Today show book club

  • In exclusive behind-the-scenes footage for Oprah Magazine, Oprah Winfrey and Jenna Bush Hager bond over having book clubs: “We are not competing! We love to read!”
  • Jenna Bush Hager’s book club, Read With Jenna, launched in March 2019 on the TODAY Show.
  • Read with Jenna’s most recent pick is Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. Ahead, every book on her book club list.

When it comes to book clubs, Oprah Winfrey and Jenna Bush Hager share the same opinion: The more, the merrier.

Both Oprah and Hager have high-profile book clubs devoted to connecting people with the literature. Oprah’s Book Club, of course, is the original. OBC has been a force in the literary world since its launch via The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996, and it recently turned a new chapter with a partnership with Apple. Hager, meanwhile, is newer to the scene: Her book club, Read With Jenna, kicked off in March 2019 on the TODAY Show.

Clearly, these two have a lot to bond about—and they have. After an interview on the TODAY Show during Oprah’s 2020 Vision wellness tour with WW, the two candidly gushed about their book clubs—and dissuaded any notion of competition between the two.

“I do not feel there’s competition,” Oprah says in the clip. Hager agreed, saying she told Reese Witherspoon, who also has a successful book club, the same thing. “We are not competing!” Then, the women each turned to the camera and said “We love to read!” to emphasize their point.

Their shared enthusiasm for reading demonstrates something that all book lovers know to be true: Being a book-lover means you’re already part of a community. Whether you join Oprah’s Book Club or Read With Jenna, you will instantly connect with even more people who love reading, too.

Generally speaking, Read with Jenna’s picks are well-written contemporary novels with propulsive plots. Hager explained her taste in an interview with Good Housekeeping.”No matter what, you have to have a great, compulsively readable plot. Something where you cannot wait to figure out what’s going to happen. And, obviously, I was an English major, so it has to be beautifully well-written,” she said.

Here are the 13 books that have joined her club so far, beginning with her most recent pick: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, a harrowing yet ultimately optimistic story about the sole survivor of a plane crash.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Dear Edward: A Novel amazon.com $27.00 $16.20 (40% off)

At the start of Dear Edward, 191 people board a plane leaving Newark airport—and 12-year-old Edward Adler is the only survivor. Dear Edward is told in alternating timelines, delving into the passengers’ last hours, plus Edward’s life after the crash.

Napolitano, an author of two previous novels and the editor of One Story literary magazine, got the novel’s devastating premise from a real-life event. In 2010, a plane from South Africa went down in Libya, killing all but a 9-year-old boy. From the news headlines comes a masterfully wrought story about living in a pitch-black tunnel of grief—and finding the light after.

On her book club’s landing page, Hager said of her latest pick: “I choose Dear Edward because it is a book about love and loss and finding your way after the unthinkable.”

Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss amazon.com $24.00 $16.91 (30% off)

Margaret Renkl knows where the crawdads sing. In this unusual and contemplative memoir, Renkl slows down and savors the natural world on display in her Tennessee backyard.

Through this lens, Renkl situates her family’s recent struggles within a larger context. Where do our very human yearnings for love—and our tangible experiences of loss—fit in with the buzzing world of wildlife around us? By weaving her life experiences with observations of snakes, birds, and bees, Renkl reminds us of our place in it all.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here amazon.com $26.99 $12.99 (52% off)

Nothing to See Here is the book about parenthood that Hager says has touched her the most.

As anyone who’s ever witnessed a tantrum on an airplane can attest, kids are sometimes a handful. Now, imagine how hard it must be to care for kids who spontaneously combust when their moods become too heated. Lillian, the down-on-her-luck heroine of Kevin Wilson’s hilarious third novel, finds herself in charge of children with this extraordinary affliction after she accepts a nannying job from her best friend from college.

