Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reading Bucket List

I curated my personal library over Labor Day weekend.

Which is a succinct way of saying “I took the three stacks of books sitting on my floor, added them to my current bookshelf, took all the books off the shelf, boxed up my kid/baby books for posterity, adjusted the height of my shelves 3 times, sorted my books into 1 shelf of non-fiction and 2 shelves of fiction, and put a few books in the garage sale pile.” 

(photo not mine)

In the middle of this, I realized there were several titles I owned, but had never read. I also had some titles from the middle of a series. So I sat down and made a list of books that I need to read.

We’re at 66 and counting.

I laughed and then I cried.

I decided to share the list here, hoping that some of you can give me some advice, tell me what I have to look forward to, stuff like that. The idea that I’ll finish this list before I go back to school in January is laughable, but let’s not think about that. I just want to talk about books.

 (Most of these are mine. AREN'T THEY BEAUTIFUL. Amen.)

War & Peace
(I'll be reading this till the day I die.) 

Two Guys Read Jane Austen

Tortured for Christ
Between Hammer and Sickle 
(by Richard Wurmbrand, a Protestant pastor who was a prisoner in Russia during the Cold War)

Corrie: The Lives She Touched
Prison Letters
Plenty for Everyone
Tramp for the Lord
(Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who helped rescue Jews and lost her family and several years of her life in prison camps.)

The Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades
(book 4 of the Rick Riordan series that follows Percy Jackson & the Olympians; book 5 is due in October. *SQUEE*)

The History of Middle-Earth: The Book of Lost Tales 1
The History of Middle-Earth: The Book of Lost Tales 2
The History of Middle-Earth: The Lays of Beleriand
The History of Middle-Earth: The Shaping of Middle-Earth
The History of Middle-Earth: The Lost Road and Other Writings
The History of Middle-Earth: The Return of the Shadow
The History of Middle-Earth: The Treason of Isengard
The History of Middle-Earth: The War of the Ring
The History of Middle-Earth: Sauron Defeated
The History of Middle-Earth: Morgoth’s Ring
The History of Middle-Earth: The War of the Jewels
The History of Middle-Earth: The Peoples of Middle-Earth
The Children of Húrin
The Silmarillion
The Tolkien Reader
(am I supposed to explain this? Tolkien's imagination astounds me.)

Passion & Purity
(Elisabeth Elliot)

To Train Up a Child
(I'm really reading this for fodder to use against these goofy rednecks. I do not support the Pearls.)

(John & Stasi Eldredge)

A Chance to Die
(Amy Carmichael; by Elisabeth Elliot)

A Woman After God’s Own Heart
(Elizabeth George; I read the tween-aged version of this book, and it's high time I read the older version, because I need it.)

The Diary of Anne Frank
(this was supposed to come after Schindler's List, but I got sidetracked.)

Little Women

The Wind in the Willows
(I own Toad Triumphant, which is book 3 of the series, I think. They're hilarious.)

Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
(who knew C.S. Lewis wrote sci-fi?! Not me. I bought Perelandra at a thrift store.)

The Screwtape Letters

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Last Battle
(I listened to the Radio Theatre versions, but never got around to reading them.)

A Bear Called Paddington
Paddington Helps Out
Paddington Abroad
Paddington at Large
Paddington Marches On
Paddington Goes to Town
Paddington Takes the Air
Paddington’s Garden
Paddington on Top
Paddington at the Tower
Paddington Takes the Test
(I'm not sure if the author wrote these for anyone over the age of 10, but I'm reading them anyways. I own two of the books, and must read the others before the film comes in December. They are charmingly, stereotypically British.)

Nancy Drew: The Clue of the Dancing Puppet
Nancy Drew: Mystery at Lilac Inn
(I'll never read the whole series, but I need to read 2 of the 5 I own.) 

(the biography of my favorite voice other than Buble. 

Anna Karenina

The Saint Bids Diamonds
(Simon Templar; my mum found this in an old attic. It was free. It looked interesting. It went on the list.)

Cheaper by the Dozen
Belles on Their Toes
(I love the older film version, and I bought the sequel at a thrift store.)

Little Orphan Annie and the Gila Monster Gang
(a very old copy from my mum's childhood)

Five Little Peppers Midway
(I want to cry just thinking about this series. This little family is so wonderful. I own this one, and I stand to inherit my grandma's other four.)

