Top 10 Books I Must Read Before I can Consider Myself a Fully Functioning Member of Society
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1972)
Finished April 12, 2014. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Appreciated the overly used analogy “nestled like spoons” a lot. Will be reading more Vonnegut in the future. So it goes.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)
Finished June 20, 2014. Quite the story. The last 100 pages were insane (see what I did there?).
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (1964)
Finished July 13, 2015. This book. I started it in December, got to page 250, then stopped until July. I read the last 400 pages in five days. At times, I worried that I didn’t ‘get’ it, but then I got to page 500 and it rocked my world. Now I see that Kesey is brilliant. Insanely powerful book.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)
Finished August 21, 2014. This book pretty much broke my heart and I loved every second of it. I procrastinated finishing it because the thought of leaving Steinbeck’s world made me so sad. Then when I did finish it I listened to Bon Iver and Sun Kil Moon because what else was I supposed to do after that? East of Eden was everything a book should be and more.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
Finished September 17, 2015. This book wins. In all of its insanity and confusion, it makes perfect sense. The ending is perfect.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
Finished November 12, 2014. This was a lovely little novel. Fitzgerald writes beautifully and I loved being temporarily immersed in his world. Plus, I can now understand Gatsby references.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
Finished September 12, 2014. Another beautiful and heart-wrenching story that captivated my mind and soul. I wish this had been assigned in one of my English classes so I could have read it sooner. Still, it’s definitely now on my all-time favorites list.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
Finished July 8, 2015. Man, what a book. It reminded me of the way I tell stories, but I loved it. It seemed fitting to read while in Vietnam (on the road), so I did. I dig it.
9. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)
Finished July 27, 2015. I did not love this book as much as I hoped I would, but I still found it moving and magical. Marquez is a masterful storyteller and I’ve always had an affinity for epics, so all in all I’d call this book a win.
More Books I Want to Read Because Books are Fun
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (1984)
Finished summer 2016. Beautiful.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
Finished August 28, 2017. Worth the long, gritty journey.