By moving out of her mom’s attic and escaping her grocery store job, Lillian feels like her life is starting. And her new wards— twins who catch fire–take her life in new, but welcomed, directions.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House: A Novel amazon.com $27.99 $15.99 (43% off)

Ann Patchett’s utterly absorbing novel will eat up a weekend, guaranteed. Follow what happens after Cyril Conroy makes the fateful decision to move his family into the Dutch House, a lavish feat of architecture in a Philadelphia suburb. With that, he sets into motion a series of events out of a Dickens novel—and his kids, Danny and Maeve, bear the brunt of the misfortune.

Jumping between the past and present, the novel’s nonlinear format reflects what life is like for Danny Conroy, a man thoroughly obsessed with a few long-gone years and their enduring effects.

“What I kept coming back to in this book was Danny and Maeve’s closeness, their bond, how they raise each other,” Hager told TODAY. And their fascinating relationship will stay with you, too.

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

The Dearly Beloved: A Novel Simon & Schuster amazon.com $26.99 $17.79 (34% off)

Lily Barrett and Nan MacNally are two very different women in a very similar situation: Their husbands, Charles Barrett and James McNally, are co-ministers at Manhattan’s Third Presbyterian Church. The Dearly Beloved follows decades in the couples’ lives, from meeting in college to grappling with the hurdles, both material and theological, in the years to follow.

This is a book concerned with the profound: God, the afterlife, the good life. Yet the real miracle is that the book itself, sublimely written and sharply observed, rises to the occasion of its subject matter. No matter your own religious beliefs, this novel will affect you.

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Patsy: A Novel amazon.com $26.95 $12.29 (54% off)

After Patsy gets a long-awaited visa to the United States, she has to make a choice. Stay in Jamaica with her devout mother and her daughter, Tru, working a minimum wage job—or, move to New York for a life that is truly her own, with the chance to reunite with her childhood love, Cicely.

In Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn makes the case for why a woman might do the unthinkable: Leave her five-year-old daughter behind to start over. Dennis-Benn’s moving depiction of immigration, motherhood, queer identity, race, and their many intersections, is a must-read—especially in times like these. To Hager, it’s ultimately a “story of love.”

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel Ballantine Books amazon.com $26.00 $12.99 (50% off)

Evvie Drake doesn’t feel nearly as bad about her husband’s sudden death as the other residents in her small Maine town assume. A year after the car crash, Evvie rents a room to Dean Tenney, a former Major League pitcher escaping New York, the site of his great humiliation: Due to a case of the “yips,” Dean can no longer throw a baseball. You can guess what happens next.

More than a love story, Evvie Drake Starts Over also captures one woman’s journey back toward herself—and how the two strands work in tandem. For Hager, that dynamic was the draw of the novel. “I was captivated by Evvie Drake right away,” Hager told TODAY. “By the character of Evvie—and her predicament of finding herself as a young widow and trying to find herself.”

Host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour radio show, Linda Holmes has made a career out of evaluating other people’s work. Luckily, we can report that her own book, warm and wrought with deep empathy, is a rave.

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

Searching for Sylvie Lee: A Novel amazon.com $26.99 $13.49 (50% off)

Sylvie Lee has always been the family’s golden child, and her younger sister, Amy, knows it. Though they’re sisters, they had a different upbringing: Amy grew up in the U.S. with her Chinese immigrant parents, while Sylvie stayed behind in Europe with relatives.

To Amy, her sister’s “other life” in Europe has always taken on the sheen of mystery. When Sylvie disappears on a trip to the Netherlands, Amy sets off to find her–and in doing so, exposes the dark family secrets her sister already knew all too well. After tearing through this compelling literary thriller, Jean Kwok’s carefully embedded observations about the immigrant experience and sisterhood will stay with you.

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

A Woman Is No Man: A Novel amazon.com $26.99 $15.69 (42% off)

Etaf Rum’s acclaimed debut novel looks at Palestinian-American women’s experiences within their tight-knit, patriarchal Brooklyn community. Though their neighborhood isn’t far from the hip Williamsburg neighborhood of Girls, it’s worlds away: Deya is expected to marry and have children, like the women before her.

When writing her book, Etaf Rum drew from personal experiences growing up in a similarly traditional community to the one depicted in the book. And like her protagonist, she had to undergo a trek to find—and listen to—her own voice.

