Bryan Caplan ★★★

57. The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, by Bryan Caplan ★★★1/2


1. Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donella H. Meadows ★★★★

2. Born a Crime, by Trever Noah ★★★1/2

3. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, by Evan Osnos ★★★★

4. An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management, by Will Larson ★★★1/2

5. The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, by Ji Xianlin ★★★★

6. Educated, by Tara Westover ★★★★

7. The Last Kingdom, by Bernard Cornwell ★★★★

8. Stubborn Attachments, by Tyler Cowen ★★★