Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I love books. I own a lot of them. One of my pet peeves when watching home makeover shows on TLC or HGTV is that they always get rid of the freaking books! I think you can tell a lot about a person by the books they keep in their home, and I don't understand people who take it as a point of pride that they don't have any. I have even met people who bragged that they had never read a whole book before in their LIFE! Why would you be proud of that???

Before the baby was born, I used to read. A LOT. I've always been a reader, all my life. My mom teased me about it. My brothers teased me about it. My friends teased me about it. Heck, even some of my teachers teased me about it! I've read so much that I've forgotten a lot that I've read. It's not uncommon for me to start reading a book and a few chapters in realize that I've read it before already.

I learned how to read before I started school and was reading at a third grade level by kindergarten. When I was seven, I read the entire Wizard of Oz series. I'm a ridiculously fast reader, but I'll never be a speed reader because I refuse to skip words and skim. I value the WHOLE language and read for pleasure, not just to get through something. I've also always been an advanced reader, albeit with lowbrow tastes, as evidenced by all the chick lit in this house. Ah well.

Since Bubba has been born, I've read one book. (Well, one and a half if you count the nap book that I was supposed to review. Ugh.) I miss reading for the enjoyment of reading. We've been thinking about taking a family outing to the library lately (my husband just realized that yes, the library has current and new books as well as boring old ones) and I've been looking forward to it. Just in time for that, Lindsay posted a list on her blog of 100 Books to Read that she found online. She went through and marked off the stuff she's read and replaced some stuff that she had no plan to read (I have to agree with those, no Book of Mormon reading is happening here!), so my list is based on her edited list. I went through and changed them to match my own experiences.


BOLD: Read it
UNDERLINE: Read previously and plan to re-read
ITALICS: Replacement book for one I don't plan on reading
ORANGE: I'm pretty sure I read it, but I read so freaking much I tend to forget what I read so I'm going to have to read it again!

and because I am me:

GREEN: my own comments, ha ha

1 To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
2 The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett
3 Pride and Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen Awful awful book. I have the hardest time reading anything by Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. I just can't relate to how they write and it takes me forever to struggle through them. I do it though because I like the idea of being well read.
4 Paradise Lost by John Milton
5 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Ronald Dahl
6 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey
7 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
8 Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë I probably started it and gave up. I can't remember if I finished it or not, so it needs to be reread.
9 The Richest Man in Babylon (1955) George S. Clason
10 The Catcher in the Rye (1945) by J.D. Salinger I read this one in high school just because. It wasn't required. I remember not getting why it was so great, but then again, I was 15. I think I may reread this one as well.
11 Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) by Anne Frank
12 Little Women (1868) by Louisa May Alcott Read this one when I was ten or eleven, I think.
13 Gone With The Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
14 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis The only one of the Chronicles of Narnia that I read. I remember liking it, so I don't know WHY I never read the rest.
15 The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry Required reading for a college class. I still have my copy.
16 The Kite Runner (2003) by Khaled Hosseini
17 A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens I want to say I read it, because I have it in a set of leatherbound books that I got for my13th birthday, but it could be that I just have seen so many versions of it on tv that I just THINK I read it, you know?
18 The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald Saw the movie in high school because we were supposed to read the book. My 11th grade Honors English teacher should be ashamed! Yeah, I went to school in the ghetto, LOL!
19 The Count of Monte Cristo (1844) by Alexandre Dumas
20 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams We own this. Leatherbound. I've avoided it because it's SO NERDY.
21 Ender's Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card
22 Anne of Green Gables (1905) by L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Atwood (Introduction) I read a few in this series. My fifth grade teacher said I reminded her of Anne.
23 Crime and Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoevsky
24 The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) by Audrey Niffenegger
25 Les Misérables (1862) by Victor Hugo
26 The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
27 Mein Kampf (1925) Adolf Hitler
28 One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel García Márquez, Gregory Rabassa (Translator) I must have read this at least twenty times, with the first time being when I was sixteen. This is my favorite book ever, and I'm on my third copy.
29 The Alchemist (1988) by Paulo Coelho
30 The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman I've never even seen the movie!
31 East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck This was one of those books that I read because it was a classic. While it was well written, and kept me interested, I found myself at the end with a feeling of "That's it?" I didn't get the point to the story.
32 The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
33 Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell
34 Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) by Arthur Golden Another favorite that's been read multiple times.
35 A Million Little Pieces (2003) James Frey
36 Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
37 Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding Sophomore year of high school required reading
38 Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
39 A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle I want to say we read this in the seventh grade, and I can tell you what a tesseract is, and the principle behind it, but I can't remember what exactly happens in the book.
40 Anna Karenina (1873) by Leo Tolstoy
41 Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller
42 Life of Pi (2001) by Yann Martel
43 Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut
44 A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens Part of the set from my 13th birthday, yet never read. I read Great Expectations from that set when the movie came out with Gwyneth Paltrow and it was super hard to get through so I gave up on the rest, ha ha!
45 Watership Down (1972) by Richard Adams
46 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (1865) by Lewis Carroll I read them when I was a kid, and thought I had a copy, but I guess not.
47 A Thousand Splendid Suns (2006) by Khaled Hosseini
48 The Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver
49 Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë
50 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997) by J.K. Rowling Read and own all of these, but I still refuse to give in to Twilight, so THERE! HA!
51 Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert
52 The Odyssey(600) by Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator)
53 Water for Elephants (2006) by Sara Gruen
54 Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley
55 The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy
56 The Fountainhead (1943) by Ayn Rand
57 The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde
58 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark Twain 11th grade required reading, along with Tom Sawyer.
59 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) by Betty Smith
60 Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
61 Angela's Ashes (1996) by Frank McCourt Although, I read the sequel, 'Tis. Weird, huh?
62 The Book Thief (2005) by Markus Zusak
63 The Da Vinci Code (2003) by Dan Brown
64 The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again (1937) by J.R.R. Tolkien Another book that I hated but suffered through anyway. I will not be reading the Lord of the Rings though. The Hobbit was quite enough Tolkien for me!
65 Night (1958) by Elie Wiesel
66 The Pillars of the Earth (1989) by Ken Follett
67 The Giving Tree (1964) by Shel Silverstein
68 Outlander (1991) by Diana Gabaldon
69 The Brothers Karamazov (1880) by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear (Translator)
70 Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand
71 A Prayer for Owen Meany (1988) by John Irving My second favorite book of all time. SO GOOD!
72 Don Quixote (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
73 Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker
74 The Lovely Bones (202) by Alice Sebold
75 Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen
76 The Iliad (600) by Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator) How are the Odyssey and the Iliad on here but not Oedipus Rex or Medea, you know, the ones I've actually read? Grr.
77 Moby Dick (1850) by Herman Melville
78 War and Peace (1865) by Leo Tolstoy, Henry Gifford (editor)
79 Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinbeck
80 The Old Man and the Sea (1952) by Ernest Hemingway
80 Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
82 Lonesome Dove (1920) by Larry McMurtry
83 The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath
84 The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1983) by Milan Kundera I think this book was just way too out there for me. Like, the kind of thing one writes when one is trying to prove how enlightened of a scholar/artist they are. I still read the whole thing though. For some reason, this one and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro are linked in my head. Weird. Probably because I read them at about the same time.
85 Siddhartha (1922) by Hermann Hesse
86 The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood DUDE. F-ed up weird book. I liked it. I read it at a time when I was reading a LOT and this one really stuck with me. Great imagery, if a little strange at times.
87 Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
88 Emma (1815) by Jane Austen, Fiona J. Stafford (Editor) It seriously took me four months to read this skinny ass book. It's that bad. Clueless was an improvement, ha ha!
89 On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac
90 The Glass Castle: A Memoir (2005) by Jeannette Walls
91 All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) by Erich Maria Remarque Saw the movie in history class in high school. The ending is so sad, and therefore, I never bothered to read the book.
92 The Master and Margarita (1966) by Mikhail Bulgakov
93 The Red Tent (1997) by Anita Diamant
94 Pygmalion (1914) by George Bernard Shaw
95 A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess Another weird book, with the ultraviolence and codpieces and all.
96 The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky
97 Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1888) by Thomas Hardy
98 The Name of the Rose (1980) by Umberto Eco
99 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne I can't believe this one wasn't required reading in high school either!
100 Romeo and Juliet (1595) by William Shakespeare Freshman Honors English... twice.