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After amazon.com $27.00 $12.99 (52% off)

Get your tissues out. The Unwinding of the Miracle is a bracingly honest book about a subject most of us would rather pretend didn’t exist: Death. After she was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer at age 37, Julie Yip-Williams decided it was time to set her extraordinary life down on paper—and by paper, we mean a blog.

Her entries, at times raging and at times graceful, were posthumously turned into a book. “It’s a great reminder that life is precious, and it’s a gift—and to live every single day like it’s our last,” Hager said on TODAY.

The Unwinding of the Miracle touches the momentous occasions of Yip-Williams’ life: Her difficult passage to the U.S. from post-war Vietnam with her family, her experiences as a blind woman, her pursuing a degree in law from Harvard, and her becoming a young mother. But it’s her reflections on a universal experience that make this book such an urgent read.

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

The Last Romantics: A Novel amazon.com $26.99 $16.43 (39% off)

After their raucous and unsupervised childhood, the four Skinner siblings know each other better than anyone else can. Fiona Skinner’s role in the family is the historian, and when their lives veer toward an extraordinary path, it’s Fiona who remembers where they came from.

Opening in the year 2079 at Fiona’s poetry reading, she finally opens up on the inspiration behind her work for the first time: Her family. The Last Romantics is an immersive epic that will keep you up late at night.

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‘Today Show’s’ Jenna Bush Hager Reveals First Book Club Pick of 2020

Jenna Bush Hager of the Today Show and Today with Hoda and Jenna is starting off 2020 with her latest pick for her popular book club, Read With Jenna. The January selection is the poignant story of a 12-year-old boy dealing with a life-changing loss, starting the new decade off with an unforgettable page-turner.

“Today Show’s” Jenna Bush Hager | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Crashing heartbreak

“Dear Edward” focuses on the 12-year-old sole survivor of a devastating plane crash that kills 183 passengers, including his family. Starting a life with his aunt and uncle, Edward has to find a way to navigate his new reality while being a topic of national news headlines.

Shifting between Edward’s present challenges in his new beginning and the fated plane trip from New Jersey to California that highlights the passengers, author Ann Napolitano showcases the themes of loss and humanity.

The novel’s poignant plot caught Hager’s attention. “I choose “Dear Edward” because it is a book about love and loss and finding your way after the unthinkable,” Hager said, according to Today. “I thought to start our year off, even though hopefully nothing this dramatic happens in everyone’s life, we can all think about a new lease on life.”

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On this International Day of the Girl, I’m thrilled to to announce that @michelleobama and I are headed to Vietnam to highlight girl’s education. #whorunstheworld #InternationalDayOfTheGirl #DayOfTheGirlTODAY

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Perfectly timed for a new decade

The Read With Jenna founder was drawn to the redemptive foundation the story shared. “The theme or the message that I took away is really about shared humanity, about goodness, about faith, about finding redemption and grace even after the unthinkable and that’s what Edward does,” Hager said.

Seeing this selection as the ideal choice to begin 2020, Hager found “Dear Edward” to be a compelling story of renewal. “I think when we are starting our year, there was no better book to talk about what we want for ourselves,” the Today co-host said. “There can be this newness, this rebirth even if nothing terrible has happened.”

An author’s inspiration

The idea for the book came to Napolitano from a real-life story that happened a decade ago. “It started with my obsession with a real plane crash from 2010. A commercial flight from South Africa to London—filled with mostly Dutch passengers on their way home from vacation—crashed in Libya, and everyone on the flight died except for one 9-year-old boy named Ruben van Assouw,” the author revealed. “Ruben was found still strapped in to his seat about a half-mile away from the wreckage… He had a badly broken leg and a punctured lung but was otherwise fine. Everyone else, including his parents and brother, died immediately.”

The tragedy prompted Napolitano to create the story of “Dear Edward” as a way of comprehending how individuals start over in the face of extreme loss. “I couldn’t read enough about this story,” Napolitano said. “I knew fairly quickly that I was going to have to write my way into understanding how this little boy could possibly walk away from this crash, from the loss of his entire family, and find a way to not only survive but live.”

