The Nest of Gentle Makers Library

Books and words are important to me. Both fiction and non fiction. I have always enjoyed reading good books. Books mean knowledge- either of facts or of the possibilities of other worlds, other lives, other points of view. On a practical level, I love a good set of instructions and always think that I have to have read as much as I can about a subject before I even attempt to explain to another person how to do something/ my opinion on a subject etc. In fact I almost always feel the need to know about something at PhD level before speaking about it!

When I was about 16 years old my parents bought me an encyclopedia. I found a mistake in the text and felt compelled to write to the editor to correct them. I don’t remember the mistake and I’m a bit embarrassed that I wrote to them but it’s all about the detail…..I acknowledge that I must have been an odd kid. I’m still trying to improve myself….!

I adore well crafted fiction. But I am quite choosy. I realise that with limited time and in my middle age I do not need to spend time on rubbish writing. I like well crafted prose. Writing that is a joy to read and writing that makes a difference. I love authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Donna Tartt and I am always on the look out for new wonderful writers.

Maintaining a reading habit though, in this frenetic age we live in, is not as easy as it used to. We have to read for work- emails, documents; then there is the stream of information on the internet and social media. I see my husband struggling to get through a fiction novel because there is always something work-related to read. I usually read for about 20 minutes before bedtime and get through my books slowly and steadily, which suits me. I also listen to audiobooks whilst at home doing chores. I have a ‘to-read’ list and a ‘read’ list which I really enjoy keeping because it ensures at least some reflection on what I have digested.

At the A Nest of Gentle Makers Retreat we have a reading area which has been housed in one of the tipis in the 2019 retreats but for 2020 will be indoors. I would love to invite you to spend some time looking at our collection.  You can read them during the retreat and if you want to carry on reading at home, then take the book with you and just post it back to me at the address on the inside cover. I really hope that people will come to love this part of the retreat. The library is by no means exhaustive and is just a selection of some of the books I have enjoyed over the years. And some of the books in the library I have not read! I am not a literary critic and so I apologise in advance if these books do not inspire you. I also want to make the library more diverse, so I am working on that. If you want to suggest a book that might go well in the reading area- do let me know!

For now, I will list the books we currently have in the ANOGM Library. In time I may add little notes on the books by way of a review but many of the books I read a long time ago. I like the idea of re-reading books but seldom do, so this maybe my perfect opportunity!

ANOGM Library List


  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • In Sunlight or in Shadow. Stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper edited by Lawrence Block
  • My Sister, The Serial Killer by Yinkan Braithwaite
  • Kindred by Octavia E Butler
  • Beginners by Raymond Carver
  • Will You Be Quiet Please? by Raymond Carver
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  • Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
  • Point’s Early Cases by Agatha Christie
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  • The Red House by Mark Haddon
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
  • This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M.Homes
  • Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  • Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson
  • Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
  • Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris
  • Upstream by Mary Oliver
  • George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Larry’s Party by Carol Shields
  • The Box Garden by Carol Shields
  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
  • Autumn by Ali Smith
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
  • The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  • Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  • Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
  • Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


  • Women and Power by Mary Beard
  • Happier by Tal Ben-Shaham
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
  • Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict by Anton Gill
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • Snowball Oranges: One Mallorca Winter by Peter Kerr


  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Essence of the Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran
  • Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Book of Nurturing by Linda and Richard Eyre
  • The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  • Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
  • Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
  • Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen
  • My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen
  • Heal Thyself by Saki Santarelli
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