So, I decided that I just HAD to fill out this book list when I saw it on Mer's blog. Books were my first love. I spend far too much money in bookstores, especially in used stores and on the clearance racks at major chains. The $3-for-a-grocery-bag-of-books sales get me every summer.
I bolded the ones I have read, italicized those I own but have not yet read, and in general provide commentary about my thoughts on the books.
Also, saying I'll read something this summer depends a lot on whether or not I go to Kenya; I tend to read more when I'm traveling for extended periods of time because there isn't much else to do to relax.
1. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen --> I'm almost ashamed to admit that I haven't read this yet, but I recently acquired a copy and plan to read it this summer.
2. The Lord Of The Rings – JRR Tolkien --> I read them in elementary school and came back to them when I heard about the movies. Excellently done, and they always make me think.
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte --> Oddly enough, I hated this the first time I read it for AP Literature my senior year in high school. I randomly picked it up again last summer at a friend's and enjoyed it much more. Go figure.
4. Harry Potter – JK Rowling --> I'll admit it: I love these books.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee --> This might be one of the best books I have ever read. It sums up racial relations in the United States far more simply and eloquently than I ever could.
6. The Bible --> We were a big church-going family when I was little, and I recently re-read parts of it when I was on a "learn about world religions" kick.
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte --> Another one I keep meaning to read and haven't gotten to. I have been informed that I will love this book, so I'm worried my expectations will be too high.
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell --> This book is both lovely and terrifying.
9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman --> I was SO disappointed in the movie.
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens -->
11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott --> I cry every single time I read this book. Or watch the movie.
12. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works Of Shakespeare --> I've read a good deal of Shakespeare (I took a class on him in high school, did lights for Much Ado About Nothing, and designed the set for Midsummer), but I haven't read everything. Yet.
15. Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien --> Like LotR, but more fun.
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger --> It was okay. I don't think it's a classic, but I don't hate it as much as Mer does.
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell --> This was my favorite book for years, and I re-read it every summer.
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy [Has anyone ever read this?]
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. The Grapes Of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. The Chronicles Of Narnia – CS Lewis --> LOVE these books, and was pleasantly surprised by the movies.
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – CS Lewis --> Technically part of the Chronicles, but I read this one first and often read it again as a stand-alone.
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossini --> A Thousand Splendid Suns was better. But I love how honest this book is about Afghanistan and American perceptions of the Middle East.
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
39. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie The Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown --> Read it on spring break in Las Vegas. Not the most intellectually stimulating, but neither is the Strip.
43. One Hundred Years Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving
45. The Woman In White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne Of Green Gables – LM Montgomery --> I read all the Anne books when I was little. I really wish I could find my box set...
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. The Lord Of The Flies – William Golding --> It made me think.
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. The Life Of Pi – Yann Martel --> Another one that made me think. We had some great discussions about this one in AP Lit.
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Thomas Hardy
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley --> I loved this one, but the movie is absolutely terrible.
59. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez --> I am NOT writing a book entitled "Love in the time of Genocide." However, when Mer writes it, I will buy a copy.
61. Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck --> Makes me cry, every time. I firmly believe it should be required reading in schools.
62. Lolita – Vladimir The Lovely Nabokov --> I think Evgeni Nabokov needs a nickname...
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold --> I had nightmares of being killed after reading this.
65. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude The Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – France Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows & Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains Of The Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White --> More times than I could ever count... same with Stuart Little.
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn --> I don't believe in heaven, but this book did solidify my belief that all our lives are intertwined.
89. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart Of Darkness – Joseph Conrad -->
92. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy Of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare --> I love this play. I've studied it in three different classes and I'm not sick of it yet. The RSC performance of this one is hysterical, by the way.
99. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo --> I read it so I would understand the context of the musical. It ended up being one of the best books I read in high school.
The other good news is that I checked my account balances today and had $200 more than I thought in my checking account and $400 more than I thought in my savings account! I may not starve in NYC after all, haha.
The bad news is that my NCAA bracket is not going well at all. Bother.
Some thoughts from an outsider
10 months ago