Hager raved about the book on Instagram, encouraging readers to pick up the novel for a moving literary journey. “It is a book about resilience and grace and about building a new life,” she posted. “As J. Courtney Sullivan said: ‘It will break your heart and put it back together again.’”

“Dear Edward” hit book shelves on January 6!

Happy new year Read With Jenna! After 10 months of fun in 2019, we are excited to continue recommending our favorite books to the Read With Jenna community in 2020.

© Tyler Essary TODAY — Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Jenna Bush Hager on Monday June 03, 2019 — (Photo by: Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

To kick things off in January, Jenna Bush Hager has selected “Dear Edward,” by Ann Napolitano.

“Dear Edward,” by Ann Napolitano

“Dear Edward,” by Ann Napolitano

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“Dear Edward,” by Ann Napolitano, $14.99, Shop now

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“I choose Dear Edward because it is a book about love and loss and finding your way after the unthinkable,” said Jenna. “I thought to start our year off, even though hopefully nothing this dramatic happens in everyone’s life, we can all think about a new lease on life.”

The novel centers around a 12-year-old boy named Edward after he is the sole survivor of a plane crash that claims the lives of 183 passengers, including his family. After the heartbreaking ordeal, he has to find the resilience to create a new life for himself with his aunt and uncle.

“It deals with grief and there are definitely sad moments but ultimately, I found it to be a really hopeful, beautiful book,” said Jenna.

The book, Napolitano’s third, was inspired by a 2010 plane crash that left a 10-year-old Dutch boy as the sole survivor of an aircraft traveling from South America to London.

“I was obsessed with this news story and I knew fairly quickly that I was going to have to write my way into understanding how that little boy would be able to go on after losing his family and walking away from the wreckage,” said Napolitano.

The story goes back and forth in time between Edward’s present-day struggle to rebuild his life and the doomed plane traveling from New Jersey to California with all of its various passengers. In weaving the stories together, Napolitano keeps humanity at the center of the story and reminds readers of the immense loss that occurred in the plane crash.

Jenna said, “The theme or the message that I took away is really about shared humanity, about goodness, about faith, about finding redemption and grace even after the unthinkable and that’s what Edward does.”

As we start off 2020, this book asks readers to think about new beginnings. For Edward, something terrible has happened but he finds the grace to keep going.

“I think when we are starting our year, there was no better book to talk about what we want for ourselves. There can be this newness, this rebirth even if nothing terrible has happened,” said Jenna.

For past #ReadWithJenna book club picks, you can read the announcements for her March pick, April pick, May pick, June pick, July pick, August pick, September pick, October pick, November pick and December pick. Also, check out our Read With Jenna page.

To stay involved all month long, be sure to follow us on Instagram (don’t forget to tag your photos with the hashtag #ReadWithJenna), join our Read With Jenna Facebook group and follow along on Goodreads to continue the conversation about “Dear Edward.”

Sponsors: TODAY Show and NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

Barack Obama revealed his annual holiday reading list this week, at last solving the mystery of who is the one remaining person on earth who still hasn’t read The Girl on the Train. Along with Paula Hawkins’ novel, he is taking Helen Macdonald’s memoir H Is for Hawk; the Pulitzer prize-winning book about surfing, Barbarian Days; The Underground Railroad, a fictionalised history by Colson Whitehead; and the sci-fi novel Seveneves, to Martha’s Vineyard.

Obama’s holiday picks are always guaranteed a sales boost, but he is not the first president to enjoy a good book. According to the policy adviser Karl Rove, he and George W Bush had an annual reading competition, averaging about two books a week, with Bush’s taste extending from political biographies (he read 14 of Lincoln alone while he was in the White House) to fiction (including Camus’ The Stranger) to YA (Ana’s Story, co-written by his daughter Jenna). The bigger reader, though, was Laura Bush, a former school librarian, whose life is itself fictionalised in Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife.

