Friday, November 18, 2011

The Books Around Me...

Earlier this week a friend of mine posted on her own blog an entry of the same name, discussing the list of 100 classic (modern or otherwise) books we should all read in our lifetimes. Looking at the list, I had to admit most of the ones I read were forced upon me in school; if given the choice between them and Tina Fey's autobiography or the latest Stephen King in a bookstore, I would go for the latter every. single. time. Part of my aversion to the others were that they were so wildly forced upon in school; I always loved reading, but for pleasure. The minute someone told me I had to read something, I no longer found fun in the activity, and it would take me twice as long to get through the book. What can I say? I have issues with authority. At least I can admit them. But that is not to say that I don't love a good recommendation-- an informed opinion with no pressure. And I hope you do, too, because today's list features a bunch of books I think you need to read in your lifetime. They are all books that touched me, absorbed me in their world, taught me something about the world or about myself, and were stories I was compelled to read from start to finish without taking a break.

(for the record, these are in order of me thinking of them, not in order of importance or necessarily how you should read them)

1) "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins (*The first one is a must. Honestly, I think the stories go downhill after the first one.)

2) "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin
3) "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
4) "It" by Stephen King
5) "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
6) "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
7) "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
8) "The Shining" by Stephen King
9) "The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe"
10) "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen
11) "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline
12) "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
13) "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison
14) "My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture" by Danielle Turchiano (shameless plug!)
15) "Waiting for April" by Scott Morris
"The Guinea Pig Diaries" by A.J. Jacobs
17) "How to Overthrow the Government" by Arianna Huffington

18) "Under The Dome" by Stephen King
19) "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
20) "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey
22) "Tweak" by Nic Sheff
23) "Romeo & Juliet" by William Shakespeare
24) "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein
25) "Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America" by Leslie Knope
"A Man Without a Country" by Kurt Vonnegut
27) "The Leftovers" by Tom Perrotta
28) "Peyton Place" by Grace Metalious
29) "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss
30) "All Families Are Psychotic" by Douglas Coupland
31) "Running with Scissors / Magical Thinking" by Augusten Burroughs
32) "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" by Judi Barrett
34) "Me & Orson Welles" by Robert Kaplow
35) "The Company You Keep" by Neil Gordon
36) At this point I just want to say "The Complete Works of Stephen King" but you could probably skip "Insomnia" and "Thinner"
37) "On The Road" by Jack Keroauc
"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides
39) "1984" by George Orwell
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon
41) "Notes from the Underground" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

42) "Marley & Me" by John Grogan
43) "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oliver Wilde
44) "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl
"The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare
46) "The Complete Mysteries of Agatha Christie"
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum
48) "Okay for Now" by Gary D. Schmidt
49) "The Face on the Milk Carton" by Caroline B. Cooney
50) "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

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