I think most of what I have listed here was worth reading and probably still is.
When I was rating books on Goodreads, I realized that all my ratings were 4s and 5s. If a book engaged me enough to finish reading it, I usually gave it a high rating. If a book doesn’t engage me, I usually don’t finish it. If I don’t finish it, I don’t feel I should rate it.
The exception would be things I happen across that are so bad I feel a warning is in order.
If you try something on these lists I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on it.
There is also a collection of “first paragraphs” of books I’ve read that you might like to browse.
One final note. I’ve been rather lazy about linking these items. I’ve decided that going forward I’ll try to link to the author’s website if they have one and are still living. Otherwise, I’ll leave it to you to choose a source since there are so many and I’m not affiliated with any sellers. Remember the best place for you to get any of these is at your local library.
The Overstory, Richard Powers, 2018
Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, Marcia Bjornerud, 2018
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh, 1945
Autumn Journal, Louis MacNeice, 1939
Completed in 2021
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury, 1962
Dancing at the Rascal Fair, Ivan Doig, 1996
The Peace of Wild Things, Wendell Berry, 2018
The Cosmic Purr: Poems, Aaron Poochigian, 2012
Gasoline and The Vestal Lady on Brattle, Gregory Corso, 1958, 1955
Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner, 1971
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion, 1968
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster, 1961
A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1958
House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday, 1968
The Captive Mind, Czeslaw Milosz, 1953
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King, 2000
Some were started but set aside.
On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation, Alexandra Horowitz, 2014
Assembling California, John McPhee, 1993
The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962
My Struggle: Book One, Karl Ove Knausgård, 2009
The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, 1881
Exhalation: Stories, Ted Chiang, 2019
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, William Styron, 1990
Autumntide of the Middle Ages, Johan Huizinga, 2020
Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro, 2021
Leviathan Wakes James S. A. Corey, 2011
Rabbit, Run, John Updike, 1960
Natural History, Carlos Fonseca, 2017
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, 2017