Both Clintons’ reading lists show that they are fans of Maya Angelou, but while Bill counts Hillary’s Living History among his favourite political books, Hillary names George W Bush’s Decision Points as hers. When he was elected president, Bill Clinton overruled a travel ban on Gabriel García Márquez, whose novel One Hundred Years of Solitude he had loved since law school, and the two became friends. But, Clinton confessed, really he was addicted to mysteries.

According to Tevi Troy, the author of What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House, Richard Nixon and George HW Bush were big fans of Tolstoy; JFK was mad about Bond; and Ronald Reagan loved westerns. But his recommendation (“a perfect yarn”) was partly responsible for making Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October a bestseller.

Unfortunately for the bookselling industry, Donald Trump has no time to read. “I never have,” he has said. But a US publisher is currently putting together a short-story collection about the Republican nominee. “Writers should submit stories ranging from depictions of his absurdity to the impact of his politics on the disenfranchised, our international friends, and world peace,” requests itsalltrumpedup.com. The deadline for submissions is 31 August.

Mrs. Laura Bush’s Recommended Reading List: Family Reading

“If you always have your phone in front of your face, your children will think they are not interesting. When you have children, put your phone down and pay attention to them. Read to them—that’s the most important thing.” –Mrs. Laura Bush

There is nothing more heart-warming than when your child crawls into your lap with a new book in hand to read together. Family reading not only creates happy memories, but it has substantial benefits for both children and adults. According to the Huffington Post, reading aloud to your children is one of the best ways to build a strong family bond. Reading books aloud also exposes your children to sophisticated words that can expand their vocabulary and improve their communication skills.

Most importantly, family reading sets an example for kids to follow and teaches them to love reading at an early age—an invaluable gift. Not sure where to begin? Get started with one of Mrs. Laura Bush’s favorite family reading books:

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Hank the Cowdog (series) by John R. Erickson

Little House on the Prairie (series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Mr. Bush, who does his reading for pleasure on Air Force One, on weekends and before bed at night, has long said he prefers books to channel surfing, although he does watch television sports.

“I’m reading, I think on a good night, maybe 20 to 30 pages,” the president told Brian Lamb of C-Span in an interview at the White House last month. “I’m exercising quite hard these days, and I get up very early, and so the book has become somewhat of a sedative. I mean, maybe there are some other old guys like me who get into bed, open the book, 20 pages later you’re out cold.”

Mr. Bush added that “in this job, there are some simple pleasures in life that really help you cope. One is Barney the dog, and the other is books. I mean, books are a great escape. Books are a way to get your mind on something else.”

Friends say that Mr. Bush, who like most modern American presidents is drawn to the biographies of those who governed before him, reads more nonfiction than fiction and tends toward history. “It turns out that the president better have seen the day that has gone in order to be able to help lead to the day that is coming,” Mr. Bush told Mr. Lamb, paraphrasing the Texas writer and painter Tom Lea. “In other words, history really matters for the president.”

Mr. Bush noted that he liked the Hamilton biography because “it was a very interesting history of how hard it was to get democracy started.” He also told Mr. Lamb that he reads the Bible daily every other year, and in the years in between he reads a daily devotional by Oswald Chambers, a Protestant minister of Scotland from a century ago.

Mr. Bush told Mr. Lamb that “Oswald Chambers was one of the great Christian thinkers” and that “the easier it is to understand what he writes, I think, the more understanding of religion a person becomes.” This year, the president said, he is once again making his way through the Bible.

He did not utter a word to Mr. Lamb about “I Am Charlotte Simmons.”

Laura Bush’s Family Favorites

This list represents only a sampling of the many excellent books for children, young adults, and families. For more suggestions ask the librarians and teachers at your school or at your public library

Family Reading

To be read aloud as a family. These titles are also good for independent readers.

  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  • Hank the Cowdog (series,) John R. Erickson
  • Little House on the Prairie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • Winnie the Pooh (series), A. A. Milne

Books to Read to and with Young Children

These titles are also good for early independent readers and those children just learning to read.

