Suzy’s Reading List

Moon Rise over Burgas Bay, Bulgaria. Image by Suzy McCanny.

Moon Rise over Burgas Bay, Bulgaria. © Suzy McCanny.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. . .The man who never reads lives only one”

-George R.R. Martin

I love reading. It’s one of my favourite pastimes & definitely in my top 10 things I enjoy doing, especially in the cold winter months. I love the feel of cracking the spine on a good paperback but I also gobble up more literary feasts by listening to audiobooks while on long drives, walks and editing jobs. I read and listen to everything; novels,  memoirs, business books, epic fantasy, books about history, travel & adventures. I’ve enjoyed a hundred different lives and a thousand tall tales.

I’ve read a small forest of wonderful books that have enriched my life, just some of which are listed in this blog post. Feel free to add your comments and recommendations for your favourite books.

  • Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keys
  • Lilac Girls – Martha Hall Kelly
  • The Outcasts of Time – Ian Mortimer
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah


  • The Witchfinders Sister – Beth Underdown
  • Beartown – Fredrik Backman
  • The Wicked City- Beatriz Williams
  • The Alice Network- Kate Quinn
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust – Philip Pullman
  • Elenor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley
  • The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson
  • Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” ― Emma DonoghueRoom

  • Wolf Boys- Dan Slater
  • Room – Emma Donoghue
  • The Nazi Officers Wife- Edith Hahn Beer
  • Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari
  • First the Killed My Father – Loung Ung
  • One Child: the story of China’s most radical experiment- Mei fong
  • And the mountains echoed- Khaled Hosseini
  • Being Mortal- Atul Gawande
  • The Master Switch – Tim Wu
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flannagan

“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.” ― Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See

  • The Colour of Light- Helen Maryles Shankman
  • The Keeper of Lost Things- Ruth Hogan
  • Caraval – Stephanie Garber
  • The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
  • The Night Circus – Cheryl Morgenstern
  • Wild- Cheryl Strayed
  • I am Pilgrim- Terry Hayes
  • World Without End – Ken Follett
  • The Boy Between- Susan Stairs
  • The Orphan’s Tale – Pam Jenoff

“If you must err, do so on the side of audacity”- The Invention of Wings.

  • Voyager – Diana Gabaldon
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • The Clan of The Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel
  • The Ocean at the End of The Lane- Neil Gaiman
  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  • Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harani
  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • The Mountain Shadow- Gregory David Roberts
  • The Miracle Morning- Hal Elrod
  • The Year of Living Danishly- Helen Russell

“My body was born in Marseilles, but my heart and soul were born sixteen years later, in Genova”- Shantaram.

  • Edge of Eternity – Ken Follett
  • All the Light We Cannot See- Anthony Doerr
  • Holding – Graham Norton
  • The Cows- Dawn O’Porter
  • The Thief’s Daughter- Jeff Wheeler
  • A Man Called Ove- Fredrik Backman
  • An Ember in the Ashes- Sabaa Tahir

“He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced.” ― Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove

  • The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
  • The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
  • Beautiful Noise by Helen Seymour
  • A Little Life- Hanya Yanagihara
  • The End of Faith – Sam Harris
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd

“Children aren’t like colouring books, you don’t get to fill them in with your favourite colours” The Kite Runner

  • The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window & Flew Away
  • Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • Millennium Trilogy
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
  • Ghost in the Wires
  • Thinking Fast and Slow
  • The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
  • The Pillars of the Earth- Ken Follett

Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star.”

  • Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  • Atonement -Ian McEwan
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
  • The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  • Marley & Me – John Grogan
  • The Celestine Prophesy

A dream, something dancing away from her conscious mind, like shadows before the sweep of a flashlight beam.”

