Monday, May 9, 2011

Is There a Name for People who Love Lists?

I should just warn you now; I’m obsessed with lists.

Seriously. I buy notebooks dedicated solely to list-making.

Mostly, I love to-do lists: Groceries to buy, chores to complete, movies to watch, places to visit, music to purchase, assignments to finish, piano pieces to learn, and books to read. Especially books to read.

I have this dream of becoming a truly cultured person, the sort of person who has read everything, been everywhere, seen every major film; someone who knows high culture and low culture, who can talk to anyone about anything; the sort of person who speaks foreign languages fluently and has traveled the world.

I make lists about these dreams.

So far, I’ve been exceptionally blessed, with family and circumstances that have helped me toward accomplishing my goals. I’ve completed my public education and earned a bachelor’s degree, which requires at least a decent cultural introduction. I’ve lived in two foreign countries and have learned a smattering of Spanish and good amount of French, even though I'm discovering it’s freaking hard to learn a language. I probably watch four movies a week (maybe I shouldn’t admit that), and I try to choose high-quality ones, especially ones on the American Film Institute’s 100 best list.

More than anything, though, I’m a reader. Thanks to my mom and some great English teachers in middle school and high school, I love, love, love books. With that in mind, I present to my blog the first of many lists:

100 Books to Read Before you Die

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X

6 The Bible (I’ve read the New Testament a few times, but for some reason I’ve always felt intimidated by the Old Testament)

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Complete Works? Although I’ve been to many plays and read at least five, I definitely haven’t read the complete works)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (I got within 50 pages of finishing this recently, but I just couldn’t get into it)

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck X

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X

34 Emma – Jane Austen X

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen X

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck X

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas X

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett X

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante X

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom X

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (I’ve read big chunks of this in my French classes, and I want to see if I can get through the whole thing in French)

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Thirty out of one hundred – that’s not too bad for a 22-year-old, is it? This summer I want to take a decent chunk out of the list, though, so here’s my summer reading plan:

1 The Three Musketeers (I’ll be honest, I downloaded this, and I’ll be listening to it during car rides this summer)

2 The Wind in the Willows

3 Dracula

4 Charlotte’s Web

5 Memoirs of a Geisha

6 The Old Testament (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can)

7 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (I just have to grit my teeth and finish it)

I’ll also be reading:

8 The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth George Speare (Absolutely my favorite author for young adults. If I can ever write a book like hers, my life will be complete)

9 Pegasus – Robin McKinley (My next favorite writer for young adults. She writes great Fantasy)

10 A Householder’s Guide to the Universe – Harriet Fasenfest

11 Streams to the River, River to the Sea – Scott O’Dell

12 Eragon – Christopher Paolini

13 Eldest – Christopher Paolini

14 Brisingr – Christopher Paolini (These three are all re-reads in preparation for the fourth book coming out in the fall. I need a refresher since I remember absolutely nothing about the third book)

15 The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

16 Le château de ma mère – Maurice Pagnol (I’m so close to finishing this book entirely in French!)

17 Some Lewis and Clark nonfiction book that I haven’t read yet

These, plus Robin McKinley’s Deerskin, which I read last week, should make for at least eighteen books in one summer.

Oh! And I’ll be going to Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, bringing me two plays closer to completing all of his works. I figure plays are meant to be seen rather than read, so attending a performance totally counts, right?

Maybe I’m being too ambitious.

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