Bedtime favorites and Lap-time reading:

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Babar (series), Laurent De Brunhoff
  • Carlo Likes Reading, Jessica Spanyol
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (series), Norman Bridwell
  • Corduroy, Don Freeman
  • Frances the Badger (series), Russell Hoban
  • Hop on Pop, and others by Dr. Seuss
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
  • Mother Goose Rhymes
  • Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, Tomie De Paola
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Simms Taback
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears, Verna Aardema
  • Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Richard Scarry
  • Cuadros de familia/ Family Pictures, Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Curious George, H.A. Rey
  • Frog and Toad (series), Arnold Lobel
  • George and Martha (series), James Marshall
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Joffee Numeroff
  • Little Bear (series), Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Magda’s Tortillas, Becky Chavarria-Chairez
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann
  • Sarah’s Flag for Texas, Jane Alexander Knapik
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • Tomas and the Library Lady, Pat Mora
  • Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman

Books for Intermediate and Independent Readers

  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Love that Dog, Sharon Cheech
  • A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck
  • Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
  • Adaline Falling Star, Mary Pope Osborne
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control, Jack Gantos
  • Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Miracle’s Boys, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Homeless Bird, Gloria Whelan
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia Maclachlan
  • Ramona (series), Beverly Cleary
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  • Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

Special Comfort Books

  • What Have You Lost, Naomi Shihab Nye and Michael Nye
  • The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack
  • The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, Judith Viorst
  • I Love You, Little One, Nancy Tafuri

Recommended Reading for Adults

  • Ship of Fools; The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Anne Porter
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Music for Chameleons, Truman Capote
  • Goodbye to a River, John Graves
  • Mornings on Horseback, David McCullough; and other biographies
  • Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo A. Anaya
  • My Antonia; Death Comes to the Archbishop, Willa Cather
  • All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy

Second grade teacher, librarian, and former First Lady Laura Bush got her love of reading from her mother: “When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since… Reading gives you enjoyment throughout your life.”

While she was in the White House, Laura compiled a list of her favorite children’s books. And we wanted to share them with you. Have you read any of these? What else would you add to the list?

Family Reading

To be read aloud as a family. These titles are also good for independent readers.

  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  • Hank the Cowdog (series,) John R. Erickson
  • Little House on the Prairie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • Winnie the Pooh (series), A. A. Milne

Books to Read to and with Young Children

These titles are also good for early independent readers and those children just learning to read.

Bedtime favorites and Lap-time reading:

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Babar (series), Laurent De Brunhoff
  • Carlo Likes Reading, Jessica Spanyol
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (series), Norman Bridwell
  • Corduroy, Don Freeman
  • Frances the Badger (series), Russell Hoban
  • Hop on Pop, and others by Dr. Seuss
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
  • Mother Goose Rhymes
  • Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, Tomie De Paola
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Simms Taback
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears, Verna Aardema
  • Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Richard Scarry
  • Cuadros de familia/ Family Pictures, Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Curious George, H.A. Rey
  • Frog and Toad (series), Arnold Lobel
  • George and Martha (series), James Marshall
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Joffee Numeroff
  • Little Bear (series), Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Magda’s Tortillas, Becky Chavarria-Chairez
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann
  • Sarah’s Flag for Texas, Jane Alexander Knapik
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • Tomas and the Library Lady, Pat Mora
  • Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman

Books for Intermediate and Independent Readers

  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Love that Dog, Sharon Cheech
  • A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck
  • Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
  • Adaline Falling Star, Mary Pope Osborne
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control, Jack Gantos
  • Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Miracle’s Boys, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Homeless Bird, Gloria Whelan
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia Maclachlan
  • Ramona (series), Beverly Cleary
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  • Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

Special Comfort Books

  • What Have You Lost, Naomi Shihab Nye and Michael Nye
  • The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack
  • The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, Judith Viorst
  • I Love You, Little One, Nancy Tafuri

Recommended Reading for Adults

  • Ship of Fools; The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Anne Porter
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Music for Chameleons, Truman Capote
  • Goodbye to a River, John Graves
  • Mornings on Horseback, David McCullough; and other biographies
  • Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo A. Anaya
  • My Antonia; Death Comes to the Archbishop, Willa Cather
  • All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy