A couple of days ago, Amazon released a list called “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime: A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, from the Amazon Book Editors.” And I was just so thrilled with this, because I love books, and I love lists, and I’m always trying to figure out what I should read next. You can read the full list here.
I have read nineteen out of the one hundred books, which I think is doing pretty well! What I thought was most interesting was the variety of books on the list. It ranges from children’s books to novels to nonfiction, and the well-roundedness could really only come from Amazon. And I just love that.
I’m going to go through and talk about the nineteen books that I have already read, because I encountered them all throughout my life, and that makes for a good story. Books are almost always good stories, anyways. Maybe I’ll have a book on this updated list one day. :)
The 19 Books that I Have Read from Amazon’s List of 100:
- The Fault in Our Stars – This book, oh, gosh. I read this during the summer of 2012, right after I started working at my current job. And I cried. Goodness, I cried. It’s about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a guy with cancer… Seriously, it’s beautiful, but it’s so sad. And the movie version is coming out this spring! John Green is phenomenal. I would also recommend Looking for Alaska, and his other books are on my to-read list.
- Gone Girl – This list hit the nail on the head right away, because BAM! Gone Girl is a trip, but it’s so well-written that I have been recommending it to everyone. The layout actually inspired what I am currently in the middle of writing, the elusive You Better Run. But I don’t think I could ever be up to par with Gillian Flynn. She is such a great writer. I would also recommend Dark Places.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Ahh! This book was one of my favorites when I was in elementary school. And, I could relate. I’m usually hungry, too.
- The Hunger Games – Everyone needs to read the books, because the movies won’t seem as good if you don’t. Suzanne Collins takes you away to this other place in time, and you’re stuck there, fighting with Katniss and Peeta, fighting against the Capitol, fighting for survival. Ms. Collins writes action like no other YA writer I’ve ever read, except maybe the Queen, JK Rowling herself.
- Things Fall Apart – Switching gears a bit. I had to read this for a class I took in Scotland, actually, while I was studying abroad. It was tough for me to get through, but in the end, I’m glad I read it. It was about white civilization changing a man living in an African village. Tough stuff, but definitely worth the read.
- The Things They Carried – This is one of the first books that I remember loving even though it was hard to read. Vietnam War soldiers, and the burdens they carried, along with the physical objects that they carried with them. It’s beautiful, and heartbreaking.
- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – This is another one I had to read for a college class, my very first college English class, about biographies and memoirs. Another one that was hard to read – it’s about a boy soldier in an African war zone, recruited by a warlord at a young age, handed a gun and told to kill everyone. So sad, but interesting in that you don’t hear that kind of story very often. Few of those kids end up surviving to the end, you know?
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Another from the same course that I read Things Fall Apart in. I actually liked this book a lot, even though parts of it were also really difficult to read. I remember that there was some Spanglish in this book, which I loved, but apparently Scottish college students aren’t very familiar with simple Spanish phrases. Another sad book, but a definite must-read.
- Beloved – Full disclosure – I’ve had to read this book for more than one college class, and I seriously don’t like it. At all. It’s a personal opinion thing, because a lot of people do like it. I am just not one of them.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – One of my favorite books of all time! I’ve probably read it five times by myself, and then aloud two other times. It never gets old. Obviously, you have to read the whole series. And obviously, the movies are not as good, so THAT DOESN’T COUNT AS READING THE BOOKS. Just saying.
- The Stranger – We actually had to read this in high school, and I don’t remember much about it other than it was much better than Moby Dick, which we also had to read for that same class. It was existentialist, I know that. Kind of weird. Maybe I should reread.
- Where the Wild Things Are – Loved this book as a kid. Adventure! But I heard the movie was weird. I haven’t seen it.
- Silent Spring – Just read this in the fall for my first Master’s Degree course, actually. Depressing – so depressing. But a must-read, simply so that you’re aware of what goes on in our country when it comes to pesticides and chemicals. It’s eye-opening, that’s for sure.
- The Giver – Excellent example of dystopian YA literature, and one of the first examples, if memory serves me correctly. I haven’t read this in years, but I remember really loving it. It’s on my bookshelf at home. I should revisit this one, too.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – You know, I know these books are great. But they are so hard to read. There are so many songs and there is so much walking. The adventure part is spectacular, and the world is so imaginative and so real. JRR Tolkien was fantastic at creating other places and times. But the writing is old-fashioned. I’d recommend it, but be prepared – it will take time to get through it.
- Where the Sidewalk Ends – Favorite book of poetry as a kid. Loved Shel Silverstein. I was so sad when I learned that he had already died. I wanted more!
- The House at Pooh Corner – I loved Winnie the Pooh. As a kid, I definitely enjoyed the short movies better than the books, but I did it all.
- The Golden Compass – Weirdest, most fascinating YA dystopian future I have ever read. I never saw the movie (and heard it was terrible) but the books are really cool. I’d suggest that you read them, as long as you don’t have a problem with the fact that the author isn’t a Christian, and there are no Christian themes in the book. That caused a lot of controversy around the time of the movie release.
- Little House on the Prairie – A classic. Read it. Read the series. Then read the off-shoot series’ about the daughters and granddaughters. They’re all good. Love love love.
Take a look at the whole list, because I always find it interesting to see what other people recommend. I have another five of the books on the list on my bookshelf, and I’m planning on reading as soon as I have the time. Which books have you read?