Top 50 books I should read before I die
Why this hub?
Maybe it's because it's a new year - well relatively speaking - or maybe it's because one day I decided that I needed to make a change for the better. Whatever the reason, I embarked on the task of reading the recommended "top 100 books you should read before you die". I've found that lately I look at too much television with my "can't miss" shows like The Mentalist, Gossip Girls, Desperate Housewives, The Game, Vampire Diaries, How I Met Your Mother, White Collar, Royal Pains and NCIS and the trashy list continues. The if I do decide to read, it's one of my romance novels - I'm addicted to that stuff. Judith McNaught is my favorite romance author and once I enter one of her fantasy world's my husband does not stand a chance of getting my attention. Oh now I remember! I was telling my husband I would love to start collecting books - like the classics to have in our study which we will build one day!
Okay so back to my colossal task of reading this purported Top 100 books. First I had to do some research to see which one hundred books made the list. Off course, there isn't one "God sent" list ... no authoritative or definitive list. So I found several lists via google and sorted through them to come up with my very own guide. My very own Top 100 books I should read before I die. Low and behold, whilst going through these long listings, I decided that most definitely I will never ever read these 100 suggested books. So I decided to cut my list down to just fifty (50) books. Only God knows how long again I have to read these books so I'm aiming for 2 to 3 books a year from the list with lots of time to still indulge in my romance novels. Then I decided, I want to re-read many of the classics that I read as a child and some that I never got the chance to read. So I further broke up my list into various headings which you will see in the listing. Without further ado - here's my list. Please note that it is not ranked in any particular order - just sorted A to Z. I had to add one or two from Shakespeare in there and tweaked my google listings quite a bit. So I'll call it "Leandra's Top 50 books to read ...."
Classical Books I'm familiar with
I decided to list the really "classic" novels that I read as a child or that I am familiar with - all of which I intend to read over. Remember they are in no particular ranking... just alphabetic order.
1. A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles
2. Crime and Punishment (1866) by Feodor Dostoevsky
3. Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker
4. Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley
5. Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens
6. Little Women (1868) by Louise M. Alcott
7. Macbeth (1603?) by William Shakespeare
8. Moby-Dick (1851) by Herman Melville
9. Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens
10. Pride and Prejudice (1813) Jane Austen
11. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) Mark Twain
12. The Counte of Monte Cristo (1844-1846) by Alexandre Dumas
13. The Merchant of Venice (1596) by William Shakespeare
14. The Prince and the Pauper (1881) by Mark Twain
15. The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Burnett
Other Classic Novels
These are some other classic novels... I can already tell that this is not going to be an easy thing to accomplish. Most of these books were written in the 1800's and early 1900's and I fear that they might be difficult to read and understand. Okay so these are my picks for this section:
16. Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More
17. Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce
18. The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzergerald
19. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
20. Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), by Ken Kesey
Here are six novels which drew my attention. Let's hope I end up liking them. I already own a copy of Edith Hamilton book "Mythology" which I must say ... is not an easy read. I'll have another go at it some time.
22. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
23. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
24. A Passage to India (1924) E. M. Forster
25. Absalom, Absalom! (1936) William Faulkner
26. Anna Karenina (1877) Leo Tolstoy
27. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Other "Top" Novels
And the other novels that I added to my Top 50 Novels / Books to read before I die include:
28. Catch-22 (1961), by Joseph Heller
29. Cities of Salt (1989) by 'Abd al-Rahman Munif
30. Don Quixote (1630) by Miguel de Cervantes
31. Madame Bovary (1857) by Gustave Flaubert
32. Mrs. Dalloway (1925), by Virginia Woolf
33. Nostromo (1904) by Joseph Conrad
34. The Ambassadors (1903) by Henry James
35. The Big Sleep (1939), by Raymond Chandler
36. The Golden Notebook (1962) by Doris Lessing
37. The Good Soldier (1915) by Ford Madox Ford
38. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
39. The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888) by Oscar Wilde
40. The New York Trilogy (1987) by Paul Auster
41. The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne
42. The Tin Drum (1959) by Gunter Grass
43. The Trial (1925) by Franz Kafka
44. The Woman in White (1860) by Wilkie Collins
45. Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte
46. Who Moved My Cheese (1998) by Spencer Johnson
47. The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame
There are still three spots available on my list. There are many books that I could choose from to add to this listing to get my "Top 50", however, I decided to leave three available places for suggestions from readers or in the even that I stumble onto a book that should have definitely been on this list and was unintentionally eliminated or excluded. I hope you guys enjoy this listing and maybe if you've read some of the more difficult ones on this list, like Utopia... you can share your thoughts, ideas and most welcomed input on the books!
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