Monday, July 13, 2009

50 Books

I love reading the news on the MSN homepage. There are always interesting articles about random things. Like this one I read a week or so ago called 50 Books for Our Times. In case you don't feel like checking it out (or can't), here's the intro.

What to Read Now. And Why.
We know it's insane. We know people will ask why on earth we think that an 1875 British satirical novel is the book you need to read right now—or, for that matter, why it even made the cut. The fact is, no one needs another best-of list telling you how great The Great Gatsby is. What we do need, in a world with precious little time to read (and think), is to know which books—new or old, fiction or nonfiction—open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways. Which is why we'd like you to sit down with Anthony Trollope, and these 49 other remarkably trenchant voices.

I honestly have to wonder how they picked these books! I've only ever heard of a handful of them. And I've only read one of them. If you do decide to check out the list please tell me how many you've heard of and read. I'd like to know.

Despite being the books I 'should' be reading, most of them don't sound interesting to me and I don't plan on spending my time reading them when I have so many other books I'd rather read. I think I should make my own list of books. Actually, I think everyone should make their own list of books!

So- what books do you want to read, have read and think are wicked awesome, or even just think you should probably read at some point.


  1. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and The Fifth Sacred Thing (also the prequel Walking to Mercury) by Starhawk are two novels I can read again and again.

    I can also recommend The Secret Life of Bees, Stranger in a Strange Land, A Handmaid's Tale, Slaughterhouse Five, Books by Stephen King (The Stand, It, The Talisman, especially), Ordinary People, The World According to Garp, books by Piers Anthony (the earlier Xanth series, the incarnations of immortality series), books by Gael Baudino (the Strands of Starlight series, Gossamer Axe, and her Dragons trilogy), The Lovely Bones ...

    I could go on and on. My own opinion is that any book that makes you think, feel, or simply look at the world in a new way is a good book.


  2. An avid reader, I am. I only looked through the 1st 20 and have heard of any of them either. I'll just stick to what I like. :)

  3. I had only read one of the books on that list (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - it was good) and hadn't even heard of the rest! And I'm supposed to be well-read.

    While recommendations are helpful, I don't like lists that tell us what we are 'supposed' to read either, because it leads to people reeling off the same list of names every time they are asked what a 'good' book is, without any thought or originality going into it.

    That said, my list of good books would be horribly conservative, because that's what I have been spoon-fed at university. Though there's a modern author called Kate Atkinson I love...she kind of reminds me of a modern day Charles Dickens (whom I also love) because a lot of her characters are hilarious caricatures, and yet so detailed that you really believe in them. She writes mostly off-beat crime/detective stories.

    Really enjoying reading your blog Tori!

  4. Hi! I found you through Boho Mom :)

    I checked out that list and you're right- it's pretty darn terrible. (although I'd probably read a few that are on there- 3/50 isn't a great ratio).
    I also LOVED Mists of Avalon and all Starhawk (Especially Earth Path).

    If we're talking world view changing- Ishmael did that for me. I also loved Wicked (story of the wicked witch of the west) and 'The Host' by Stephanie Meyer (her adult book).

    OH- and Widdershins by Charles de Lint.. SOO GOOD :)

    You're right, everyone should have a book list!

  5. Okay that was just stupid, lol! I kid you not when I say I read about 5 books a week. And I've only read two of those! I read anything - fiction, non-fiction, biographies, history - and I've never even heard of most of those!

    My go to books that I'd recommend to most anyone?

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    The Secret Life of Beesby Sue Monk Kidd
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

    Non-fiction and/or biographies:
    Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall
    Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey
    The Dharma Bums and/or On the Road by Jack Keruac
    Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    Utterly Wicked by Dorothy Morrison

    Anything by e.e. cummings
    Any poetry books by Jim Morrison

    I could go on and on. I am a huge book lover, and want everyone to love them as much as I do, lol!

  6. I have heard about a lot of these books, but that's part of my job, to keep up-to-date. Have IU read most of these? Nope. Just a couple. A few of these are on my to-read list.