Friday, June 15, 2012


If you know me, the you know that my favorite free time activity is reading. I love a good book. I love a good story with meaning for the every man... which is essentially what literature is. My favorite genre has been British lit since high school. I decided to go through one of the "100 Books To Read Before You Die" lists to see how I'm doing. There are several lists out there, but I liked this one since it has a mixture of books enjoyed by men and women, varies with books from many countries, and has a mixture of classics and modern. The bolded titles I have already read. The asterisk-ed titles I own and are on the "pile" to read soon. Let's see how I do. 

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
*Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible 
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (currently reading)
*Complete Works of Shakespeare 
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
*Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
*Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
*David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins 
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
*A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold 
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie 
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce 
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web - EB White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
*Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Not as many read as I would have liked. Several on the list that are not yet read that I have heard good things about/ have had in the back of my mind to someday read/ am intrigued by. There were a couple titles i had not heard of so will look into those. Not too sure if I'll ever read The Da Vinci Code or the works by Hardy. I am not a huge fan of Thomas Hardy. I added The Hunger Games since that original entry was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The Chronicles of Narnia is listed a few above that entry... which is redundant. I am currently re-reading Ivanhoe (yes, still), Miracles, finishing Catch-22, and going through two books of poems. Next on my list is to go through some Shakespeare and Dickens (all downloaded on the Kindle and ready to go). After those (may take awhile since those two authors have several works) I hope to start making my way through this list. 

I would have liked to see Ender's Game on this list. I think it is truly one of the more genius works in recent literature. I recommend it to everyone who asks for a good read. 

I always find it interesting that people always reference Pride and Prejudice and Sense and  Sensibility when listing Austen works. This list has Emma and Persuasion as well, which is a step in the right direction. But all of Austen's works deserve credit and should be must-reads. In my opinion, Sense and Sensibility is the least organized of her works... and so I have only ever read it once. 

I still don't understand the big deal about The Lovely Bones. I really didn't enjoy the book. I really didn't enjoy the movie. Nothing much seemed to happen. It bothers me that it is listed as "religious" fiction in stores. There were a lot of ad-ins that didn't seem to matter much to the story. I don't get it. 

I also think this list would be improved if poetry were added. I am currently reading a book of the Brownings poems (both Robert and Elizabeth Barrett) and a book of Robert Frost's poems. Next on that list is Emily Dickinson. I have recently begun to enjoy poetry as art. I used to read it and like a poem or two, but it is truly beautiful. One of those things where the appreciation came with age for me... kinda like brussel sprouts and cabbage. 

As I finish my books I will post my thoughts/ make recommendations. New label: literature. Unfortunately, I don't go through books anywhere near as often as I used to so these posts may be sparse. Funny how free time disappears when you have a baby! Usually when he sleeps, I sleep... but sometimes I get in a chapter or two. I'm hoping to finish Ivanhoe and Miracles before June is out.