Posted by: victanguera | March 29, 2009

Book Reading Challenge

From moonrat’s blog (borrowed from Andromeda Romano-Lax) comes a reading challenge. This could fit in with my toppling TBR pile (over 60 books deep).

The challenge is to choose 100 books that you would like to read in the next five years–a selection of both classics and books you think you should have read or would like to read. The thinking being that we tend to gravitate toward books that are delightful/easy to read. The idea is to fill in gaps in our reading with classics and contemporary novels that we think we should read.

Too make it a little less daunting, she gave herself five years to complete the task with a 5% margin of error. I guess that could mean either fewer than 100 books read or longer than 5 years. Whichever works? 75 books in five years? That is only 10 more than are already on my TBR pile. Easy. Ha!

If I start now, five years is April 2014 (ooh, doesn’t that sound scary–won’t we have the zombie apocalypse by then?)

So I’ll make a list of more books to read rather than packing for my trip to Argentina.

Here is the list of books. Criteria for choosing? Mostly books I hear about and think omg, I should have (can’t believe I’ve never) read that. Bonus–some of these books are already on my current TBR pile.

1. Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

2. War & Peace, Leo Tolstoy

3. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

4. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

5. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

6. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

7. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

8. Fall On Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald

9. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

10. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

11. Catch 22, Joseph Heller

12. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen

13. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (I can’t believe I put this on my list)

14. Anna Kerenina, Leo Tolstoy

15. The Book of Negros, Lawrence Hill

16. The Memory Keepers Daughter, Kim Edwards

17. Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

18. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

19. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemmingway

20. On the Road, Jack Jack Kerouac

21. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

22. Ulysses, James Joyce

23. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote

24. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

25. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

26. The Odyssey, Homer

27. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

28. Beloved, Toni Morrison

29. Don Quixote, Miguel D Cervantes

30. Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak

31. Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie

32. The Wonder Spot, Melissa Bank

33. The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

34. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski

35. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

36. Lovely Bone, Alice Sebold

37. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

38. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Phillip K. Dick

39. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (may have read it when young, but can’t remember)

40. Let the Right One In, John A Lindqvist

41. Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky

42. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

43. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

44. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

45. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence

46. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

47. Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence

48. Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

49. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo

50. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

51. The English Patient, Michael Michael Ondaatje

52. The Winter of Our Discontent, Susa Shillinglaw

53. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

54. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Jules Verne

55. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh

56. Haunting of Hill House, Laura Miller

57. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemmingway

58. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford

59. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes

60. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

61. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson

62. The Stranger, Albert Camus

63. Atonement, Ian McEwan

64. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

65. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

66. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides

67. Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Peter Høeg

68. Possession, A.S. Byatt

69. Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

70. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

71. The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy

72. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe

73. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

75. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

76. The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles

77. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke

78. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark

79. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov

80. Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

81. The Big Sleep,  Raymond Chandler

82. The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett

83. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster

84. The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells

85. The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells

86. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James

87. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll

88. The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne

89. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray

90. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas

91. Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott

92. Unless, Carol Shields

93. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

94. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields

95. The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker

96. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

97. The World According to Garp, John Irving

98. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

99. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

100. Night and Day, Virginia Woolf



  1. […] victanguera put an intriguing blog post on Book Reading Challenge « I Had the Write IdeaHere’s a quick excerptHere is the list of books. Criteria for choosing? Mostly books I hear about and think omg, I should have (can’t believe I’ve never) read that. Bonus–some of these books are already on my current TBR pile. 1. Crime & Punishment, Fyodor … […]

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