100, Whoops, 500 Books To Read In A Lifetime

So if you didn’t know this about me, I was an English major in college, specializing in modern British Lit and American Poetry. Which meant I read a lot of books and pretended I knew what I was talking about when I deconstructed e. e. cummings.

Actually, I do know what I’m talking about when I talk about e. e. cummings. Salmon Rushdie, not so much.

Excuse me, I digress.

When I graduated, I was sick and tired of reading important books, so I gave myself permission to take a year off of reading real books and said it was okay to just read fluff.

That was, um, 13 years ago. Eep.

Then I read this blog post and was convicted about what I had been reading. And hadn’t been reading.

In particular, this struck me. “Do not live a contradiction, telling your child to experience all the wonders of rich learning but never seeking out those wonders for yourself.”

Yeah. Not buying Barbie books for my kids but reading Danielle Steel for myself? Contradiction right there folks.

And there’s nothing really wrong with D.S., but when it’s all you read?

So, I set up a New Year’s resolution for myself, start reading better books. I started off by googling “100 books to read before you die” and got a bunch of responses and lists and none of them were the same. Tending toward the OCD like I am, I copied and pasted about ten different lists into an Excel file, sorted them by title and counted how many times each book was listed.

And ended up with almost 500 unique entries.

I’ve got some reading to do folks.

If you’re interested, here’s my compilation

Some books were part of a series (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) so I lumped them as one entry. Also, if the title didn’t immediately pop up an easily identifiable entry on Amazon, I probably deleted it.

Also for fun (I have a weird definition of fun I know), I sorted it by author. Say a prayer for me, because Charles Dickens is listed seven times. SEVEN TIMES y’all. I really, really, don’t like Dickens. There was also one entry in there that returned Danielle Steel as the author and I’m pretty sure she really wasn’t supposed to be on the list, but I kept her. To make up for the seven Dickens.

Right now, I’m reading them in order, but I make no promises I’ll stick with that method. And yes, I have no goals of completing this anytime soon!

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3 Responses to 100, Whoops, 500 Books To Read In A Lifetime

  1. Linda says:

    Was an English lit major myself. Saw many books on your list that you will enjoy. And, give Dickens a chance. 🙂

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