leah's stupid life, The Read List

Being Well Read in 100 books.

I like to think that I’m well read. And, after joining goodreads and rating everything I own/can remember reading, it turns out that I seem to fall into that category quite well. I’ve read more books than years that I’ve been alive, I’ve read more books than year’s my parents have been alive if you add their ages together. The amount of books I’ve read this year alone is higher than the number of years that my dad has been on this planet. (I use him because he’s the elder of the two.) I’m not telling you this because I’m bragging, far from it, I’m telling you this because apparently, the fact that I’ve read so many books, doesn’t make me well read.

Let me splain you a thing, I keep seeing lists of 100 books you HAVE to read before you die, and I always ignore them, because, if I died right now, I think I’d be happy knowing that I read Harry Potter but didn’t read Atlas Shrugged, and so on and so forth. I kind of think that being told you HAVE to read something, takes the joy out of reading it in the first place, and being well read by it’s very definition, means that you have read a lot of books, it doesn’t define being well read by the books that you have read. Even so, the other day I discovered Paula’s blog, (she kind of had me by her blog description,) she had posted a list that she had found on blogriot of 100 books that supposedly make you well read. I think I am well read, because I read and have read a lot of different books, but I thought it would be fun to see just how well read this list deems me to be. Apparently, it doesn’t. I am not well read in the slightest.

I’ve crossed the things that I have read and left the others, maybe if I manage to consume them all I will be the ultimate in readers and will win some kind of prize. Who knows.

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay  by Michael Chabon
  6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Beowulf
  13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  14. Brave New World by Alduos Huxley
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  16. The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
  17. Candide by Voltaire
  18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  19. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  23. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  24. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  26. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor 
  27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  28. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  33. Dune by Frank Herbert
  34. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  37. Faust by Goethe
  38. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  39. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  40. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  41. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  43. The Gospels
  44. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  53. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  54. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  55. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  57. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  58. The Iliad by Homer
  59. The Inferno by Dante
  60. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  61. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  62. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  63. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  64. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  65. The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury
  66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  67. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  71. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  72. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  73. The Odyssey by Homer
  74. Oedipus, King by Sophocles
  75. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  76. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  77. The Pentateuch
  78. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  79. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  80. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  81. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  83. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  84. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  85. The Stand by Stephen King
  86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  87. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  92. Ulysses by James Joyce
  93. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  95. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  96. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  98. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  99. 1984 by George Orwell
  100. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I like this list for a number of reasons, I like that it is a bit more modern than some of the lists that I’ve seen. I don’t really think you can class 50 shades as being literature though, can you? I dislike this list because like I said, it redefines the terms of being well read into only reading these 100 books.

Turns out I’m only 33/100 in terms of being well read.
This is not to be encouraged.
How many of these books have you guys read? Do you think it makes a difference to how well read you are if you have read anything on this list?
I’m now all insecure in my not well readness!


6 thoughts on “Being Well Read in 100 books.”

  1. I generally love these kinds of lists because they give me something to aspire to or work on and I find that quite fun (as long as it doesn’t have to fit into a set time frame). These kind of challenges take me out of my comfort zone making me try new things. For instance I’m trying to do The Rory Gilmore Challenge on my blog (slowly but surely).

    However I don’t really like this one, simply because of the well read assumption! As you’ve said, being ‘well read’ doesn’t necessarily have to come from reading just these books. This may be one person or a selection set of people’s opinions and who is to say whether they are right or wrong? I think it’s a bit arrogant.

    I’ve only read 10 books on this list, but I still consider myself more well read than that implies, although it’s not a term I would normally use! 🙂

    1. Yeah that was my thought! Being well read is about reading lots of books surely not what those books are! The Rory Gilmore challenge sounds interesting, I might have to check that one out!

  2. Lists are great! I love the idea of challenging myself and working through my list is making me read things I wouldn’t otherwise bother with and I’m discovering that I like quite a lot of them. Others I hate and I do force myself to slog through because of the list but it’s brilliant finding one I love.

    I thought I was pretty well read even before I started The List and I think I’m better now but according to this list I’m not, I’ve only read 20 of them 😦

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