Dave's 105 Books to Read Before You Die (Which Will be Sooner Than You Think)

Everyone seems to have a top hundred list of something, and so here are my top hundred books (plus five bonus books in case you finish the top hundred too quickly) and each author is only represented once, so while Shakespeare and Italo Calvino may actually deserve more than one slot, for the sake of variety there are no repeats; also, there is fiction, non-fiction, and everything else on this list . . . and I should point out that once you finish reading all the books on this list, then you will be much smarter than me, because though I've read them all, I'm not sure I remember anything from them:

1.   Moby Dick by Herman Melville
2.   Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
3.   War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4.   The Lives of the Cell by Lewis Thomas
5.   Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
6.   If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino
7.   Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne
8.   Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard
9.   Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
10. V by Thomas Pynchon
11. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
12. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
13.  Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
14.  Into the Wild by John Krakauer
15.  Music of Chance by Paul Auster
16.  The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
17.  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
18. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
19. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
20. The Bible
21. Henry IV (part 1) by William Shakespeare
22. The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard
23. The Stories of John Cheever
24. Will You Please Be Quiet Please by Raymond Carver
25. The Image by Daniel Boorstin
26. Clockers by Richard Price
27. Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
28. American Tabloid by James Ellroy
29. A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn
30. Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan
31. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
32. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch  by Philip K. Dick
33.  Chaos by James Gleick
34.  The Society of the Mind by Marvin Minsky
35.  Watchmen by Alan Moore/ Dave Gibbons
36.  The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
37.  The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
38.  Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa-Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
39.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
40.  Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
41.  Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
42.  Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
43.  War With The Newts by Karel Kapek
44.  The Miracle Game by Josef Skvorecky
45.  The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
46.  Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
47.  White Noise by Don Delillo
48.  The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
49.  Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
50.  Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
51.  Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
52.  Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
53.  Bully For Brontosaurus by Stephen J. Gould
54.  The Drifters by James A. Michener
55.  Geek Love by Catherine Dunne
56.  The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
57.  Human Universals by Donald Brown
58.  Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan and Anne Druyan
59.  The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
60.  The Diversity of Life by E.O. Wilson
61.  The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins
62.  Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
63.  American Splendor by Harvey Pekar/ Robert Crumb
64.  The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz by Hector Berlioz
65.  A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
66.  The Castle by Franz Kafka
67.  Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
68.  Naked by David Sedaris
69.  Godel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
70.  The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner
71.  The Big Short by Michael Lewis
72.  Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt
73.  Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer
74.  Monster of God by David Quammen
75.  Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
76.  Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco
77.  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
78.  Hyperspace by Michio Kaku
79.  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
80. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor
81.  Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Richard Wright
82.  The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
83.  Manchester United Ruined My Life by Colin Shindler
84.  Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
85. From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple
86. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
87. The End of the Road by John Barth
88. Neuromancer by William Gibson
89. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
90. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
91. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
92. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
93. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
94. The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
95. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
96. The Bushwhacked Piano by Thomas McGuane
97. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
98. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
99. 1493 by Charles C. Mann
100.  Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
101.  A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
102.  The Life and Death of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch
103.  Methland by Nick Reding
104. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
105. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

10 comments:

Whitney said...

Um, didn't Leo Tolstoy write War and Peace? Was William his Americanized name?

Oh, I get it, War and Piece was by William Tolstoy, the well-known Dutch author. Cousin of Edmond Wells.

Kind of ruins the credibility of this list. So much for the Sentence of Walter. I mean Dave.

rob said...

finally, objective and irrefutable proof that dave doesn't actually read anything. this explains a lot.

zman said...

This is more than one sentence.

Dave said...

when you read 1400 hundred pages, it's hard to remember much. i think it was about russia, and thanks for proofreading.

kevin m. brady said...

my aunt wants to comment on your list. let's see if she does.

C'est Moi said...

Wow. I had forgotten about Geek Love; I think I'll re-read it.

Mr. Reck said...

Props for some Gibson on the list, but you almost entirely missed my Top 15! For your consideration - and I know you have time to read all of these this weekend:

1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
4. 2666 by Roberto BolaƱo
5. The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
6. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
7. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
8. Demian by Herman Hesse
9. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
10. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
11. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
12. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
13. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
14. Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware
15. Arthur Stacy and the Gallery of the People by Adam Reck (Now available in paperback and eBook from Amazon.com!)

Dave said...

that's a good list, but mine is longer.

Mr. Reck said...

I would like to note that you are older and don't watch TV. But you're welcome to browse my Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/adamreck1/shelf

Dave said...

that's cool! i love steve martin' book "born standing up." i think i forgot to put it on my list . . .

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.