Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful time away and was able to get caught up on a lot of my to-do list. The smartest thing I did over the holidays? Close to queries. It allowed me to catch up on what I had in my in-box and refresh after a wonderful year. Now I can go into 2011 with a nearly clean in-box and hungry for something fresh and new. What am I looking for? Well, keep an eye out for a later post on that topic.

For today I want to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. They aren’t something I typically make because it’s just another thing to add stress to my life. Sure, I want to get to the gym more, and of course I want to keep the top of my desk clean. Those aren’t New Year’s Resolutions, though, they’re everyday resolutions. That being said, I was inspired by something on Facebook of all places for a new, let’s call it, Lifetime Resolution.

If you’re on Facebook you’ve undoubtedly seen the Book List Challenge. It’s purported to be from the BBC, a list of 100 books that they believe most people will have read only six of. I think it’s fair to say that most people reading this blog will have read more than six. That being said, there are still a huge number I haven’t read. So my Lifetime Resolution: to read at least one of those books a year (let’s make this realistic) until I’ve read all 100.

Before I go any further let me tell you that I think some of the list is a little lame. I mean, why do you need to read the entire Harry Potter series (as the original list states), and why is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on there as well as The Chronicles of Narnia? It seems silly. So my rules will be that I don’t necessarily need to read the entire Harry Potter series unless I want to. One book should be enough. After all, this isn’t about torturing yourself if you don’t like what you’re reading, it’s about trying some new things. That being said, I will also work my hardest to complete each book, but life is too short and if I really am not enjoying myself, then trying is enough.

Facebook has an app now called Book List Challenge, and I think I’m going to use that app to track my progress (some of the books from the app are different from the list below). If you follow me on Facebook, I think you should be able to track my progress too. I believe it’s called Book List Challenge.

Anyway, for those who haven’t yet seen the list but are interested in participating, here is one variation. There are many. And for the record, I’ve placed an asterisk by those I’ve read.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

*3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

*4. Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling (I’ve read the first book, which is what the FB app list has on it)

*5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights

*8. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

*10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

*11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

*15. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

16. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

*18. Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

19. The Time Traveler's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

*22. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

*31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

*33. The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis

34. Emma – Jane Austen

35. Persuasion – Jane Austen

*36. The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

*37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - William Golden

*40. Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne

*41. Animal Farm – George Orwell

*42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

*46. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery

47. Far from the Madding Crowd _ Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

*49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (Hate this book!!!)

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martell

52. Dune – Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60. Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66. On the Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

*68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula – Bram Stoker

*73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson

74. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal – Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - A. S. Byatt

*81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - Charles Mitchell

83. The Colour Purple - Alice Walker

*84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

*87. Charlotte's Web - E. B. White

88. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

*94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

*98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

And since I’m staring at a copy of The Hobbit, I think that’s as good a place as any to start.

***Quick reminder--Rosalie Lario was the winner of the last contest of 2010. Two mystery galleys. Please email your address to If I don't have it by the end of the day I'll randomly pick another winner from today's comments.