Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book list: complete.

Today I finished reading through the book list I started on about two and a half years ago! I had taken a break on this list last summer around the time I started the nursing program because the library I had access to in Farmville didn't have 2-3 of the final books I had to read on the list. When Chris and I moved to Williamsburg, I got access to a new library and put those books on hold. Well last week I got the final book and finished it today.

The best thing about completing this list has been picking up books I never would have originally chosen for myself, reading them, and enjoying them. Sure, there were quite a few that I didn't really like, but overall it was a great exercise to stray from the norm and read authors, topics, or stories that would never have peaked my interest on a book jacket. For example, I never would have read Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov), Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy), or Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) by choosing only from books that I "wanted" to read - and you know what, I actually liked a couple of them!

Some of my favorites from the list:
- Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell) - takes place during the Civil War and Reconstruction. All I can say is the book is awesome and it's tragic she never wrote other novels.
- The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) - about the building of a cathedral during the 12th century. I've read quite a few by him and they've all been good; just don't read its "sequel" (World Without End) right after it, because it's the exact same story.
- All the classics (To Kill a Mockingbird [Harper Lee], Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen], East of Eden [John Steinbeck], The Count of Monte Cristo [Alexandre Dumas], The Fountainhead [Ayn Rand], Wuthering Heights [Emily Bronte], and many, many more). I know my high-school self wouldn't agree with me here, but there is a reason these books are classics.
- Actually, starting to go through the list, I realize that I really did like so many of them that I don't want to single too many out and prevent those avid readers out there from ignoring the rest, so I'll stop here.

Lastly, there were at least 5-10 of these books that in my opinion, were awful. Others may enjoy them and I won't name them here because I don't want to insult anyone (including authors I will never have any contact with). Usually I can appreciate a book despite completely disagreeing with or disliking its content just because the story is so unique or the writing is so impressive, but there were a handful on this list that weren't written well and their story lines certainly didn't save them.

So...any suggestions out there for a new list to begin? I have lots of books on my "to read" list right now, but again, I like the list approach to make me pick up things I wouldn't normally and make myself a more well-rounded reader.


Ashley said...

I am so impressed Katie! I had forgotten about this list, but since it's almost pool season maybe I'll pick up the challenge :)

jennie said...

wow well done, Katie! that is an impressive feat indeed! you inspire me!

Ryan said...

you should read the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, or maybe just the first three books. Disney just did a movie based on the character but I've heard it was flop.

maggie said...

wow Katie! You inspire me as well!! I don't know where you find the time!