MFA Reading Lists

First Semester

Books With Foreign Settings:
1.     Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
2.     Bend in the River (V.S. Naipaul)
3.     Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
4.     Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson)
5.     Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
6.     The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien)
7.     Out of Africa (Isak Dineson)
8.     Dream of a Blue Room (Michelle Richmond)

Unique 1st Person Narrative
9.     The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Mark Haddon)
10.  The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein)
11.  The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
12.  Room (Emma Doaghue)

Weaving Multiple Plots and Characters
13.  Bel Canto (Ann Patchett)
14.  Sarah’s Key (Tatiana de Rosney)
15.  Love Walked In (Marisa de los Santos)
16.  Plainsong (Kent Haruf)

One of the above with medical issues as key plot:
17.  Middle Place (Kelly Corrigan)
18.  Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese)

Second Semester

1. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (Tom Franklin)
2. Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)
3. A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
4. Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri)
5. State of Wonder (Ann Patchett)
6. Heartsongs and Other Stories (E. Annie Prouxl)
7. Too Much Happiness (Alice Munro)
8. Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen)
9. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford)
10. The Pleasure of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Alan Jacobs)
11. The Optimist’s Daughter (Eudora Welty)
12. Abide With Me (Elizabeth Strout)
13. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
14. The Murderer’s Daughter (Randy Susan Meyers)
15. Little Bee (Chris Cleave)
16. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (Rhoda Janzen)
17. Edgar Sawtelle (David Wroblewski)
18. Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories (Tom Hazuka)
19. That Old Cape Magic (Richard Russo)
20. The Modern Library’s Writer’s Workshop (Stephen Koch)

Third Semester - What I Intended on Reading

1. The Magician’s Assistant (Ann Patchett)
2. The Patron Saint of Liars (Ann Patchett)
3. Run (Ann Patchett)
4. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (Beth Hoffman)
5. The Financial Lives of Poets (Jess Walter)
6. Falling Together (Marisa de los Santos)
7. Then We Came to the End (Joshua Ferris)
8. The Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick)
9. Animal Farm (George Orwell)
10. String Bridge (Jessica Bell)
11. In the Lake of the Woods (Tim O’Brien)
12. Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok)

Short Stories and Collections:
13. Unaccustomed Earth (Jhumpa Lahiri)
14. A Kind of Flying (Ron Carlson) – in particular “The H-Street Sledding Record”
15. Cathedral (Raymond Carver) – in particular “Cathedral”
16. American Salvage (Bonnie Jo Campbell)
17. A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Flannery O’Connor) – in particular “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

18. Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maas)
19. Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
20. Hooked (Les Edgerton)

Third Semester - What I Actually Read

Short Story Collections:
1. Refresh, Refresh (Ben Percy)
2. Night Swimming (Pete Fromm)
3. Jesus' Son (Denis Johnson)
4. Ship Fever (Andrea Barrett)
5. The Pugilist at Rest (Thom Jones)
6. American Salvage (Bonnie Jo Campbell)
7. The Fireman's Wife (Richard Bausch)
8. Where I'm Calling From (Raymond Carver) (ebook)

9. A Soldier of the Great War (Mark Helprin)
10. Geek Love (Katherine Dunn)
11. Run (Ann Patchett)
12. City of Thieves (David Benioff)
13. The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
14. In the Lake of the Woods (Tim O'Brien)
15. Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann)
16. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer) (ebook)
17. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) (ebook)
18. Animal Farm (George Orwell) (ebook)
19. The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak) (ebook)

20. Indian Creek Chronicles (Pete Fromm)
21. Hooked (Leslie Edgarton)
22. Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maas)

 Fourth Semester

Short Stories:
1. A Kind of Flying (Ron Carlson)
2. Dry Rain (Pete Fromm)
3. Night Swimming (Pete Fromm)   

4. Thanksgiving Night (Richard Bausch)
5. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
6. The Harbinger (Jonathan Cahn)
7. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
8. The Fault in our Stars (John Green)
9. Tinkers (Paul Harding)
10. Contents May Have Shifted (Pam Houston)
11. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
12. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
13. The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
14. Lolita (Vladamir Nabokov)
15. A Complicated Kindess (Miriam Toews)
16. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
17. Then We Came to the End (Josh Ferris)

19. Let's Pretend this Never Happened (Jenny Lawson)
20. Poetry Pact (ed. Angela Felsted, Richard Merrill)
21. Dark Summit (Nick Heil)
22. Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
23. Save the Cat (Blake Snyder)