  • The Wheel of Time Series by Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan
  • The Wheel of Time Series- New Spring
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Eye of the World
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Great Hunt
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Dragon Reborn
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Fires of Heaven
  • The Wheel of Time Series- Lord of Chaos
  • The Wheel of Time Series- A Crown of Swords
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Path of Daggers
  • The Wheel of Time Series- Crossroads of Twilight
  • The Wheel of Time Series- Knife of Dreams
  • The Wheel of Time Series- The Gathering Storm
  • The Wheel of Time Series- Towers of Midnight

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” Mark Twain

  • Red Queen by Victoria Averyard
  • The Hangmans Daughter – Oliver Potzsch
  • Wizards First Rule- Terry Goodkind
  • The Da Vinci Code – Robert Langdon
  • The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gypsy Boy- Mikey Walsh
  • Divergent- Veronica Roth
  • Insurgent- Veronica Roth
  • How Children Succeed- Paul Tough

“Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face, you need to be fully committed.” – Eat, Pray, Love

  • The Book of Dreams- Tim Severn
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  • A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  • Q & A – Vikas Swarup
  • Midnight’s Children- Salman Rushdie
  • A Suitable Boy- Vikram Seth
  • The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  • A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burges

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” – Marley & Me

  • Life of Pi- Yann Martel
  • Brick Lane – Monica Ali
  • Reading Lolita in Teheran – Azar Nafisi
  • Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  • Farseer Trilogy  -The Assassins Apprentice – Robin Hobb
  • Farseer Trilogy  -Royal Assassin – Robin Hobb
  • Farseer Trilogy – Assassin’s Quest – Robin Hobb
  • Marching Powder
  • Mr Nice
  • A Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandella

“I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

  • The Spinning Heart- Donal Ryan
  • The Help- Kathryn Stockett
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of  a Boy Solider – Ishmael Beah
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  • The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
  • The Master & Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón 
  • Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden

“What he knew, he knew from books, and books lied, they made things prettier.” ― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

  • The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
  • Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Emma- Jane Austen
  • Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  • Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything- Bill Bryson
  • The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid- Bill Bryson

“Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  • The Time Travellers Wife- Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  • The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
  • Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazoo Ishiguro
  • Twilight Series
  • Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

“But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.
I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact.
‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.”― Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • Harry Potter Series
  • Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  • ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
  • Cold Mountain- Charles Frazier
  • Watership Down – Richard Adams
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe

“It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
  • The Perfume Collector – Kathleen Tessaro
  • The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora
  • Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  • The Orphan Master’s Son- Adam Johnson
  • The Shadow Collector- Kate Ellis
  • The Grand Sophy- Georgette Heyer
  • Barack Inc – Barry Libert, Rick Faulk

“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

  • Che Guevara – Jon Lee Anderson
  • The Call of The Weird – Louis Theroux
  • Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  • Father Joe -Tony Hendra
  • Humble Pie – Gordon Pie
  • My Sisters Keeper- Jodi Picoult
  • The Lost Symbol- Dan Brown
  • The Big Moo- Seth Godin
  • Making Ideas Happen – Scott Belsky
  • The Cloud Maker- Patrick Woodhead
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  • The Fry Chronicles – Stephen Fry

“History is not just the evolution of technology; it is the evolution of thought.” ― James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

  • The Crimson Petal and the White- Michel Faber
  • Tribes – Seth Godin
  • A Game of Thrones
  • In The Plex- Stephen Levy
  • A History of the World – Andrew Marr
  • The Icarus Deception – Seth Godin
  • Fool’s Fate – Robin Hobb
  • The Golden Fool – Robin Hobb
  • Fool’s Errand – Robin Hobb

“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” ― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

  • To Sell is Human – Daniel H Pink
  • Night School- Richard Wiseman
  • The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
  • Make Your Mark – Jocelyn K. Glei
  • Word of Mouth Marketing- Andy Sernovitz
  • Contagious – Jonah Berger
  • Build a Brand in 30 Days- Simon Middleton
  • Rosie Potter R.I.P


About me

My life and studies have been intertwined with art, fashion, photography and graphic design. These disciplines have created the artist/person I am today. All my studies and experience developed in me an understanding for fashion styling, creating images for publication and advertising as well as conveying meaning through visual media. If you want to create unique imagery for your brand, if you are proud of what you do and would like me to help you share it with the world, then get in touch :-)


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