My must read book list

I have found that if you are at a loss of what to read next when in a lull between books that you can find hundreds of lists on the web of what people recommend, some of them are even helpful.

In a recent quest to find some of the classics that people recommend as must read books before you die, I found that unless you belong to a literary guild or are a professor of literature, taste could get in the way of what you profess to be a classic.  Below is the list I have compiled to offer my friends and family (and the blog world) as a Cow gal’s approach to must read books. I’ll be honest though it’s not going to be a list for everyone. Alphabetically then…

1)    A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’Engle *

2)    All Creatures Great and SmallJames Herriot *

3)    Angles & Demons Dan Brown *

4)    Animal Farm George Orwell

5)    Around the World in Eighty Days Jules Verne

6)    Call of the Wild Jack London

7)    Complete Stories and Pomes Edgar Allen Poe

8)    Confessions of an Ugly StepsisterGregory Maguire

9)    Count of Monte Cristo Alexander Dumas

10)           Crystal Cave Mary Stewart *

11)           Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 

12)           Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde R. L. Stevenson

13)           Dragon Bones Patricia Briggs *

14)           Dragon Rider Cornelia Funke

15)           Eyes of the Dragon Stephen King

16)           Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway

17)           Frankenstein Mary Shelley

18)           Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

19)           Hades’ Daughter Sara Douglass *

20)           Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling

21)           Horse and His Boy C S Lewis *

22)           Interview with the Vampire Anne Rice

23)           Island of the Blue DolphinScott O’Dell

24)           Jane Eyer Charlotte Bronte

25)           Jubal Sackett Louis L’Amour *

26)           King of Torts John Grisham

27)           Les Miserables Victor Hugo

28)           Madame Curie Eve Curie

29)           Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold! Terry Brooks *

30)           Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley

31)           Nicole Jack Weyland

32)           Odyssey Homer

33)           Outlander Diana Gabaldon *

34)           Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde

35)           Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen 

36)           Princess and the Pea Hans Christian Andersen

37)           Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

38)           Shapechanger’s Song Jennifer Roberson *

39)           StardustNeil Gaiman

40)           Storm Testament Lee Nelson *

41)           The 10th Kingdom Kathryn Wesley

42)           The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty A N Roquelaure *

43)           The Fellowship of the RingJ.R.R. Tolken *

44)           The Heart of Myrial Maggie Furey *

45)           The Jungle Books Rudyard Kipling

46)           The Mouse & the Motorcycle Beverly Cleary *

47)           The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane

48)           Two Princesses of Bamarre G. C. Levine

49)           Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein

50)           Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne

What did I leave out? Where, might you ask, are Bram Stoker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Jean M Auel, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Ronald Dahl, Shakespeare, William Faulkner? The BBC top 100 books and my list don’t really have a whole lot in common, neither do the 1001 books you must read before you die(although I was offered some very informative pamphlets on my last trip to Las Vegas, possibly I should include one of them.) but I digress, it’s my list after all.

As you can see I love modern stories as well as traditional favorites, and the fantasy realm is heavily covered. Children’s literature can be as equally moving in the right circumstances as any tragedy or love story. And yes, I left off the Bible. But why would you include things on a list that you have no want or desire to read or for that matter recommend? Not that I don’t love a Bible story for Sunday, it’s just not something that I’m likely to sit down by the fire and have a cup of tea with.

I’m sure my list shows a little insight into my lifestyle, obviously English is my primary language and I’m female, thus my choice of a few romantic type stories; not to say that men can’t enjoy a romance. Also as you will see, I have only included one author twice, and looking back I’m sure you’ll not notice her unless your familiar with the alternate pen name she uses. I’ll be quite honest, I’m not a librarian so a few things that I could have a serious interest in could have sifted threw the mass of information that can be thrown at you in a short amount of time when looking for a great read. And lastly, I have included books that I have actually read or have such a high interest in reading that I have actually purchased and have waiting on the shelf to get to.

I hope you enjoy this list and will find it useful the next time you are looking for a great book to read.

*denotes book in a series

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5 thoughts on “My must read book list

  1. I loved A Wrinkle in Time. For a while, I forgot the name of it but I want to go back and re-read that one so I was happy to see it on your list. You have chosen a lot of good ones here. I love the varied tastes.

    * I had a teacher “make” us read it in school…by the end of it I had really started to enjoy to read.

  2. Nice list. Absolutely love Animal Farm. Not too high on any of the LotR books/movies, Scarlet Letter or the Odyssey. And, despite being a huge Grisham fan, I didn’t really like King of Torts. In my opinion, The Appeal is much better. Never read Gone With The Wind, didn’t like the movie though. Oh, and Angels & Demons is awesome.

    Just my $0.02 about your list though.
    Oh, and I have to go get Count of Monte Cristo now. I’ve heard it’s good… hopefully it’ll end my spell of bad books that I’ve read & reviewed at my site.

    * Oh you’ll love the Count…the 3 musketeres (?) was a fav of mine as well.

  3. Animal Farm is a classic lesson about meddling with a constitution. I’m pleased to see it ranked so highly on your list. Personally, I’d bump Jubal Sacket a little higher. Also good to see Crane on your list. You really should try Melville. “Bartleby the Scrivener” is my recomendation. Great list!

    *I just can’t get past…”my name is Ishmel”. I don’t know why.

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