Wednesday, November 17, 2010

50 Books You Should Shut Up Until You Have Read

So, recently on Facebook a friend tagged me in her post of that list that's been circulating for a couple years with the intro, "The BBC thinks most people have only read 6 of these 100 books; how many have you read?" This has led to an unprecedented number of comments about books, the list, and which books should be on the list. I had no idea so many people wanted to jabber about books with me! My little ol' Literary Supplement blog has been here the whole time! I should also point out that there is no evidence that particular list was actually the BBC's list anyway; rather, it is probably a random internet bastardization. Such is the way of the world. Anyway, I half-jokingly said I'd make my own list of fifty books and as luck would have it, the serious half has won out. Off the cuff, spontaneously, what the heck, this list is nothing close to complete or definitive, but is nonetheless....

Fifty Books I Think Everyone Should Read
  1. Aesop's Fables
  2. The Divine Comedy by Dante
  3. Macbeth by Shakespeare
  4. Candide by Voltaire
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  8. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe (and a collection of his stories)
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  10. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  12. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  13. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  14. Cimarron by Edna Ferber
  15. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
  16. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  17. The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon
  18. Jubilee by Margaret Walker
  19. Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron
  20. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  21. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  23. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  24. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  25. The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas
  26. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  27. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  28. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  29. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  30. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  31. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  32. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
  33. Julian by Gore Vidal
  34. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
  35. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  36. The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
  37. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
  38. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  39. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  40. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
  41. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  42. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  43. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  44. Holes by Louis Sachar
  45. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
  46. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
  47. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  48. Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin
  49. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  50. Going Nucular by Geoffrey Nunberg
There. Now, how many of those have you read?


Kim Diaz said...

18! My own list is forthcoming.....

Megan said...

Eek, I'm only at like, 11 on your list. I'll have to get working.

Erin and I got miffed at the low quality of those types of lists when it came to movies and started working on a definitive list of our own that never went very far.