My Quest to Read Good Books

I need to read more.  I used to read a lot (like Rory Gilmore style), but I seem to have replaced good books with stalking facebook statuses.  In fact, I read 1 book in all of 2011.

I figure a good place to start is to read my way through the top 100 books ever written (according to Newsweek anyway).   This list isn’t perfect.  For example, I think Ayn Rand should probably be on there…but overall, a pretty good starting place. Luckily, I managed to knock out quite a few in AP English in High School and in College (after 4 required semesters of “Great Books” curriculum).  Surprisingly, I’ve also managed to read a few for pure pleasure.

 I’m starting the 2012 read-a-thon having read 30 of the 100 top books.  That’s kind of embarrassing… Let the reading begin!  (NOTE: I’m not counting movie adaptations of books or books that I’ve read but don’t remember).

ALSO: My strikethrough stopped stricking.  So, some of the books I’ve read say “READ” after the author name instead of being crossed off.

Current Standing: 38/100

Currently Reading: Middlemarch

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. Ulysses by James Joyce

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

8. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10. Divine Comedy by Dante

11. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

12. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift

13. Middlemarch by George Eliot

14. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

16. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

18. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

19. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

20. Beloved by Toni Morrison
 
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

22. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

23. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

24. Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf

25. Native Son by Richard Wright

26. Democracy in America by Alexis DeTocqueville

27. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

28. The Histories by Herodotus

29. The Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau

30. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

31. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

32. Confessions by St. Augustine

33. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

34. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides

35. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

36. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

37. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

38. A Passage to India by E.M. Forester

39. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (READ)

40. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

41. The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Edition

42. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

43. Light in August by William Faulkner

44. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois

45. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

46. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

47. Paradise Lost by John Milton

48. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

50. King Lear by William Shakespeare

51. Othello by William Shakespeare

52. Sonnets by William Shakespeare

53. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

54. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

55. Kim by Rudyard Kipling

57. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

57. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

58. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

59. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

60. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

61. Animal Farm by George Orwell

62. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

63. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

64. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

65. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

66. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

67. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

68. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

69. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

70. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

71. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

72. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

73. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

74. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

75. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (READ)

76. Night by Elie Wiesel

77. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

78. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (READ)

79. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

80. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

81. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

82. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

83. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett (READ)

84. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

85. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

86. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

87. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

88. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong

89. The Varieties of Religious Experience: Varieties in Human Nature by William James

90. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (READ)

91. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

92. The General Theory of Employment, History and Money by John Maynard Keynes

93. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

94. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves

95. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith

96. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

97. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

98. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

99. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (READ)

100. The Second World War (The Gathering Storm; Their Finest Hour; The Grand Alliance; The Hinge of Fate) by Winston Churchill

14 thoughts on “My Quest to Read Good Books

  1. Pingback: The 2012 Bucket List | LAVENDER PARKING

  2. I love this idea! I always make lists of books I want to read, but I end up forgetting about them. I really want to read War and Peace and Anna Karenina, too. Gone with the Wind was really good, and even better than the movie in my opinion :)

  3. Good to know. I love the Movie Gone With The Wind, so I’m looking forward to the book. I have a feeling War and Peace is going to be a heck of a commitment.

  4. Pingback: Looking for a Good Book? | Let's Get in Shape Together

    • There are definitely some wonderful books in the world! I’m not getting through them nearly as fast as I had hoped, but I’m finally starting to understand some of the references made on Jeopardy!

  5. Pingback: Winter 2012 / 2013 To Do List « Pennies on the Run

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