In the spirit of all the major bloggers who have some real purpose to accomplish, as opposed to those of us who only stand and read, I have looked at my life and decided that it is not sedentary enough. Also, I looked at my reading list for the last few years and found that I spent more of my time with brain candy than I did with works that would (theoretically) improve my mind. Improving my mind, by extension, should improve my employment situation, as I am a writer by trade. True, I only write organizational rhetoric, but it requires a modicum of skill.
While rotting my brain with the aforementioned brain candy, I have come to the conclusion that there is no brain dentist, ready and willing to fill the holes in my intellect with fillers and neatly matching whatever-it-is-they-use. This leaves the responsibility squarely upon my shoulders to undertake a worthy, yet as yet unattained goal – to read a series of classics and thereby enrich my life.
Please do not think I have come upon this idea alone. I haven’t had an original thought in 10 years, at the very least. This was inspired by coming across a list of the 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die (http://www.listology.com/ukaunz/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die) and realizing just how many I had read and, more importantly, how many I haven’t read. An intrepid friend found this list for me: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/14/information-beautiful-books-read-100#zoomed-picture. Sadly, I have neither the skill nor the initiative to put together such a beautifully constructed list. Instead, I culled through lists and began my own, hereafter simply referred to as THE LIST.
Not all the books on THE LIST are on another list. Some are just rabbits pulled out of the air of my brain cavities because I, possibly mistakenly, believe that I should read them before I croak. I culled the lists down to about 75, because, well, who knows when I’ll kick the old bucket and must have enriched my brain, or else the gates of heaven and hell may both be closed to me. Imagine, stuck in the eternal purgatory of those who did not read enough acclaimed literature before death.
I’ll have a lot of company.
Anyway, before I get lost in the contemplation of the final destination of my soul, I unveil THE LIST. It will not be read in any particular order and, sad to say, while I will entertain suggestions, I doubt this blog will draw many comments. Let’s face it – this concept is passé at best.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy-Adams
The Handmaid’s Tale-Atwood
The Blind Assasin-Atwood
Pride and Prejudice-Austen
In Cold Blood-Capote
The Big Sleep-Chandler
Murder on the Orient Express-Christie
The Woman in White-Collins
Heart of Darkness-Conrad
The Red Badge of Courage-Crane
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep-Dick
A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens
An American Tragedy-Dreiser
The Three Musketeers-Dumas
The Sound and the Fury-Faulkner
The Great Gatsby-Fitzgerald
Lord of the Flies-Goldman
The Maltese Falcon-Hammett
The House of the Seven Gables-Hawthorne
For Whom the Bell Tolls-Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea-Hemingway
Brave New World-Huxley
Remains of the Day-Ishiguro
On the Road-Kerouac
The Painted Bird-Kosinski
Sons and Lovers-Lawrence
To Kill a Mockingbird-Lee
Call of the Wild-London
The Sea Wolf-London
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter-McCullers
House at Pooh Corner-Milne
The Wide Saragossa Sea-Rhys
Catcher in the Rye-Salinger
The Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich-Shirer
The Joy Luck Club-Tan
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-Thompson
The Death of Ivan Ilyich-Tolstoy
The Mysterious Island-Verne
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-Verne
Breakfast of Champions-Vonnegut
The Color Purple-Walker
The Time Machine-Wells
The Day of the Locust-West
First up (and already completed, but that’s another entry) – My Antonia by Willa Cather. In essence, I think I got this one confused with Giants of the Earth by Rolvag, but that is another story altogether.
Buckle up, buttercup. It’s going to be a bumpy ride as I blunder my way through THE LIST.