Hmm. Remember, I said I would try and post when I felt I had something interesting to say or report?? Well, I logged on AOL today and they had this list of Ten Books To Read Before You Die. What an attention grabbing title for a list! Um…just in case you’re wondering….my book was not listed (I know — who made up this list, right???? lol). However, I am pleased to say there is one classic historical romance novel listed and it is, in actual fact, NUMBER ONE!
I have to say that I have read ALL of the books on this list and agree they are well worth being listed as wonderful works of fiction. Are they the TEN BOOKS I would recommend to read before you die? Well, I don’t think so. This list represents literary samples from various genres only of the 20th and 21st century. Understandably, to comprise a list of books to read before you die is a pretty daunting task, especially when various genres are all grouped together. We are talking about a LOT of books that have been written over centuries, great classics penned by wonderful authors. I would have to probably compile separate lists according to genres. So, I will have to think about it and get back to you. Maybe I’ll start with TEN ROMANCE NOVELS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE and ask for your suggestions as well? But just in case you haven’t seen AOL’s list, here it is:
#1 GONE WITH THE WIND (Margaret Mitchell)
Published in 1936, Gone With The Wind sold 50,000 copies on its first day, and two million after a year. Even though it is 1,037 pages long, readers all over the world snatched up the book. In 1937 it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Mitchell prided herself on the historical accuracy of her work. Gone With The Wind is a sweeping account of how the Civil War tore apart an entire way of life, and Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most enduring characters in American fiction.
#2 LORD OF THE RINGS (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Lord of the Rings is regarded by many to be the most important and influential work of fantasy of the 20th century. It generated the fantasy novel industry practically single-handedly, inspiring a multitude of novels concerning elves and dwarves on quests to conquer ultimate evil despite overwhelming odds. Although intended to be published as a single volume, its division into a trilogy created the iconic format for epic fantasy literature.
#3 HARRY POTTER (J. K. Rowling)
Follow Harry Potter from his first days at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, through his many adventures with Hermione and Ron, to his confrontations with rival Draco Malfoy and the dreaded Professor Snape. From a dangerous descent into the Chamber of Secrets to the Triwizard Tournament to the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, each adventure is more riveting and exhilarating than its predecessor.
#4 THE STAND (Stephen King)
In 1978, Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. It depicts his apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. It is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic. Those reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.
#5 THE DA VINCI CODE (Dan Brown)
The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Robert Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci — clues visible for all to see — yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. The Da Vinci Code heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller…utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion.
#6 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Harper Lee)
To Kill a Mockingbird is about the crisis of human behavior and conscience arising from the racism and prejudice that exist in the small Southern town during the Depression. Scout Finch tells the story of her father’s defense of Tom Robinson, a young black man who is being tried for the rape of a white woman. Harper Lee’s only novel, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, is a much-beloved tale of growing up, as well as an exploration of heroism confronted with bigotry
#7 ANGELS AND DEMONS (Dan Brown)
When a canister of anti-matter is stolen from a Swiss research facility, Robert Langdon is called in to investigate. A Harvard professor, Langdon is an expert on the ancient, quasi-scientific, and widely feared organization know as the Illuminati, who may or may not be wrapped up in the mystery. Angels and Demons preceeds The Da Vinci Code.
#8 ATLAS SHRUGGED (Ayn Rand)
Rand’s 1200-page novel Atlas Shrugged is a hymn of praise to the concept of rugged individualism, personified in John Galt. This polemic for Rand’s philosophy of “rational self-interest” has been a steady seller since it was published in 1957.
#9 THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by: J.D. Salinger
J. D. Salinger’s famous and enduring chronicle of Holden Caulfield’s journey from innocence to experience is the quintessential coming-of-age novel. Salinger’s 1951 novel Catcher in the Rye was a bestseller and became an immediate cult favorite, but it has also, over the years, been subject to criticism and even censorship because of its liberal use of profanity, its frank conversations about sex, and its generally irreverent view of the adult world.
#10 THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (Douglas Allan)
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Together, they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. Douglas Adams’ hilarious classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the quintessential science fiction book of our time.
Remember, just because a book is NOT on this list, only means that ‘someone’ might have missed a sparkling jewel in the vast literary treasure chest of timeless books — like, say, maybe…. MINE!