Heidi Grows Up
Heidi’s Children
(I avoided these growing up. Everybody acted like Heidi was so perfect, and I hated perfect little girls. Pretty sure I'll love them now.)

The Visitation
(Frank Peretti. I freakin' love this guy and Ted Dekker. I cannot hack horror films or Stephen King, but I can't put Peretti or Dekker down. They have just the right blend of creepy, fascinating, spell-binding, and moral.)

Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights
(I'm afraid they're gonna be creepy, because I know they're darker than Austen, and I love Austen. But I've been told recently that the love stories are just as strong, and length doesn't intimidate me anymore.)


  1. War and Peace is amazing. Seriously, it's worth the read. And The Last Battle --- I love it so much. ♥♥ Love your list, Joanna! :)

    1. Oh, I love War & Peace. It's like an old friend: I leave my Kindle for a few days, and it's right there, waiting for me. :-) (Which makes me sad, considering my Kindle is at the tablet-doctor.)

      I'm hoping I don't cry too much reading The Last Battle. I cried nearly the whole time listening to the Radio Theatre, and starting bawling about the time Reepicheep showed up.

  2. Wuthering Heights...*shudders* Jane Eyre is dark but beautiful...Wuthering Heights is just strange. I know people really like it, but...I still question my sanity in even finishing it.

    1. (Emily?) I watched the trailers for all the film adaptations for both so I would have a general idea of the storyline. I am more excited about Jane Eyre because it looks like it has a happy ending. (Don't spoil it for me; I'd rather find out the hard way. :-) ) I'm balking at Wuthering Heights, though, because it looks so immensely sad. I'm only reading it because I trust the friend who recommended it to me.

  3. Let's see. I have read: "Two Guys Read Jane Austen" (fun -- wonder where you got it?), "The Diary of Anne Frank" (but I mostly just remember the old B&W movie), "Little Women" (enjoyable, and I'm totally doing a read-along in January for it), "The Wind in the Willows" (I was bored and it made me melancholy), all of Narnia (fun, and I need to revisit them), all the Paddington books (I LOVE THEM!!!!!!), "Cheaper by the Dozen" (hilarious), "Heidi" (nice), "Jane Eyre" (SWOON! And it's not at all creepy), and "Wuthering Heights" (Yawn. And it's disapointingly non-creepy. I thought it was going to be thrilling, and... I was unthrilled).

    I have "War and Peace" and "Screwtape Letters" on my to-read list too.

    1. Well, you see, TGRJA just kind of, I don't know, showed up in my mailbox one day... ;-)

      Oh, you're doing a read-along?! I will SO be joining that for LW. Do you read a chapter a week? I wasn't exactly around for LOTR.

      I thought I was the only person who loved Paddington.... I wish I had kids just so I could read Paddington to them. :-) He's so charming and adorable.

      I feel a little guilty admitting I've never read Screwtape Letters. It seems like everyone I know in my church fellowship has read it.

    2. Weird how books do that sometimes, huh?

      And yes, doing a read-along for Little Women! Probably starting mid-January, haven't set a date yet. With LOTR I aimed for a new chapter posted every 2-3 days, but I was trying not to make those drag on. I think for both The Hound of the Baskervilles next month and LW in January, I'll try for two chapters a week, max.

      There are Paddington picture books now too, which my girls really enjoy. I think my son will be ready for the big books soon -- I tried one with him last winter and he wasn't thrilled, but maybe this year :-)

    3. I can do 2 chapters a week. I think it will help me soak in the story better. Sometimes I tend to forget parts if I read the book too fast. Like, it's only been two weeks, and I've forgotten exactly who killed Wormtongue. I can tell you he slit Saruman's throat, but now I literally can't remember what happened after that. It's probably my ADD. :-)

      Awh, I need Paddington picture books. Did you know there's a movie coming out in December? The trailer makes me literally LOL. He's being voiced by the guy who plays Q in Skyfall, and Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited.

    4. (It was some of the Hobbits -- they shot him as he ran away.)

      I saw a trailer for the Paddington movie and... hmm. Not sure what to think yet!

  4. I read The Night Circus recently - it's really quite amazing. My mum and I are doing the Hundred Book Challenge (it's on Facebook) and splitting the reading. A friend of my mum's is running it, so I urge you to check it out. It seems rather up your alley. Some other suggestions: I Am the Messenger (Markus Zusak), The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas), The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin), The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster), and of course, The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern). Hope you enjoy, from one reader to another!