My List of Betterment

My list of quality reading

A work in progress

… The act of reading might be simple but …
it is also one of the most important things
in all this human world.

Source: The Simple Act of Reading Edited by Debra Adelaide

My Mission Statement: My vision (mission) for My List of Betterment is to create a list of fifty books, and write about them. The books on the list are books “that speak to me” and deepen my understanding of the world around me and my understanding of my inner self, that is, what quality reading is for me.

My List of Betterment has been inspired by Andy Miller’s intriguing book, The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life.

It is possible, by reading stories about the lives and worlds of others, the reader can become more accepting of the differences between people; an understanding of diverse personalities and cultures can be gained, and the reader will very likely experience a rewarding and pleasurable journey. Stories within books introduce the reader to an enormous number of characters, all sorts of predicaments, leading to fascinating consequences and outcomes. The reader of a book will find out about people, places and circumstances that they could never experience in several lifetimes.  

I hope you find something magical within my list.

My List of Betterment will be updated over time; set out below, there is a list of books of contemporary fiction, and there are some “classics” along with books of non-fiction.  Periodically, several books on the list will be replaced by others.  My List of Betterment is a work-in-progress, eventually naming fifty books.  I’m seeking to identify the best of the best, a personal choice within my reading life.

Books “that speak to me” (quality reading from my perspective) contain two or more of the following elements:

  • I love the book;
  • It has elements of enlightenment;
  • I have the desire to share it with others;
  • It had an impact on my emotions, and is memorable;
  • Reading it twice has value;
  • I have the desire to keep the book on my shelf; it is collectable;
  • It is a “classic” and reading it felt like an achievement.

Please note: Artuccino has an affiliation with several book sellers.  The majority of book links on this website will take you to and ABE Books.

My List of Betterment
(last update: April 2020)

(The links in the following list will take you to a page on Artuccino, where you can read more about the book.)

  1. The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life by Andy Miller (Non-Fiction)
  2. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition by Natalie Goldberg (Non-Fiction)
  3. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition Edited by Peter Boxall (Non-Fiction)
  4. Howard’s End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (Non-Fiction)
  5. Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain by Roger Deakin (Non-Fiction)
  6. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (Non-Fiction)
  7. The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden (Non-Fiction)
  8. A Walk to the Western Isles: After Boswell and Johnson by Frank Delaney (Non-Fiction)
  9. Great books by David Denby (Non-Fiction)
  10. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (Non-Fiction)
  11. The Isabel Dalhousie Series by Alexander McCall Smith
    – The Sunday Philosophy Club: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel (Fiction)
  12. The Buried Giant: A novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (Fiction)
  13. The Master: A Novel by Colm Toibin (Fiction)
  14. The Secret River by Kate Grenville (Fiction)
  15. The Merry Millionaire A Duology: (Entering into the spirit of the Jazz Age with gay abandon. A story based on true events.) by J.A. Wells (Fiction)
  16. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Fiction)
  17. The Unlikely Voyage of Jack De Crow: A Mirror Odyssey from North Wales to the Black Sea by A.J.Mackinnon (Non-Fiction)
  18. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Memoir Non-Fiction)
  19. Timbuctoo (Special Edition Hardback) by Tahir Shah (Fiction)
  20. Cairo by Chris Womersley (Fiction)
  21. Middlemarch (Collector’s Library) by George Eliot (Fiction – Classic)
  22. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (Fiction – Classic)
  23. The Third Man and Other Stories (Collector’s Library) by Graham Greene (Fiction – Classic)
  24. The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
  25. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz, James E Loehr
  26. Being Happy! A Handbook to Greater Confidence and Security by Andrew Matthews
  27. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  28. The Places In Between: a travel narrative by British writer and Member of Parliament Rory Stewart, detailing his solo walk across north-central Afghanistan in 2002 by Rory Stewart
  29. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  30. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927) (Linked to
The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller v2