09 July 2008

I Guess I Can Die Now

As I was reading e-mail this morning, AOL put up a list of Ten Books to Read Before You Die. I've read them all, so I guess I'm good to go.

Seriously, except for the Bible and possibly Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird, I have issues with that list. Not that I don't like many of the books, I do. A few I even love. I just know for a fact that if I made a list of my own, it wouldn't have included any of their picks besides the scripture.

AOL's list:

the Bible (Well, good for AOL, but it was #10)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (More impressive to me in college than today.)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Would probably make my top 20.)
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (Brilliant man, but ick.)
DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (Oh, come on!)
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (What were they thinking?)
The Stand by Stephen King (Yes, really. I liked this book, but again, really?)
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (Give me a break.)
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Well . . . maybe.)

I read lists like this every day and wonder A) what the world is coming to and B) why I continue to subscribe to AOL. But it has made me think. If somebody asked me for a stack of ten books to read before they die, what would I give them?

What would you offer? Send me your list either in the comments section or by e-mail, if you prefer privacy as I know many of you do. I'll give you three whole weeks to think about it. On July 30 I'll post my list and draw a name from a box containing the lists of everybody who's responded. Winner gets their choice of one of the books from my list -- either from my own collection or new from Amazon, their choice. If books are mentioned multiple times, I'll tell you that, too.

I really do want to know what you think!

PS: You may count scripture as one book -- as if a quad -- and include non-fiction if you must.


Stephanie Abney said...

IN the world, but not OF the world. It is amazing what is of worth to some when we know it isn't of greatest worth to our Heavenly Father.

There's lots better lists out there. Sterling Sill wrote a book on the best books to read (that was a long time ago, of course). George Wythe College has fabulous book lists required with each of their major and minor degree courses of study. However, you have probably read them all anyway.

My theory is "just keep reading" ~ from the past, current work and I do believe some of our best literature is yet to come.

Amanda said...

Dan Brown? Wow, that really isn't a good list...

Mindi said...

Wow, well I have read and enjoyed several books on that list I'm not sure many would make my 10 must read list. It's hard to pin down what I would put on one because different people read a book for different reasons. One would be the scriptures. I would probably even keep on Gone With the Wind.
Christy by Catherine Marshall would make the list somewhere.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Kaleidoscope Season by Sharon Downing Jarvis
Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

I know this isn't ten, but I am having a really hard time with this list. I was going to wait the three weeks to post, but I will forget and spend three weeks stressing over it and not post it. So here is a start. I just realized, too, that each of these are very women-centered books. Sorry, guys! I can't wait to see what everyone else picks!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read ten books.


Cheri J. Crane said...

These are in no particular order:

"I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to go to Boise," Erma Bombeck
"Follow the River," by James Alexander Thom
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Victor Hugo
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," by Betty Smith
"The Song of Bernadette," by Franz Werfel
"The Robe," by Lloyd C. Douglas
"The Christ Commission," by Og Mandino
"Tathea," & "Come Armageddon," by Anne Perry
"The Quad" (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.)

Dang. That's ten, eh? ;) Time to quit.

Amanda said...

Of course, in making up my own list of ten, I have to have read them, which I guess means I'm sort of half digging my grave, eh? ;) j/k Well, here's my list, in no particular order.

1)The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
2) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
3) Possession by AS Byatt
4) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
5) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
6) The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (or really any Hemingway novel will do)
7) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
8) Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
9) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
10) The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Whew, that was hard to do!

Julie Wright said...

-Book of Mormon
-Pride and prejudice
-To Kill a Mockingbird
-Speaker for the Dead (orson scott card)
-Les Miserables (victor Hugo)

I'm leaving the last five due to the impossibility of breaking it all down. Dan Brown is soooooo not on my list.

Tristi Pinkston said...

First of all, I had no idea Kerry had my bunny picture on the blog, so I was quite surprised to see it there. In a good way, though.

Second, hmmm. . . some good books have been mentioned. I don't know if I could say, "ten books everyone has to read before they die," because what might be wonderful and impacting to me might not be to you. So I'll make my list, "books I'm glad I read before I died." How's that?

