Our friends at Amazon sent me an email with a link to the “100 Books To Read In A Lifetime.” My curiosity was peaked so I went to the link. Now I’ve read a lot of books, some of them even considered literature, but I wanted to know how many of these “Lifetime” books I had read. The first thing that struck me was how few I had read. I unofficial count was twenty out of the hundred. Many of these were kids books that I had read with my children while they were young. Some I wanted to count, but resisted as I had not read the books, but proof read book reports of many of these when my children read them for school.
While entertaining and great to read with kids I am not sure that A Very Hungry Catapillar, Where The Wild Things Are, and Goodnight Moon are must read books. I guess they did qualify this as a lifetime bucket list, but I not convinced.
There were a few that I had read and not proud to have read such as the Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. These were terrible, sad books and in my defense I only read them because I made a deal with my youngest to read them if she would read the Chronicles Of Narnia. By the way Narnia did not make the list and she DID NOT live up to her end of the bargain.
After being humbled by how few I had read I went back through the list and paid more attention to the list. While there were many listed that are “classics” like Catch-22, Dune, 1984, and The Catcher In The Rye which I have read there were too many that I hadn’t and will have to add to my to-read bookshelf like Farenheight 451, On The Road, and Unbroken. I may even read some of the other notable books such as Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Love In the Time of Cholera, Me Talk Pretty Some Day, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. In the interest of full disclosure I actually am judging a book by its title. In the interest of fuller disclosure I actually read that last one and it was very interesting.
I am not sure of Amazon’s criteria for selecting these books. Most seem to be fiction and some are considered classics, but some boggle my mind like Silent Spring (which has pretty much been debunked scientifically) and Moneyball. Are these books for entertainment? Are they supposed to make us grow?
Lastly as I write this I think of the books not included. How about The Bible? My favorite by Ayn Rand did not make the cut, but Atlas Shrugged is a classic and is more popular as ever. How about The Fountainhead or We The Living? Both are well written and tell a deep story. How about A Brief History of Nearly Everything or Killer Angels, Count of Monte Cristo, The Chronicles Of Narnia, Animal Farm, or just about any Agatha Christie novel.? What about Trinity, The Caine Mutiny, or Space?
I could go on and on and it is actually nice to look back on some of my favorite books. I guess Amazon got what they wanted as maybe folks are talking about books; considering some to read; and adding them to their Amazon shopping cart or Wish List.
You can look at the Amazon post at this link.