100 Books Bucket List

Somewhere in that series of posts setting the context for my 2019 reading challenges, I mentioned an extra twist I was using to “level up” the complexity of my reading plans: a crosswalk with my “Bucket List Poster” to see if I could check off a few of those boxes along the way.

The poster is actually one of a set of three posters I purchased last spring: one for books, one for movies, one for music albums. I’m not entirely sure about the methodology of choosing what made the list—okay, I don’t have any idea what the methodology was. Some mix of legit Anglo-American classics, with some other titles tossed in to represent different genres (e.g., non-fiction, fantasy epic, kids lit, murder mystery), international perspectives, and titles that represent their zeitgeist.

My guess is that the company making these posters is British, both because of some of the inclusions (Dodie Smith? Kenneth Grahame?) and, more importantly, because of the absolute erasure of African-American and post-colonial titles. All of which is to say I wouldn’t want this to be the only source of new titles for me to choose and read,  but I’m happy enough to include it as a piece of a broader landscape.

Besides, having these hanging above my desk at home is a decor choice that is just so me, and I can’t deny the fun of scratching off a new title once I’ve read/viewed/listened to it.

fullsizeoutput_1aa1As far as I can tell, there is zero deliberate order to how these books appear on the poster. But, in that (basically random) order, here is the list of books, with markings for the ones I’ve already read at some point in the past:

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  3. Siddartha by Herman Hesse
  4. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  9. The Complete Art of War by Sun Tzu
  10. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick 
  11. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  12. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  13. The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  14. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  15. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  16. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley √
  17. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll √
  18. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte √
  20. 1984 by George Orwell √
  21. The Grapes of Wrath* by John Steinbeck √
  22. Norweigian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  23. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey √
  24. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  25. The Color Purple by Alice Walker √
  26. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson √
  27. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov √
  28. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens √
  29. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling √
  30. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman √
  31. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway √
  32. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  33. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  34. Ulysses by James Joyce
  35. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
  36. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  37. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  38. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo √
  39. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger √
  40. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  41. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams √
  43. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré
  44. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  45. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinsgolver √
  46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain √
  47. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift √
  48. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  49. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  50. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
  51. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  52. The Help by Kathryn Stockett √
  53. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes √
  54. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou √
  55. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  56. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  57. Macbeth by William Shakespeare √
  58. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein √
  59. A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  60. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  61. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood √
  62. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  63. Schindler’s Ark** by Thomas Keneally
  64. London Fields by Martin Amis
  65. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle √
  66. My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  67. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  68. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  69. The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
  70. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
  71. Gladys Alward: The Little Woman by Gladys Alward
  72. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  73. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy √
  74. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  75. Hamlet by William Shakespeare √
  76. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  77. Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
  78. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells √
  79. Winnie the Pooh collection by A.A. Milne √
  80. Animal Farm by George Orwell √
  81. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank √
  82. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  83. Dracula by Bram Stoker √
  84. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque √
  85. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding √
  86. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  87. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen √
  88. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  89. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden √
  90. Misery by Stephen King
  91. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis √
  92. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  93. The Odyssey by Homer
  94. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  95. Bird Song by Sebastian Faulks
  96. Tell No One by Harlan Coben
  97. Moby Dick by Herman Melville √
  98. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens √
  99. Middlemarch by George Eliot √
  100. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte √

If I’ve counted my fingers and toes correctly, I’ve chosen 11 titles from the unread selections here to cover various categories from the 3 “official” reading challenges I’m working on for the year. My bet would be that this is the last year I’ll be able to make such a quantum leap forward: my experience with the Shakespeare Project certainly bears out the reality that as the list of open titles shrinks it becomes that much harder to schedule them, whether you’re trying to crosswalk books against a list of categories or find that ever-elusive professional production of Timon of Athens.

And, having now typed up all these titles, I’m in a position where, as I start reading challenge books that also tick off a “bucket list box,” I’ll be able to link back and celebrate another sort of progress.

I’ll take what wins I can. *grin*


* Full disclosure: I know I read this back in high school, but it’s the one completed book out of the bunch that I have zero memory of. I’ll probably cave and re-read it somewhere along the way…

** Published in the U.S. under the title Schindler’s List.


Image credit: Photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

2 thoughts on “100 Books Bucket List

  1. Pingback: 100 Movies Bucket List – Self-Love: It's Just Another Lifestyle Change

  2. Pingback: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Self-Love: It's Just Another Lifestyle Change

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