Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Top 30 Books You Should Read - 2014 Edition


There is a quiz on Buzzfeed that asks: Are You As Well Read as Stephen King? There are 178 books from his recommended reading list.  Out of these 178 I've only read 13, I've heard of only a few more of them and the rest, I never heard of.  I'd have to go one at a time and read up on them. But from my experience, I've read some of the books I knew he had read, and it is hit or miss. We don't have the same taste in books.  Although he is one of my favorite authors, I can't wrap my head around his taste in books.

I've read some tough books like James Joyce's Ulysses and Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, heck I've even read Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.  Would I recommend them? Not unless you want to ruin your love of books (well -- A Tale of Two Cities wasn't bad). Just because they are big and important doesn't mean they are worth reading. You can say "I've read this, and I've read that" but when someone asks you did you LIKE said book -- can you say "no" without feeling like a failure?
I can.  I hated Slaughter-House-Five, but thought Madame Bovary was quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed Agnes Gray but hated Villette.  So what does that make me?  Someone who has read a lot of crappy books just because someone said I should read them.  I still take recommendations, but now if the synopsis doesn't speak to me, I pass it by.

So I thought I'd make a list of my recommended reads in no particular order. The are diverse in genre and era.  They are varied in length and topic.  Does this make me less well read than Stephen King? I don't think so, it makes me just differently well read.

My Top 30 Recommended Reads:

1. The World According to Garp  by James Irving
2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
3.  Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Marullo
6. The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue
7. Silas Marner by George Elliot
8. The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William P. Young
9. Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo
10. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
11. New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
12. May the Road Rise Up to Meet You by Peter Troy
13. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
14. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
15. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
16. Hamlet by William Shakespare
17.  The Green Mile by Stephen King
18. The Good Earth   by Pearl S. Buck
19. The Godfather  by Mario Puzo
20. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
21. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
22. The Exorcist by Peter William Blatty
23. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.
24. The Destiny of Miro by Julie Rae Rickard
25. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
26. Beasts of New York: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups by Jon Evans
27. Army Of Children by Evan H. Rhodes
28. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
29. Harry Potter #1 - 7 by J.K. Rowling
30. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy #1 - 3 by J.R.R. Tolken

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