I have decided to take on the daunting task of creating a list of “100 Books to Read Before I Die,” and actually follow through with it. Granted, I am the same person who has opened and closed two businesses, started and quit smoking five times, purchased and sold a total of three exercise machines, and changed majors more than a handful of times, so we’ll see how this goes.
I’ll be posting each book as I go, and chronicling my thoughts on these classic novels (click the titles to your right), to see if they really are worth reading (according to yours truly). I believe most books become classics because they represent some kind of movement or new way of thinking, or personification of a genre (new or improved) for the era in which they were written. I feel my list is missing some important books from OUR time, but I also understand that a classic is often defined by its staying power. While I think Harry Potter is a must-read, whether or not it will go down in history has yet to be seen.
It should also be noted that this list does not include books I’ve already read, so don’t panic if 1984 or Dante’s Inferno isn’t on the list. As much as I appreciate suggestions, I’ve already painstakingly filtered this list down to the ones I find essential. Who knows, maybe after this I’ll start a NEW list, and torture you all further. So, without further ado. . .
They say you cannot be a great writer until you are first a great reader. I feel this is a double edged sword. How can one be confronted with greatness, with any type of literary genius, and come out unscathed in the end? How can one measure up? It’s all been written before, yet there are still authors that can floor me with their brilliance, with the perfect structuring of a six-word sentence.
‘For sale: Baby shoes; never worn.’ ~Ernest Hemingway
What makes a book a classic, anyway?