50th Post – Reading List


In honor of my 50th post on this blog, I had planned to do a reading list of 50 books. I started working this before all of my friends tagging each other on Facebook to list 10 influence books, so either I’ve really jumped on the bandwagon in an over-achieving way, or I’m telling the truth and it actually did take me a week to come up with this.

Either way, here’s 50 books that vary across the spectrum – from childhood favorites to truly life-influencing works, from the English degree books I didn’t sell back to the bookstore, to titles I spotted on my shelf while writing this and thought I’d include because I haven’t heard them talked about a lot. Hope you enjoy. 

American Gods – Neil Gaiman
CS Lewis’ space trilogy (or at least Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra)
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
Short fiction by Ray Bradbury
The Chronicles of Amber – Roger Zelazny
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy & The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy + The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

General Fiction
Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries (it’s been so long since I’ve read them all, though, I can’t remember which one I like best)
Riders of the Purple Sage – Zane Grey
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Bryan Lee O’Malley
White Noise – Don Delillo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay – Michael Chabon
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
The Chosen – Chaim Potok
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (two following books in trilogy are also good) – Stieg Larsson
The Great Train Robbery – Michael Crichton
The Lord Peter Wimsey mystery’s – Dorothy Sayers (Murder Must Advertise, Strong Poison, and Gaudy Night are my favorites, but The Nine Tailors is often regarded as the best one. Also, Gaudy Night won’t really mean much to you unless you’ve read the previous books)

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Beowulf – Seamus Heaney’s translation
Flannery O’Connor – The Complete Stories
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Rhetoric – Aristotle
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Oedipus Cycle – Sophocles

Children’s Fiction
D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths
Man O’War – Walter Farley
Paddington – Michael Bond
Ponies Plot – C. Northcote Parkinson
The Church Mouse series – Graham Oakley
The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
The Twenty-One Balloons – William Pène du Bois

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
A Two-Part Invention – Madeline L’Engle
A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Rachel Held Evans
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Girl at the End of the World – Elizabeth Esther
Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh
Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 – Jim Lovell
Talking of Horses – Monica Dickens
The Orchid Thief – Susan Orlean
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
The Ultimate History of Video Games
Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys into the Time Before Bones – Sue Hubbell

The Four Quartets – T. S. Eliot
Robert Frost
The Essential Rumi
The Country of Marriage – Wendell Berry
Compass of Affection – Scott Cairns


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