I recently posted a challenge to myself. I want to read more and I want to read better. Thus, the book list was born. The challenge has begun and I’d like to bring you up to speed on my progress so far.
The Book List Challenge
1. 1984 George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
3. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
4. Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
5. All the King’s Men Robert Penn Warren
6. All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
7. The Ambassadors Henry James
8. And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
9. Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery
10. Beloved Toni Morrison
11. Brave New World Aldous Huxley
12. Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
13. Bridget Jones’s Diary Helen Fielding
14. The Call of the Wild Jack London
15. The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer
16. Catch-22 Joseph Heller
17. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
18. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
19. Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
20. Cloud Atlas David Mitchel
21. The Color Purple Alice Walker
22. A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
23. Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
24. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
25. Darkness at Noon Arthur Koestler
26. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
27. Dracula Bram Stoker
28. Dune Frank Herbert
29. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Tom Wolfe
30. Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
31. A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
32. Go Tell It on the Mountain James Baldwin
33. The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
34. Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell
35. The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
36. The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
37. Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
38. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
39. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
40. Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
41. Hamlet William Shakespeare
42. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
43. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling
44. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
45. Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
46. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
47. Howard’s End E.M. Forster
48. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
49. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
50. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
51. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
52. Les Miserables Victor Hugo
53. Life of Pi Yann Martel
54. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
55. The Little Prince Antoine De Saint-Exupery
56. Little Women Louisa M Alcott
57. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
58. Lord of the Flies William Golding
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien
60. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
61. Main Street Sinclair Lewis
62. The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett
63. Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
64. Middlemarch George Eliot
65. Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
66. Moby Dick Herman Melville
67. Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs
68. Native Son Richard Wright
69. Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) Philip Pullman
70. The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
71. On The Road Jack Kerouac
72. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
73. A Prayer for Owen Meaney John Irving
74. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
75. The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
76. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
77. The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett
78. The Secret History Donna Tartt
79. A Separate Peace John Knowles
80. The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
81. Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
82. Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
83. Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
84. The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
85. Stranger in a Strange Land Robert Heinlein
86. Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransom
87. The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
88. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
89. To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
90. A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute
91. Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
92. Ulysses James Joyce
93. Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry
94. War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
95. Watership Down Richard Adams
96. The Way of All Flesh Samuel Butler
97. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
98. Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
99. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
100. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert M. Pirsig
I’ve managed to cross three more books off the list, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Great Expectations” and “Anne of Green Gables”. I’ve read all three of these books before. But here is what I’ve learned, or more accurately, had reaffirmed.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” makes me cry every time. God damn is that ending touching. Not to mention the fact the Boo Radley is the best literary character of all time. Yes, you read that correctly, OF ALL TIME. Don’t argue, he even has a band named after him. Straight up baller, yo.
I’ve also learned that Dickens is a lot harder to read when it’s not the condensed version for children. I’ve played you all for fools! I haven’t technically read the complete version of “Great Expectations” until now. Don’t care. I’m still counting it.
I remember when I read it as a child it seemed a bit disjointed. Having now read it in its entirety I can say without qualms that it is still my favourite Dickens novel. Go drown yourself in a bowl of gruel Oliver Twist. You’re not the coolest orphan by far.
Speaking of orphans, let’s move on to “Anne of Green Gables”. My copy of which is falling to bits. That should give you an idea of how many times I’ve read it. Spoiler alert: Matthew dies. I cry. A lot. This is why I can’t read sad books in public.
You might be thinking that 3 books in 2 months is pitiful. Maybe you should eat a bag of dicks. You don’t know my life! To be truthful, I haven’t only been reading books off the list. No list tells me what to do, it’s not even my real dad!
Among the other, less literary books I read between the book list was “50 Shades of Grey” or as I have dubbed it “50 Shades of Crap”.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. In all seriousness though, here’s a list of reasons why “50 Shades of Grey” is worse than stepping on Legos.
1. The only thing about this book that made me blush was how terrible the writing was.
2. What in the name Elvis’s gold toilet is up with Anastasia’s inner Goddess? It’s like a really lame Great Gazoo.
3.What is with all the product endorsements? Apple, Converse, and Blackberry must have shares in the book sales.
4. This quote, “He’s in gray sweatpants that hang, in that way, off his hips…” What in Aretha Franklin’s diet plan does “in that way” mean? Are we talking about sweatpants boners? In what dimension is that a panty melter!
5. The book was written in 2011, what 20-year-old in 2011 doesn’t have a smart phone of some kind? Bitch, please.
6. The only books that should refer to the medulla oblongata this much are medical textbooks.
7. “Laters, Baby”. No. Just, no.
8. The image of Christian Grey whipping the tampon out of Anastasia before sex will haunt me for life. It’s worse than the memory of witnessing my sick roommate hawking a golf ball sized loogie onto the floor. Still makes me gag.
I could keep going, but I think you’ve got the gist of it. I won’t lie to you (I only do that to my doctor) but I do plan on reading the sequels. If I don’t it’s like not finishing a book and that’s just not my scene. Unfortunately, my local library does not have any copies available and I’m not sure how willing I am to borrow a book that hundreds of women have read while masturbating. I can just imagine what those things look like under a black light.