6.13.2013

Ooh, another book list!

The folks over at Book Riot have come up with another list of 100 books...I really like the theme of this one:  From Zero to Well Read in 100 Books.  The premise is:  say someone had never read any literature and wanted to be well-read. What should they read? And how many books would it take them to get close?

I like this list because I've read a lot more of the books on it than I have on lists about that tout The Greatest Literature. Ever

The author's assumptions in creating the list are:

1.  That the reader is an alive American who reads English.
2.  “Well-read” for this person then has a number of connotations: a familiarity with the monuments of Western literature, an at least passing interest in the high-points of world literature, a willingness to experience a breadth of genres, a special interest in the work of one’s immediate culture, a desire to share in the same reading experiences of many other readers, and an emphasis on the writing of the current day.

With that said, of the 100 books listed, I've read what's included below.  Using the code my friend Erika used on the earlier post about the "greatest books," books read in school (college or high school) are marked with an asterisk * and may or may not mean my understanding of said book is poor.  If I re-read that book on my own, it's marked with a +.  Books with no markings at all means I read it on my own.  I've only included books I read completely...there are many on the list that I started but never finished.  There are also many I won, but haven't gotten to.

(Note that the original list was presented in alphabetical order.)


1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain*
11. Beloved by Toni Morrison* (even with lots of discussion in class, this was still difficult...I should try again)
15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer* (?? I'm not sure if we read the whole thing in school.)
21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller*
35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury*36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (I'm SO happy this is on the list!)
42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens*
46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*+ (I can't remember if I read this in school, but let's say I did.  I've read it a couple times since I've been out of school.)
49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
58. The Iliad by Homer*
63. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
64. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
73. The Odyssey by Homer*
78. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
81. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare*
82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne*
83. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
85. The Stand by Stephen King86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway*
91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
99. 1984 by George Orwell* (time to read this again, it seems)
100. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

This list leaves me feeling much better about myself than the list of the "greatest" novels.  I've read 32 of these, versus only 10 on the other list.  (11, really, because I've since read Jane Eyre.) There's a lot of discussion (and arguments) at Book Riot about 50 Shades being included, but it does meet the criteria of sharing a reading experience with many other readers.

Anyone else want to share?

1 comment:

Kerri said...

nice, diverse list! and of course, you know how happy i am that "the fault in our stars" got in there, which is actually pretty amazing!!!!