Then her friend Kim posted her own version of the list, along with 50 more that she thought were must reads. Some of her list went onto my list as substitutions, but here it is completely, also edited to reflect my experiences:

1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
3. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
5. Essential Rumi by Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi
6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
7. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang
8. Holy Quran by Allah
9. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
10. Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
11. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
12. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
13. The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence
14. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
15. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
16. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
17. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
18. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
19. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
20. Beowulf
21. The Republic by Plato
22. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
23. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
24. Roots by Alex Haley
25. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
26. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
27. The Tibetan Book of the Dead
28. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
29. Paradise Lost by John Milton
30. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
31. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
32. The Aeneid by Publius Vergilius Maro
33. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
34. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
35. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
36. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
37. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
38. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
39. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
40. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
41. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
42. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
43. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
44. Seven Valleys and Four Valleys by Baha'u'llah
45. How to WIn Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
46. The Kama Sutra
47. Charlie and the Chocolate Factoy by Roald Dahl
48. Watership Down by Richardr Adams
49. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
50. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

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Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

dude, nothing wrong with chick lit! :)

Glad you're into the list!

...oh, and yea, who brags about not having read a book? That's classy!

10:29 PM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

I'm with you - i love books! Check your library, they may do baby/toddler story time for Bubba. We are set to go to ours on Friday. It's a good excuse to get there and get books for yourself!

And as far as the 100 books. I would cut off Anna Karenina - that was a long painful read that I wish I could get back. And bump Pillars of the Earth to the TOP. Great book and they are making a mini-series out of it. I'm hoping to get the sequel soon!

5:32 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

oh yeah, and DON'T give in and read Twilight. I am a huge Harry Potter fan (currently re-reading them, yup, I'm a dork). I gave in and read the first Twilight and it was awful. They are very sappy and teen angst.

5:37 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

I've never understood people that hate to read either (or BRAG about not reading!). I love to read and am really fast too (I also will never be a speed reader though for the same reasons you mentioned.)
I can't say that I'm "well read", however, in that I find a lot of the "classics" utterly boring. If I have to struggle through reading something, I figure there's no point. I read for MY enjoyment, so I say there's not a thing wrong with chick-lit. If I have to force myself to read something, I'd just rather go find something I enjoy to do, you know?
I rediscover our local library periodically (and have been a ton in the last year - trying to cut back on BUYING so many books). A lot of them will hold items you really want (sometimes even order items that you want) and ours even has an online catalog I can check before I even make the trip. They even recently installed self checkouts (really was amazing - just lay the books on the tray and they all show up on the screen!)

Oh and I second the stuff for Bubba. Libraries often have great things for the little ones! Foster a love of reading early, males are often stereotypically NOT into books. I think developing an interest early is really key. :)

6:53 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I love Jane Austen. But I am totally a dork, so that figures.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Iris Flavia said...

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl ... I never read that book.
Being German and having had a Jewish teacher for History made us all weird on that subject. Honestly, I - and all the other pupils - had to say "I am sorry for what I did to the Jewish people" on Pogrom.
Our parents were little kids back then when it happened!
School made many German people avoid this book, I guess.
But when you live here you get more than enough impressions of how bad it all was.

What I really don´t get: Why/How a man from Austria (not Germany!), rather small, with brown hair (brown eyes?) could do all this?!
That is not discussed in school.

I read "The Little Prince" in the original language. And as you said... I won´t throw it away. I don´t speak much French anymore, but I still love (and understand) that book.

GACK?!!!!! You wanna read that book "Mein Kampf", too???? WHY? I never ever would, if it was the last book, no!!! Why? He was sick!

Charlotte's Web...
I was 14 I, guess, and that was my first English book. I read and bought it as a private person when I was in England (online shops??? Internet???)...
(You start learning English in grade 5, age ~ 11) - was a cute book! Though I hate anything with more than 4 legs!

Really... what is it with that H-book?! I don´t even dare to write out his name! Kinda... Why?

Hmmm, great idea, all in all. Maybe I go along :-)

Sooo many books I love!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

I just have to ask...someone doesn't want to write Hitler's name? why? It is a part of history. His book is a part of history. A big part of history, in fact. There is a lot to be learned from him and his line of thinking. Although, hugely sick and nuts, he was able to do things that no other leader was...ever. The book isn't all about burning/torturing Jews and the like.

Just my thoughts.

4:22 PM  

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