Peace Like a River
Little Women
Wildwood Dancing
I Capture the Castle
Anne of Green Gables

Like Julie W, I hate to put more . . . maybe later, when I'm a little closer to dying.

Kimberly said...

Wow. That is a seriously disturbing list.

For me, just off the top of my head I'd have to say...

1) The Scriptures
2) Ten Virtues to Heal Our Hearts and Homes
3) The Cosmic Trilogy
4) Speaker for the Dead
5) Anne of Green Gables
6) Little Women
7) The Screwtape Letters
8) 8 Weeks to Optimum Health
9) Jonathan Livingston Seagull (It's weird but I love it)
10) Your Own Journal

Anna Maria Junus said...

This is a toughie. I've read a few on that list and enjoyed them, but I wouldn't put them all on the list.


The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom

The Diary of Anne Frank

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (Yes I know that's seven books, but treat them as one).

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Roots - Alex Haley

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

Harry Potter (I know you don't agree with this, but it's something new that will be a classic. I would suggest reading all, but for this list I would suggest the first).

The Secret Garden

Sigh, there are others I would suggest too, like Huckleberry Finn, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and my book because I need the money.;-)

Kerry Blair said...

Thanks so much to everybody who has replied thus far -- here and in e-mails. I want you to know that while I've read most of the books, there are FOUR I've ordered from Amazon and/or have on my list to track down at the library. Fun!

One week to go...tell your friends. Please. There is little on earth I love more than discovering a gem of a book I've not yet read!

Mindi said...

Are you telling which 4? Just curious...

Kenji said...

"We are so blessed to know and befriend some of the wonderful writers, George Potter, Kerry Blair and writers at SixLDSwriters, Candace Salima, Stacy Anderson,Jim Paredes and so many others. I am so captivated by their wit and their minds that we look up to this wonderful people." From our latest post. Kerry, we would rather replace in the list the Harry Potter with Counting Blessings

Randy and Lisa said...

Here's my list.
1. The Quad (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc)
2. Heidi
3. Diary of Anne Frank
4. The PeaceGiver
5. The Work and The Glory series
6. The Good Earth
7. Black Beauty
8. Tom Sawyer
9. Raising a Family Unto the Lord
10. Cheaper By the Dozen

Lucy Eliza said...

Not in any order:

Charly by Jack Weyland
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Work and the Glory series by Gerald N. Lund
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remargue
Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado (non-fiction)
Runaway Jury by John Grisham

Lisa Anne said...

my pick of top ten:
Book of Mormon
Huckleberry Finn
Harry Potter
Peter Pan
Toad Rage (It really is funny.)
Escape from Warsaw
North and South
Strangling your husband is not an option
This Just In (still my favorite)

I leave one open just in case.

Leesa said...

Also not in an order...

The Quad
The Great Gatsby
Old Yeller
Little Women
Secret Garden
Gone With the Wind
The Alchemist
The Call of the Wild
Flowers for Algernon

I could go on and on..

marcialynnmcclure said...

Wow! I think it's a challenge to narrow it down...but I'll give it a shot...with the same disclaimer, "not necessarily in this order"...

1. The Scriptures (Naturally!)
2. North and South (by Elizabeth Gaskell NOT the one by John Jakes!)
3. In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash (by Jean Shepherd)
4. Anne of Green Gables
5. Gone with the Wind
6. Jane Eyre
7. A Christmas Carol
8. Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood
9. Pride and Prejudice
10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Marnie Pehrson said...

My tastes in classics general lean toward nonfiction, but here goes in no particular order, except #1:

1. Quad (of course)
2. The Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith
3. Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie
4. Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson
5. Hidden Treasures: Heaven's Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters
6. As a Man Thinketh by James Allan
7. The Jackrabbit Factor: Why You Can! by Leslie Householder
8. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
9. Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol Truman
10. And last but certainly not least ... Counting Blessings by Kerry Blair

Terry said...

I need to copy all the lists and get reading!
I'll have to really think about the books I'd put on my list!
I'd have to put
The scriptures
Anne of Green Gables
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Lord of the Rings

That is all I can think of off the top of my head.
Thanks for getting me thinking.