Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weekly Book Posts: Lifetime Reading Plans


Do you have a lifetime reading plan?  There are lists out there, such as Fadiman's, or the book I own 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and any one of these lists could be a good starting point if you are interested in making a lifetime reading plan.

There are some arguments to be made against any effort to establish a literary canon of what is good literature and what isn't, with the most compelling being that it often privileges the works of dead white guys over the voices of the marginalized or different.  But when I look at most lists now, they are clearly making an effort to branch out and be more inclusive.

So what is cool about a list like this?  It is challenging, it takes us further as readers than browsing our local bookstore would, and it can remind us to read older works.  But mostly, for someone like me who is a lover of reading and listology, it's just compelling and enjoyable to try and read them all and keep track as I go.


One of my 14 x 14 in 2014 categories is "Lifetime Reading Plan", and I am using the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list to select 14 titles I had not already read and to read those this year.  So far, I've read The Old Man and the Sea (a double dipper, since it also counts for my category of "Books Made Into Movies").  I very much enjoyed this sparse and taut little novella about man versus nature.  My next pick from the list is Crime and Punishment.  

What books would you consider "must-reads" in a lifetime?

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