Books to Read in a Lifetime

Amazon editors came up with a list of 100 books to read in a lifetime. And in similar fashion, Goodread is asking their readers to take a vote on what books they think should be included in a similar list. When I was going through the list of Amazon books, there were many I had not read; the list on Goodreads had far more books that I actually have read. I realize that yesterday I shared a few books that are tempting me and in the past I have blogged about young adult books that made a difference in my life, but today I wanted to blog about the books from the Goodreads list and what I recommend (or don't recommend as the case may be) for those looking for an awesome winter read.

1. To Kill A MockingBird by Harper Lee

I read this book at the beginning of high school, and I have to say it definitely started me out on the right track. It was a fun read. Honestly, I don't remember what it was about though. :( Nevertheless, you should read it at least once in your life. Just because. :)

2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This is the diary of a young Jewish girl growing up during World War 2. She recounts what life is like just after her 13th birthday as she changes during the war years from a young girl to a young woman. Unfortunately, the story is cut short, much like her life, and the reader is left to imagine (or research) what life is like for her following the capture of her family by the Nazis.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I've actually already reviewed this book here.

It's the story of a poor family of four girls who are growing up in New England during the Civil War.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is an orphan that has a very difficult childhood. Things take a turn as she grows up and becomes a governess caring for a young French girl and befriends her employer. Things are not as they seem though, and when secrets come out, changes are in store for Jane.

5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A very dramatic love triangle that takes place in the South during the Civil War, Scarlett has a schoolgirl crush on Ashley who has his eyes on sweet Melody. As is usually the case in situations like these, Ashley and Melody get married with Scarlett still trying to win over Ashley, who is simply not interested. Cue the yankees who have come to destroy Atlanta. Rhett Butler, someone who Scarlett loves to hate, rescues her and her family removing them from her home plantation just in the knick of time, but nothing would ever be the same. With fire having destroyed all she is familiar with, Scarlett must re-discover who she is and what she wants out of life.

6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

If this is THE ONLY book on my list that you are willing to read or can read, DO IT. This is one of the best books of all time! :)

Taken straight from the first pages of the book:
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."
The story, written in 1951, is humorous, edgy, and on the list of banned books. The main character is 16 and incredibly sarcastic.

Honestly, no teenage-hood is complete without this book. And if you did manage to grow up without reading this book, you really should read it. There are no other books quite like it. :)

7. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

This is the story of a young orphan who finds a place in the home of two unlikely siblings. They initially adopt her thinking she is a boy and can help them by working on the farm, but they soon fall in love with the redhead that has been sent instead. See here for a previous review.

8. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

A classic children's poetry book, complete with wordplay and silly lessons ideal for those who aren't sure if they like poetry or even want to read it. I would go so far as to say that no home is complete without this book on the bookshelf.

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

How I made it out of childhood without reading this amazing piece of literature I am not sure. The story is a coming of age novel about a young immigrant girl growing up in Brooklyn. She finds beauty in the small things in life, and truthfully, you just want to befriend her on the spot. It was a very fun read, and one I can't wait to return to again!

10. Memoirs of a Geisha

I watched the movie first and fell in love with the story and the beauty found within the movie. Shortly thereafter, I went to a thrift shop and bought the book for $1. Unfortunately, the book sat on my bookshelf for years as I read other books and did everything BUT read. Then it was time. Last summer, I picked up the book, attempting to start reading again, and I found myself feeling like a child again. Every summer afternoon after work, I would read and read and read to my hearts content. I think I finished the book in a week. :)

Anyway, the book is also about an orphan (apparently I like reading about orphans?). Sayuri is sold off to a geisha house in Japan where she must learn the art of becoming a geisha; there are dire consequences if she does not complete her training and make money for the house-mother. Complications arise and her future career is threatened. Then things get even worse when all of the geisha houses must be evacuated during World War 2. Can Sayuri make something of herself? Can she get out of the geisha lifestyle and live a life of freedom?

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Come on! Childhood classic! :)

2. Brave New World by Aidous Huxley

I started reading this in college, but I still have no idea what it's about. Can anyone fill me in? I really need to purchase a copy and get back to reading it! :)

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

How I managed to read one Bronte sister's work without the other is simply beyond me! Clearly this must be remedied!

4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Meurier

I have no idea what this book is about, but I have had it on my bookshelf since grade school. It must be awesome, right? :)

5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I don't know. It just sounds like a book I would like. I also have a copy of War and Peace on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

6. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The name "Alice" has been passed down through my husband's family for the last few generations and all of the girls (except me, of course) owns an "Alice" doll. Plus, I've started reading the book a bit on Justin's ipad when I'm bored and it is soooo funny! And cute! And adorable! And simply a perfect, easy read! I totally recommend it even though I'm only in the second chapter! :)

7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I saw this movie not even knowing what to expect and I fell in love with it. Now that the book has made the list of lifetime books that must be read, I know it should be on my list of books that must be read too!

8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Justin introduced me to the movie in high school, and even though I knew there was a book it was based on, I never took the time to add it to my list of future must reads. Guess what? It is there now.

9. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I saw the movie; I bought the book. Have I read it? No. Maybe someday. Apparently this is one childhood book I missed out on.

10. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

I was obsessed with Helen Keller's story in elementary school. (What can I say? I like hearing about strong-willed women!) I'm not sure how I missed the fact that she had a biography. Very cool. On the list. :)

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I had to read this for school. Never again. I know soooo many people like it, but I am not one of them. The story was complicated and drawn out. I had to use the internet to even figure out what the author was trying to say half the time! No, thank you!

2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tokin

I started reading it after The Lord of the Rings came out in theatres. Everyone else I knew loved the stories by Tolkin! I just knew I would too. Unfortunately, I did not. I got a few chapters in and set the book aside never to be touched again. Justin says it gets better; I was too bored with the book to ever find out. Maybe someday I'll try again.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I would LOVE to like this book. I was soooo looking forward to reading this in high school. But I didn't like it. End of story.

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The language made this book difficult to read. Oh and the never-ending projects in my 11th grade classroom.

5. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe was a dark writer and The Raven was no exception. I'm not sure if this poem scared me or was just too dark for my tastes, but I will be happy to never read or analyze this poem again.

Anyone ever seen The Simpsons version?

6. Hamlet/Romeo and Juliet/MacBeth by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare. YUCK. I read these for school, but I just can't recommend these for any other reason. The language is complicated. And how do people feel knowing that so many of these are used to explain psychological problems? Eeek!

7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I really wanted to love this book and I read it multiple times from elementary school on up through high school, but it never sat well with me. Oh well. Perhaps I'll stick with the movies.

8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I think 11th grade was a rough year for me and reading.

9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Or maybe I had a teacher that liked odd books?

10. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book was really popular at the time I read it, so I knew it would be good. Maybe it would have been if I had been a little older? Either way, it is not a book I really have any ambition of reading again any time soon.

What books on this list are you in love with? Which do you hate?! Are there any you can't wait to add to your bookshelf? Can you think of any books Goodread has forgotten about? Feel free to share your thoughts with me or go vote on Goodread's site!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...