Okay, here's the deal- I ripped this from Emily because I liked it, but it's going to be a bit different. First, it inspired me to try and find the best "100 Books to Read Before You Die" list and work my way through it. However, there are some entries on here that either don't belong (in my opinion) or are just confusing (they have "Complete Shakespeare" and "Hamlet on here in two different places, just like they have "Chronicles of Narnia" and "Lion, Witch and Wardrobe" in two places).

So this isn't the list I will use in my personal quest to become very well-read; I don't think Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" belong here, but perhaps they are going for a more varied sampling of literature rather than obvious "classics." (I agree with Em, though- East of Eden, though I haven't read it, is moredeserving of a read than some of those on this list. That being said, I think this list and a "100 Books" list will be pretty close. (Although, wouldn't it just be easier to read Wikipedia summaries?)

Okay, after that lengthy intro, here's my system:

RED will be books that I have read; YELLOW will obviously be books I haven't (because that's the color of the blog text); WHITE will be books that I want to read; GREEN will be books that I haven't read and never intend to; ORANGE will be books that I have read and didn't like for some reason that I probably can't remember; BLUE will be for books of which I have seen a/the movie adaptation, and therefore don't see a need to read the book; and GRAY will be books for which I have seen a/the movie adaptation and want to read the book anyway. Random editorial comments may appear after entries.

Here we go!

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (sounds boring)
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (some parts, mostly at the beginning, parts of Isaiah, and snippets here and there)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (sounds very boring)
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (maybe I'll get around to it, might watch the movie instead)
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I've read several, hence the red, and I've seen so many movie adaptations, hence the blue and gray, but there's so many, it couls make its own "100 List)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (sounds boring)
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchel (if it's anything like the movie looks, I'll pass, thanks)
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens (if it's by Dickens it's gotta be good, right?)
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (better be worth the million pages of reading)
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (sounds boring)
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I've read other Dostoevsky, but not this one)
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen (avoid Jane Austen like the Plague)
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (see comment for "Gone With the Wind")
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Em says it's boring, so it probably is)
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan (see entry for "Gone With the Wind")
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (see entry 35)
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (sounds cool)
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (want to read because the author is Russian, but cautious; I'm sure it's a sordid and saucy tale, so I'm torn)
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding (see entry for Gone With the Wind)
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (again, a split entry)
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (sounds very boring)
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (haven't read all stories, but I've read many of them)
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams (okay, I want to read this mostly because of "Lost")
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

There you go! 17/100 ain't too shabby (almost 3 times better than most people, according to Emily's "according to The Big Read").

Some classics missing from the list: "White Fang," "Adventures of Tom Sawyer," "Adventures of Huck Finn," "Slaughterhouse Five," and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

My list, of course, would include the above, as well as the intellectual musings of Tom Clancy and John Grisham and such...but who's counting?

So here's to good reading!


Tamara said…
wowzers, steven....that is entirely and utterly confusing in my opinion...too many colors to remember! I'm on mind can't do such complicated tasks...sorry!
Jan said…
I think you just don't want to read any books that are a girl's name.

Jane Eyre is a favorite. For real.

So happy to see you on the Mormon blog!
Beckie said…
I can't recommend The Count of Monte Cristo enough. I LOVED it. And has some very different parts than the movie. But the classic revenge portion remains the same.

Also, why is Watership Down significant for Lost? I just got the book, so you should read it as well and we'll discuss.

And East of Eden is amazing as well. I learn something new every time.

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